If you’re an environmentally conscious person, then you probably care about living in harmony with nature. To take a more effective approach, you could select one environmental issue that concerns you and focus on making some changes in your garden. So, here are a few ways you can do your part to help the planet.
Grow Your Own Produce
Satisfying your tastebuds and saving money are just some of the benefits of growing your own food. It means you can reduce your environmental footprint, and enjoy a bit of healthy eating without breaking the bank. You’ll need to strengthen your community by encouraging a wide range of insects into your garden. Pollinators are so very important to our gardens, as it’s their hard work that at times allows us to eat so well, so we need to do everything we can to encourage them in. By being aware of which types of flowers they are drawn too, you’ll be able to plant a flower-rich planting scheme, ensuring they have access to nectar throughout the seasons.
Watch Your Water Consumption
Be smart about water use in your garden – prevent over-watering and save money. One way to do this is to convert your downpipe into a self-flushing rain barrel – simply connect it to an underground rainwater tank. As the number of people living in cities increases, so does the demand for clean water. One way to reduce your water use is by harvesting rainwater. Using a butt can mean you use 75% less water – and that helps prevent environmentally damaging groundwater. Watering plants by hand is always the best option, as it allows you to determine how much water each plant gets, but in times of high demand for water and drought, you may need to resort to automated irrigation systems. Watering the leaves of plants is never efficient as water spreads much too fast. Use automated irrigation systems, water plants in the roots, and don’t forget to repair leaky pond liners. In hot weather don’t mow the lawn too low or it will take a lot of time to dry out.
Use Permeable Paving
It’s a problem that’s been getting ever more ridiculous. Now there is finally a solution available – permeable surfacing which follows the latest legislation and helps to get rid of flooding in your gardens by allowing water to drain off easily. There are lots of permeable alternatives to solid paving materials. Whether you choose asphalt or grass, your visitors will find it less of a challenge to cross your parking lot.
Consider a Greenroof!
Roofs have been the home to thousands of species of flora and fauna for as long as humans have built shelters with cover. These Eco-roofs offer a realistic alternative to traditional roofs, including health benefits for humans and an increase in the biodiversity of the area. They are also safe alternatives to chemical or toxic solutions that can pollute your water supply, the air, and nearby wildlife.
Eco-friendly roofs have numerous benefits and should be high on the list of priorities for any home improvement project. Hovering in the background of many ecological issues, water pollution will become increasingly problematic. This issue is only going to worsen as technology advances; therefore, it is vital that we reevaluate our power usage and reduce our reliance on non-renewable energy if we hope to build a sustainable future.
Make Your Own Compost
Compost can be made from a variety of materials including fruit, vegetable, and garden waste. Fast-decaying materials provide the best result as they quickly release nutrients into the soil. The best materials to include in your compost are green vegetable and fruit scraps, plant prunings and grass cuttings, coffee grounds, and teabags. They will break down rapidly and enrich the compost as they do so.
The humble worm is nature’s perfect waste disposal unit. The intestinal tracts of worms contain microorganisms necessary for the breakdown and assimilation of many kinds of organic material. The worm digests the material in its intestines and leaves behind castings nearly free of harmful chemicals. Tiger worm is an excellent composting worm. In the wild they are found in rotting vegetation, so are particularly at home in your compost bin, digesting organic matter and turning it into rich, dark-colored compost.
A good compost is a mixture of ‘greens’ and ‘browns’. Mixing the right combination of ingredients will ensure the best results. If your compost is too wet, add more brown matter. If it’s too dry, add some green matter. It is important that the mixture be dry and light. This allows air to circulate, which helps living organisms thrive on the compost. Varying the properties of your organic waste, for example by adding carbon materials or mixing the material will help to increase air spaces. Sufficient size of lumps will also provide aeration.
Don’t Use Peat Based Compost
Environmentalists are highly critical of the use of peat as the peat bogs from which it is taken are considered to be some of the most precious habitats on earth. However, it is still used widely for growing plants, despite the generally negative perception that ferns and fairy rings hold. A mulch is a layer of material spread on the surface of the soil around plants to prevent weeds and protect the soil. Mulches are also used to moderate the temperature of the soil and to conserve water. Some common types of mulches in use are peat moss, compost, bark chips, and straw.
Organic composts, such as peat-free or reduced-peat compost, are those that are produced without the use of synthetic chemicals. In addition to being good for the environment, there are other benefits to using these composts.
The criticism of peat derivative substitutes is finally losing its credibility. Peat-free alternatives are commonly used and have been studied and found to be an effective alternative to peat. The modern-day substitute for peat moss is more than just a replacement; it also uses sustainable resources to provide different benefits. Besides, the best alternatives on the market today are tested, reliable, and effective – although they cost more than synthetic ones.
Keep Your Garden Natural
In a natural garden, you want to think of the plant and not the gardener when planting. When building a natural garden, look to nature for inspiration and as a template for what to do. Work with the characteristics of your garden, not against them.
Ideally, try to avoid growing plants that require regular watering. For example, succulents like cacti and aloe care for themselves well in dry conditions and come into their own when planted in rock gardens or stone troughs. They are popular around the world, even at high altitudes in countries such as Turkey where water is an issue facing many gardeners. Succulents make excellent conservatory plants as they are ideal for growing under artificial lights.
For gardens prone to waterlogging, wetland plants are the answer. Forests, woodlands, and other areas filled with trees are known as “wetlands.” Wetlands can be defined as a specific kind of ecosystem where there is standing or running water. Among the many benefits of wetlands is their ability to help fight natural disasters like floods, droughts, hurricanes, and especially wildfires. Native plants are more popular than ever, and they are the perfect solution for a more relaxed design. They provide food and habitats for wildlife, and they will preserve our plant heritage.
Do not disturb the wildlife in your garden. Leave some parts of the garden untidy; nature likes it messy, so gather piles of leaves in undisturbed corners and collect logs and branches, rather than burn them (if they’re not diseased). You’ll encourage thousands of insects and foraging birds. Hedgehogs also find such spots irresistible to hibernate in.
Plant a Tree
Research has shown that gardens with trees are more attractive to wildlife than those without. Homeowners will enjoy many benefits from using native plants. They will provide shade and reduce noise pollution. The greatest benefit of using native plants is that they act as a natural filter for your water supply by absorbing additional pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals.