If you have the vision to create a garden that is as eco-friendly as possible, you’ll be glad to know that there is a wide range of methods to choose from, all of which will make an outdoor area much more self-sustaining, will cut down on waste and is designed to be more dependent on renewable sources of energy. The best part of it all, is that the wildlife in your locality will be delighted to find a variety of habitats, all right on your doorstep.
The ecosystem is becoming increasingly bombarded with pressures, gardeners do much to combat these pressures. In addition, studies have outlined that eco-gardening has a good effect when it comes to cutting down on waste, putting the brakes on climate change and reducing energy use. If your garden area seems to be boring and lifeless, then think about eco-living as a way to make your outdoor space much more plant-friendly, as well as biologically diverse.
To get your garden going down the eco-friendly path, try out the five ideas outlined below.
- Make Your Garden Attractive To Friendly Bugs
Ground beetles, ladybirds, lacewings, and the list goes on! You may enjoy watching bugs busy at work in your garden, then again you may hate even the thought of them, whatever category you fit into the fact is simple, while some bugs can certainly cause damage to your plants, there are plenty that can do much good, even assisting in shrinking the number of harmful bugs that are calling your garden home.
Take for example the ladybird and lacewing, it actually eats aphids, like the blackfly. If your garden has a large aphid population, think about creating a flower border of marigolds, sunflowers, candytuft or such like, it will act as an enticement to the ‘good bugs’, and reduce harm to your garden. Here are some tips.
- Let Birds Be Your Garden Wardens
When it comes to pests that can wreak havoc in your garden, such as slugs, grubs, caterpillars and snails, birds can act as excellent and natural garden wardens. Encourage birds to visit your garden by hanging feeders and nesting boxes. Insecticides, fungicides and weed killers are all toxic to your garden environment, encouraging birds and the right kinds of insects cuts down on the necessity of such products. If you need a more rapid approach to getting rid of a slug or snail problem, you could use crushed eggshells or slug pellets that are environmentally friendly to create a barrier.
- Think About Companion Planting
Gardens that benefit from a wide variety of plants tend to be the healthiest and prettiest. In addition, specific plant combinations can act as a complement to each other, in effect helping each other to grow healthily. Take for example Marigolds, they act as a deterrent to soil and flying insects that are not wanted in the garden. Plants that are shorter or sensitive to the sun can benefit from the shade provided by taller plants.
It’s worth mentioning, however, that whilst some plant pairings can provide significant benefit to both plants, others do not pair well together and can in fact have a damaging effect on each other. The first step should always be to decide which plants you want in your garden, then do your homework and ensure you won’t face any significant issues once the growing season begins.
Below you will find some excellent garden combinations, bear in mind however, that whilst the individual pairings work well together, the entire list below may not all work in harmony.
Tomatoes and Chives.
When chives are planted closer to tomatoes they can act as a protective measure. Since chives have a scent similar to onions, they can act as deterrent to aphids, allowing the tomatoes to grow without coming under attack. In addition, the chive scent is not absorbed by the tomatoes, hence there is no risk of contaminated flavor, simply two wonderful kitchen ingredients.
Garlic and Rose
The idea of planting garlic and roses together is certainly not a new inspiration, due to its aroma, garlic is a natural pest repellent for roses. Of course garlic provides an excellent kitchen cooking basic, but in addition, the tiny white and purple flowers that bloom in springtime look beautiful nestled in with the roses and other garden foliage.
Spring Onions and Carrots
Carrots and spring onions are excellent together since each gives a helping hand to the other. The onion scent stops carrot root fly from causing damage. In the same way, the carrot scent prevents onion fly from coming too close. Again you get to enjoy two flourishing plants in your garden, as well as great ingredients for cooking.
Dill, Radish and Cucumber
The chance of cucumber beetles munching their way through your crop is greatly alleviated with the addition of radish. For an extra level of security you can also plant dill nearby, this works to attract predators who will eat pests, without eating your precious cucumbers.
- Establish A Compost Bin
Granted you can head to your local gardening store and buy soil, but compost is the absolute best supplement for the soil in your eco-friendly garden. Composting allows your garden to receive all of the nutrients it needs, in addition you save money and enjoy the satisfaction of the process.
When you add compost to your garden you provide new and positive microorganisms which will work to aerate the soil, prompt plant growth by breaking down material, keep the soil moist, minimize the spread of plant disease and provide a substitute for fertilizers that have a chemical base.
Wood Chippers and mulchers can also be ideal to aid this process and help make the most of the leaves, wood and other items in the garden at this time of year. These can really aid your sustainable garden space.
To get started with composting, gather ingredients that are suitable, these include leftovers (egg shells, tea leaves, fruits, vegetables and so on), weeds, shredded paper, and coffee grounds. Bones, meat, leftover fish and such like should not be composted as they may act as an enticement to unwanted pests.
Next, take your ingredients and spread them out in a warm and sunny part of your garden. If you have good weather conditions, compost-making bugs will get to work and you will have usable compost after six to nine months. You can buy fencing online from a home improvement retailer if you are concerned about pets eating the compost ingredients.
- The Three R’s – Reduce, Reuse And Recycle
From using solely recyclable packaging and growing your own fruit to having your own compost; there is an abundance of ways to reduce the waste that you create. Reusing what you have is one of the most significant ways to reduce waste, this includes vegetable peelings, plant clippings, fencing, and even making use of a water butt to cut down on how much fresh water you use to maintain your garden.
You can also reuse wooden containers, plastic bottles and such like in your garden. For example, you can cut the base off plastic bottles and use them as seedling protectors. Another idea is to poke a few small holes in plastic bottle lids and use them as practical watering cans.
It’s certainly possible to create a more eco-friendly garden, or simply improve the appearance of your outdoor space, without hurting your wallet, or the environment. What type of eco-friendly methods do you like to make use of?