Whether you’re an avid gardener, or someone who only gets out there on weekends to potter about, it’s becoming more obvious to everyone that there’s much to do to make gardening better for the environment. While the plants certainly are healthy, the practices around gardening aren’t always eco-friendly.
It’s also useful to think beyond practices in the garden itself,such as with solar power which can provide clean energy without burning other fuels to generate it -energy that can then power the lawn mower, trimmers and other electrically powered gardening equipment.
So, let’s now dive into 7 examples of how to turn your gardening hobby into one that’s done with eco-friendly methodologies in mind.
1. Encourage Wildlife to Visit
Your garden shouldn’t just be a home for your plants; it can also be a friendly place for wildlife too. For instance, a hedgehog house is an attractive addition that encourages these prickly animals to visit and stay over the winter time. They tend to need a dry, warm spot that’s under cover which they can retreat to and emerge from after their hibernation cycle is over.
Their home can be a crate that you remodel (it’s not necessary to buy their house pre-made). Use an upturned crate and create a tunnel into the crate. This provides sufficient darkness when reaching the center for hibernation purposes. When completed, the hedgehog housing should be placed in a quiet spot in the garden that doesn’t see much foot traffic. Ideally, there should be tree cover from the sun and little if any wind back there too.
2. Turn Your Home and Garden into a Solar Powered Eco-Friendly Place
Take advantage of your roofing by installing solar panels as one of most efficient ways to harness the power of the sun and produce electricity. While it’s not always possible to install enough solar capability to power all the home and garden requirements, it can produce enough to certainly cover what’s used in the garden. It depends on the position of your house, how much sun it receives on average, and how many panels can be installed.
You want to use an experienced solar panels installation company like Semper Solaris, who have won awards for their successful installs. They know all about the best spot to install solar, how much kilowatt capacity will be possible, the use of battery storage for excess power, and they can help with solar repair too.
The fact that you should save money over the long term and reduce your total dependence on the power grid are just bonuses.
3. Shift Away from Plastic Plant Pots
While they are cheaper than other alternatives, plastic plant containers aren’t usually good for the environment. With the general move away from using plastic, it’s worth looking at removing any plastic in your garden for something that’s eco-friendlier.
Look at more attractive wooden planter boxes to add to the décor in the garden area. They are more expensive, but they will stand the test of time and stay with you for many years (and they won’t break like plastic plant pots do either). When your budget doesn’t stretch to a pricier version, use egg cartons that are biodegradable and can sometimes be used instead to nurse a plant in the soil.
4. Avoid Synthetic Fertilizers
There have been more people making a shift towards using synthetic fertilizers lately. They often add nitrogen through a process that takes methane, converts it to natural gas, and then into hydrogen. This also includes the generation of extra carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as a result. Clearly, that’s not what you want with an eco-friendly garden project.
When buying fertilizer to help create healthier soil and faster growth, look for organic products that avoid the use of gas in their creation process. This way, you know a healthier garden isn’t hurting the environment in the process too.
Have you created a compost bin yet? Composting is a great way to create a natural, high nutrition soil with the broken-down waste from your home and garden. Using mulch from a compost bin creates microorganisms in the soil to assist plants in growing up healthy and strong.
When purchasing products with biodegradable packaging already, these make a great start. Food remnants are another thing that skip the landfill and go back into the earth, literally. Hair, pet fur, old coffee grounds, fruits and vegetables past their sell-by dates, dead plants and wood chips are all fair game too.
It’s worth pointing out that you want to skip tree twigs, organic waste from poorly plants, bones and left-over meat from animal products, dairy and pet waste. For the most part, the reason for these exclusions is the risk of spreading disease through the compost to your garden.
6. Reduce Water Usage
Reducing water usage in your garden is a bit of an uphill struggle, but it’s certainly worth it. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help in the battle.The selection of which plants to have in your garden has a big impact on how much water is needed. Some plants are thirstier than others. There are those that can survive a drought fairly well, and others that just won’t.
Use plant containers, raised levels, and baskets hanging around the patio area to have plants that aren’t so thirsty. These might be sedum, pelargoniums, thyme or lavender, as some examples. Choose the less open areas which are cooler to situate plants that are thirstier.
Add a layer of pebbles or slate to flower beds. This won’t change the aesthetically pleasing appearance of the plants themselves, but it will help them to retain more moisture. In so doing, it reduces the frequently that they’ll need re-watering.
Some mulch from the compost heap can be added in springtime to soak up some water, so the area doesn’t get dried out on hot days too.
7. Reuse and Recycle as Much as Possible
Installing a rainwater butt is a great way to capture rainwater throughout the year and use it to water the plants without tapping into the main water supply. Some butts can hold hundreds of liters of water keeping the garden going even if there’s a cut in water supply. Just check your state regulations before installing one.
Additionally, some gardeners use gray water that they capture from below their kitchen and bathroom sinks, and bath and shower systems as extra water for their plants. It’ll also be cheaper on your water bill too, especially in hot regions.
Also, should the county decide to put a ban on hose usage to water the garden, then you have an eco-friendly solution that’s up and running before it happens; it’ll be too late afterwards.
Making the switch by turning your gardening into an eco-friendly pastime is a great way to continue the changes that many people are doing in their lives already. While the home is often updated to use eco-bulbs for lighting and other steps to reduce energy usage, the garden is somewhat of an afterthought. Nevertheless, even if you’re slower or reluctant to adopt new gardening ideas, don’t let that put you off. Making these types of planet-friendly changes is not that difficult or time-consuming once you get going. Just pick one thing and go from there.