Whether you are a first-time gardener or an experienced one, it’s always the right time to make your garden an environmentally friendly place. It’s healthy for you and the planet to work alongside nature and forget the potentially harmful practices when tending to your outdoor space. To create an eco-friendly garden, you will need some meaningful tips and ideas to assist your green fingers, just like the ones listed below.
- Make your own compost
If you want to have an eco-friendly garden, you have to start making your own compost. This may sound complicated, but it’s actually simple and easy. All you need to do is throw food and plant waste into the composter instead of a garbage bin. After a while, it will become humus — an ingredient that will bring minerals and nutrients to the soil.
Composting is one of the crucial ways to promote sustainability in your garden and maintain an unpolluted environment. Eggshells, fruit leftovers, peels, grass cuttings, tea bags, and cardboard are some of the waste that is perfect for compost. Depending on the size of your compost pile, it may take three months to two years to get a useful batch.
- Don’t let rainwater go to waste
Conserving water is a big part of creating an eco-friendly garden. Depending on where you live, you may be able to use only rainwater for irrigation or combine it with treated water. Buy a large container and install it so it collects water from the downpipes. When it’s time to irrigate your plants, use a watering can instead of a hose to control the amount of water you use.
- Plant flowers for pollinators
If you plant the right flowers, it may invite natural pollinators to come to your garden. To reproduce, plants need natural pollinators, like bees, butterflies, and beetles. Honeysuckle and foxgloves are ideal flowers to attract bees — an essential part of the ecosystem.
Hummingbirds and bats can pollinate over 500 species, so if any of them live in your region, give them a reason to visit your garden. To make sure that the conditions are healthy for them, don’t use pesticides that may kill them or disrupt their natural habitats.
- Reduce the use of electricity
Solar power is a sustainable, eco-friendly, and cheap way to have lights and other features requiring electricity. Today, you can find any type of lights you want that use sunlight as a primary and only power source. The basic principle is that they collect natural light and turn it into energy during the day, and then spend it in the evenings.
Whether you want to light up the seating area, pathways, or put plants on display, these lights are uncomplicated to install and safe to use. When it comes to solar energy, it’s an excellent example of how modern technology can have a positive effect on the environment.
- Start planting trees
That extra space in your garden is a perfect spot to plant one or more trees. They can reduce noise pollution and offer shade, but also attract wildlife into your garden. Another thing that trees are known for is air purification.
Magnolia and birch are wonderful types of trees for urban regions since they eliminate pollutants from the air and produce oxygen. It may take a while for a tree to grow to its full capacity so the sooner you start planting them the better. Alternatively, you can get grown seedlings from the nursery garden and speed up this process.
- Switch to a reel mower
Mowing a lawn is for many a tedious job. However, what if you forget that noisy and smelly mower and use an eco-friendly alternative? A reel mower that doesn’t need gas or electricity to work is a good choice for many reasons. There are no toxic gasses, heat, or additional expenses each time you maintain your lawn.
Moreover, it will keep you in shape and give you a healthy dose of physical activity burning as much as 450 calories per mowing. It’s also good for the grass since it makes clean cuts that prevent dehydration and diseases of the leaves.
- Prepare homemade pesticides
Homemade pesticides are a safe and accessible option to protect your garden from insects that can damage it. The best thing is that you may have all the ingredients in your kitchen, like dish soap and baking soda. One of the organic recipes includes chopped hot peppers, water, and dish soap. Another uses garlic, vegetable oil, dish soap, and water.
Once the mixture is over, pour it into a sprayer and spray it on the affected plants. When it comes to dish soap, don’t use one with bleach or other chemicals damaging to the environment. The goal is to kill the bugs and keep the plants healthy and insect-free.
- Build a water feature
If you think of adding decorations to your garden, don’t rule out water features. Recycled rainwater ponds and waterfalls are getting popular by the day. Water features are a big part of the environment and introducing one to your garden can make it more beneficial for you, plants, and the wildlife. Some can use solar pumps to refresh the water by treating it with oxygen and pumping it back to the surface.
- Invest in quality gardening tools
Investing in top-quality gardening accessories is the key to properly tend to the soil and plants. Start by getting the basic tools, like gloves, spade, hoe, and a hose. Instead of purchasing equipment that works on electricity, like electric pruning shears, choose the old-fashioned one that depends on your strength and effort.
Also, look for tools that are rust-resistant and keep them in a jute tote bag which is biodegradable. Watering can, plant markers, and raised beds are available made from recycled materials, like plastic and wood. If you collect rainwater, do it in a specifically designed polyethylene urn that will not contaminate the water. Reading the labels doesn’t only apply to food, so when looking to buy gardening accessories pay attention to the materials they’re made from to use the eco-friendly options.
- Protect the soil with mulch
Preserving the soil is one of the most important tasks you will have as a gardener. Spreading a layer of mulch on the soil can keep it moisture, reduce weed, and make it more attractive. Mulch is made from organic residues, like bark, grass clippings, and pine needles.
This type of mulch has to be replaced after a while since it will decompose but it will bring nutrients and improve the quality of the soil. Check what your mulch is made from before buying since some decompose slower and have fewer nutrients. It can also prevent weed seeds and chemicals from entering your garden soil and contaminating the plants.
- Grow your food
To reduce your environmental footprint and downsize your expenses, you can start growing your own food. You will spend less time in traffic, shopping for food which will decrease your CO2 emissions. Growing your food is not as complicated as you may think if you start with simple plants to learn the basics.
Focus on the plants that are native to your area since they have more chances to succeed and are convenient to maintain. Some of the easiest foods to grow are bell peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, beans, basil, and many other varieties. With natural pollinators, dedication, and organic materials you won’t have much trouble cultivating healthy and tasty food. It may even inspire your neighbors to do the same and make the environment in your neighborhood healthier.
- Build a shelter for animals
Welcome animals to your garden by making them comfortable to stay in and make it a permanent habitat. Building them shelter and providing water is one of the ways to protect them from predators and allow them to help your garden flourish. Nocturnal and timid animals will appreciate shelters in the secluded spots, away from the noise and direct sunlight.
Leave the food for the birds by hanging a feeder or throwing seeds on the lawn. A birdhouse or two will help them nest and keep them safe while feeding the chicks. Birds eat insects and some, like sparrows and finches, munch on weeds and keep the garden thriving.
- Reuse and repurpose garden furniture
Seating in your garden when the weather is nice and everything is in full bloom is the best way to enjoy what you created. Still, what kind of furniture you place in your garden can also affect its eco-friendliness. Try to restrain from buying new pieces, and make it your project to reinvent old furniture.
Paint and sandpaper may be all you need to make a dated table, chair, or bench good as new. If that’s not possible, visit thrift stores, yard sales, and flea markets. They are full of furniture you can reuse and repurpose for your seating area in the garden.
- Use natural materials
Even an eco-friendly garden could use some decorations. Natural materials like stone and wood can give you interesting shapes and styles that will enhance the aesthetics of your garden. Stone tiles for the patio, pebbles for the walkways, and carefully planned grass areas can improve your eco-friendly landscape design. If you want to create a shaded area, use wooden pergolas with rooftops and walls made of flowery vines.
Gardening is good for the soul, helping you relax and eliminate stress. It can also be an amazing way to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gasses and help the environment recover. An eco-friendly garden may seem like too much work, but it only uses different methods to give results. These meaningful tips and ideas can help you figure out the basics to enjoy all the benefits of healthy gardening.