While gardening is an activity that connects and engages us with nature in what seems like a constructive and healthy way, there are aspects of maintaining your garden that can have harmful effects on the environment. From water wastage that results from keeping plants watered, to the pollution that enters the atmosphere from petrol-fueled lawn mowers and chemical fertilisers, there are a number of potentially harmful practices that many of us conduct on a regular basis while gardening. Fortunately, however, this is a common concern among many gardeners, and the shared concern has led to a number of gardening tools, products and methods that can make your garden greener. Here are five general tips for becoming a more eco-friendly gardener.
1. Plant Indigenous Plant Species
Generally speaking, indigenous flowers often require less maintenance than others. If a plant is already suited to your atmosphere, environment, soil, etc., it will need less artificial upkeep – which means less water waste and fewer chemicals will be needed. Plants can therefore thrive in your garden which in turn, can help you to minimise waste and the spread of environmentally harmful or unnatural materials. Choosing local plant nurseries to source your flowers from is also another great way of reducing the carbon footprint of your flower beds.
2. Use Eco-Friendly Equipment
A classic example of gardening equipment that is harmful to the environment is a lawnmower powered by petrol fuel. These machines are still widely used, despite the fact that they spew harmful fumes into the atmosphere, and perfectly eco-friendly alternatives that are just as effective are available. Visit a site like MySmartBuy for a look at electric or push mowers or solar powered garden lights.
3. Install a Water Butt
For many, a water butt is an excellent way to reduce water usage in the garden. They can be set up to collect water from downspouts on your property or from a shed or greenhouse roof. You can then reuse this source for watering plants. Using a watering can to direct water to where it is needed is also far better than using a hose, which consumes a much larger volume of water, of which a considerable amount is inevitably wasted. Some people even set up drip watering systems attached to water butts, which can water your plants on a schedule or gradually over time.
4. Grow Your Own!
Another method of making your garden greener is growing your own vegetables and fruit, and it’s also highly enjoyable! Even if you don’t have a lot of space, inventive methods of growing can be used, or your could choose to grow herbs such as oregano or mint on a patio. Herbs also look attractive and can attract beneficial wildlife like butterflies and bees to your garden, providing multiple benefits to increase the eco-friendliness of your garden.
5. Attract Garden Birds
Finally, consider putting in a bird feeder, birdbath, or plants that create natural seed heads or fruits that birds can eat which will bring birds to your garden. Not only does this add to the atmosphere of your garden, but there are other benefits too. Birds help to pollinate plants and provide natural pest control, which can save you the hassle (and harm) of needing to spray plants with chemical pesticides to keep your plants from being damaged by insects and other pests.
This is a guest post by Grant Walton. Grant is a freelance writer and contributes to numerous blogs and sites about green living.