When it comes to ensuring that your garden is eco-friendly, there are a variety of ways that you can create a self-sustaining environment that will not only reduce waste but is also more reliant on renewable energy, too. Not only will your garden look better, but local wildlife will be more attracted to your garden thanks to the range of habitats available to them right outside of your door.
Whether you’re more of a bug avoider than enthusiast, there’s no denying that insects are extremely important to our ecosystem. However, there are many bugs that can be harmful to garden plants. Instead of reaching for chemical-laden bug control, there are many bugs that can help to reduce the populations of harmful bugs. Ladybirds, for example, eat aphids such as the common blackfly. If you have an aphid infestation, you should consider planting flower borders that contain sunflowers, marigolds and candytuft to help attract the good bugs and minimise damage to your garden.
Water conservation is essential, particularly if you have a large garden which frequently needs watering. You can easily save any excess water with the help of water butts. These can be added onto downpipes and come in a range of materials and styles to add to your garden, from the more traditional plastic green tubs to larger weathered oak barrels. Other ways you can save water is by removing the sprinkler from your garden – plants and flowers prefer to be watered at the roots, rather than on the leaves. Other tips include buying large plant pots (as they don’t dry out as quickly) and don’t cut the grass too low in warmer weather.
The process of composting is not only an important supplement to have in your eco friendly garden, but it is a great way to make sure that your garden is getting all of the nutrients it needs to grow. As well as being beneficial to the environment, it also reduces the stress on your wallet, as you won’t need to keep buying compost or soil.
To set up your compost bin, collect compostable materials such as fruits, vegetables, tea bags/leaves and eggshells, coffee grounds and any weeds from the garden. Avoid using meat or fish, as this will attract flies and other unwanted pests, potentially damaging your garden and plants. Once you have gathered your compost, spread it over a partly sunny spot in your garden. When the weather is right, the compost will encourage bugs which make compost into the pile. Your compost will be ready in six to nine months, so whilst a timely investment, it is a worthwhile one.
Often, the most beautiful and healthy gardens are those with a large and diverse mixture of plants. Certain plant combinations are said to help one another and boost vitality and growth in your garden. For example, marigolds are said to help discourage unwanted flying insects from plants. Keep in mind that whilst some plants make a great pairing, some couplings do not mix well together and can often hinder the growth of your plants.
Some great combinations to consider are chives and tomatoes, as the scent of the chives deter aphids from ruining your tomatoes and roses and garlic, as the garlic acts as a natural pest repellent, as well as flowering lovely purple flowers. Companion planting is a great way to avoid using chemical pesticides and help to add to the working system of your eco friendly garden.