Hold on, we know what you’re thinking – my garden is already very green, thank you very much! Well, we’re not talking about all the weeds you haven’t gotten around to cutting back.
No, instead we’re talking about ways to make a garden “greener” – as in more eco-friendly. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean making huge changes to the way you use or care for your garden however.
These are just a few simple ideas to get your inspiration flowing - if you’ve ever wondered just how green your garden really is - and how to make it that little friendlier to the environment.
When we throw away food, it almost certainly makes its way to a landfill – which can have big consequences on the environment. As that food rots, it releases methane, which is a gas connected to climate change.
You may be very careful with your food waste and you may not be throwing away much food – but even a little can do a lot of harm. Composting at home is a far better solution. It not only prevents all that waste making its way to a landfill, it keeps the precious nutrients and minerals in your garden where they can do a whole lot of good.
Vegetable peelings, eggshells, used tea bags, fruit cores – it can all go into compost. You don’t even need any fancy equipment - just pick up a cheap plastic bin style composter from any garden center. Pop it in a corner; top it up every few days and in a matter of months you have high-grade compost ready to use.
But what can you do with it?
Grow Your Own Food
Another great way to make a garden that little bit greener is to use some of the space to grow the food that you may otherwise buy. Now, many people put off growing their own food in their garden because they assume it’s difficult, and it takes up a lot of space.
Happily, they are both misconceptions. It’s true that some vegetables are harder to grow than others, but that’s the same with all plants. Things like carrots, tomatoes and potatoes are staple crops that are remarkably easy to grow.
As far as taking up space, you won’t need to give over any flowerbeds or borders if you don’t want to. Many vegetables happily grow in containers – including varieties of dwarf carrot, radishes and lettuce. You can even grow entire potato plants in upright bags.
So not only do vegetables not take up much space, they can actually happily fill any odd bits of patio or weedy scrubland.
Yes, make your garden more environmentally-friendly by putting down a big wooden deck. You might think that we are crazy. But not in this instance!
The truth is, whilst it is great to make a garden as green and environmentally centered as possible, at the same time we need it to be a space that we enjoy using. A good garden is above all else an outdoor living space.
A deck is a great addition to a garden anyway – just ask anyone who has one – and they don’t make an impact on the environment as many assume they do. So, for example, many decks are built of recycled materials, and many more are constructed from wood that comes from managed forests. They are far better for the environment than plastic versions, which will still be around buried in landfill in hundreds of years’ time.
They are also better for your garden and the environment than a paved patio. Good decking will allow for drainage of rainwater, whilst patios just encourage that water to sit around on the surface. Patio water doesn’t rejoin the water table to be recycled back into the system, leading to water shortages and the dreaded hosepipe ban.
So, as we said up top, you don’t need to make wholesale changes to your garden to make it a little greener - just consider these simple tips and ideas. And trust us, the Earth will thank you for it!
Guest post by Kevin Jefferson
About the Author
Kevin has gone through an extensive home renovation with his son, which he has both thoroughly enjoyed, and dreaded every morning. He is now the proud owner of half his dream house (the other half is waiting for spring).
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