“A garden is a delight to the eye and a solace for the soul”- Saadi
Everyone longs for a place where they can forget all the world’s worries and sit in peace, and a garden is just the right word for that. A garden is where one can unwind after a hectic day, spend a day off in solitude, read books or watch movies, or have a good brunch with friends and family on weekends.
In recent times, when most of us are spending our maximum time inside the house, having an eco-friendly garden in the backyard can prove to be an ecologically responsible breakthrough. However, turning your garden into an eco-friendly space is not a herculean task. There are many ways to make your garden eco-friendly.
What is an Eco-Garden, Exactly?
An eco-friendly garden is simply a garden space that is not harmful to the environment. It means growing plants that require fewer chemicals and insecticides. Research from 2019 says that 40% of insect species are in threat of extension. Why is this fact relevant to our topic? Because insects mean food. One out of every three bites of food that we eat is due to insects and bees. Insects pollinate about three-fourth of all the flowering plants and the crops that produce more than one-third of the world’s food supply. So insects are essential, and they affect the entire food web. We need to adopt eco-friendly gardening methods so that this chain is not affected.
8 Ways to Make Your Garden Eco-Friendly
1: Recycle and Reuse Materials
Plastic is a big no when we talk about recyclable materials. Plastic planters should be avoided in the garden because they cannot be recycled. If your garden already has plastic planters, then use them for sowing seeds, but when you buy the new planters, make sure you buy the recyclable ones. You can also use old egg boxes and cardboard tubes that are present in the loo rolls. They even biodegrade if you plant them into the soil after the plants have grown big enough.
2: Choose the Right Plant
Choosing the right plants for your garden space is extremely crucial. Plants build up the entire garden’s environment. They should be chosen well. They provide food and shelter to insects and wildlife and build up the perfect habitat for them. Choose berry-producing plants as they attract insects and pollinators such as hawthorn. Growing plenty of climbers in the garden is also a good idea as they provide shelter and nectar during winters when there is little food in the garden. Placement of the plants is essential too. Place your plants where they bloom. The proper placement of the plants makes gardening efforts minimal.
3: Collect Rainwater for Harvesting
Conserve water; it is essential. Install a downpipe and conserve the rainwater so that you can use it for your plants later on. If you have enough space in the garden, go for an underground rain tank. Large tanks easily collect rainwater. Avoid using a sprinkler in the garden to water the plants. Water them without wasting it on the leaves. Buying large planters and pots also help in water conservation as they do not dry out quickly.
4: Attract Pollinators
Attracting pollinators is one of the most important aspects of an eco-friendly garden. Gardeners who understand eco-friendly gardening implement methods and follow ways to support pollinators by providing them food sources free from pesticides, safe shelter, and access to clean water. Pollinators get attracted to flowering plants. Therefore, growing berry-producing plants like hawthorn attract pollinators.
5: Go Peat Free
Peat is a natural substance formed from the dead plants under the soil of wet and cool areas. It is a method of potting used in gardening but causes damage to nature and the ecosystem. It is good for growing plants, but its slow and gradual formation leaves a devastating effect on the natural environment and habitats. It is also not sustainable either.
Opting for alternatives to peat-based compost is a great idea to preserve nature and related habitats. Many sustainable alternatives like coconut fiber (coir), wood fiber, and other organic matter are available in the market that are good for plant growth.
6: Choose Sustainable Materials
Choosing to upcycle junk is always a good idea. Old tin baths, shoes, furniture add a quirkiness to the garden and also gives it an interesting look. Plastic is not recyclable, and hence avoiding it is the best solution. Choosing eco-friendly options reduces carbon footprints. Use Steel Building structures for storage purposes, Steel Buildings are the best sustainable material for a garden.
Linking your garden to local surroundings is also a way to enhance aesthetics. Substances such as cob (clay and straw), oak, rammed earth, log walls, woven willow, chestnut paling timber or even straw bales can be used in the garden.
Which technique would work the best would completely depend on your location, availability of materials and labor, and other expenses.
7: Make Your Own Compost
There is nothing more satisfying than making your own compost from grass clippings and veg peelings that otherwise would simply go to waste. Food waste forms excellent compost for the garden plants. Use all the decomposable food left over to feed the plants and flowers of your garden.
Natural compost is always better than the one purchased from the shop. It is effective and saves your money too!
8: Upcycle Garden Furniture
It can be tempting for anyone to buy all the modern outdoor furniture and enjoy the garden’s beauty. However, there are plenty of great things at your disposal already – they might need a little remolding to make new eco-friendly garden furniture.
Head to your local hardware store and buy some sandpaper and paint; give your tired old garden furniture a rub down and a fresh lick of paint. Use your old small storage buildings for sheltering purposes and old wooden chairs and tin baths for birds.
Create a Garden Space That Not Just Keeps You Happy But Also is Environment Friendly
Creating a garden space that is eco-friendly not just gives you access to organic food but also supports the food web. An eco-friendly garden attracts pollinators and supports them. It helps in the smooth functioning of the food web and wildlife. Pleasing aesthetics with sustainable materials embrace the environment of the garden. Birds love to come into such gardens, plants bloom in happy settings, and such an environment also leads to less pollution.