Go green in the garden – 7 sustainable gardening hacks
We’ve compiled our top hacks to make sure your garden techniques, tools and materials are as environmentally-friendly as possible.
Branch out… Before you throw your branches and large twigs into the garden waste, consider if you can use them elsewhere in the garden. Piled up logs and twigs make a perfect habitat for hedgehogs and other wildlife. Or perhaps you could use them to make your own mulch to improve the structure of your soil and deter weeds.
Butt in… According to the Environment Protection Agency, the average household wastes 10,000 gallons of water per year. Do your bit to cut down and invest in a water butt to collect rainwater. This can be used throughout the year to hydrate your garden and complete outdoor cleaning jobs. Butts come in many sizes and shapes to suit any garden, large or small
Naturally does it… It may be tempting to reach for chemicals when dealing with uninvited guests such as slugs and snails, but many off-the-shelf solutions are toxic for soil, plants, mammals, birds and aquatic life. Try introducing plants that pests hate, such as marigolds, and keep your soil well fertilised to ensure your greenery is naturally more resistant to invasion. Hedgehogs and birds love eating slugs and snails, so make your garden a welcoming place for them. Create barriers with crushed egg shells, and make sprays using harmless household items such as soap, vegetable oil or garlic.
Same goes for weeds… There are loads of natural, environmentally friendly solutions for dealing with weeds without the need for poisonous pesticides. Good old fashioned wedding by hand works, just make sure you get the roots. Boiling water is brilliant. It may take a few tries, but simply (and carefully) pour boiling water into cracks and other affected areas for great results. Suppress weed growth with mulch, newspaper or fabric, or attack with salt, vinegar, lemon juice or even vodka.
Be resourceful…. Avoid buying single use items when some household waste can do the trick. Old lolly sticks can be used as plant tags and markers. Try planting seedlings in toilet paper tubes (which can go straight into the ground to nourish the soil when the seedling is ready). Use old milk cartons cut in half and pierced at the bottom for plant pots, or repurpose old crockery, tins, and other kitchen receptacles.
Bee kind… Bees particularly like purple and tubular shaped flowers. Be sure to grow a selection of flowers that bloom at different seasons to keep the bees happy and doing their essential work. Look out for the ‘Plants for Pollinators’ logo when purchasing flowering plants, and use every opportunity to plant flowers, such as window boxes, posts and even roofs.
Choose organic… Compost made using recycled garden waste that carries the PAS100 certification, as awarded by the British Standards Association, is guaranteed to be organic. The specification covers the entire process, from rawmaterials and production methods, through quality control and lab testing, to ensure certified composts are quality assured, traceable, safe and reliable.