It’s an unfortunate fact that due to the overuse of chemical herbicides and insecticides, many gardens are environmental disasters. They use too much water and the soil has been poisoned by years of chemical residue. If you’re interested in making your garden more environmentally-friendly, it’s never too late to get started and it can even save you money in the long term.
You don’t need to spray chemicals on plants to deter harmful bugs. Try planting bright flowers like marigolds, sunflowers and candytuft as they will encourage insects like lacewings and ladybirds. These insects eat aphids, including blackfly. Other bright plants to consider are cowslips, bluebells, primroses and foxgloves. Buy a mixture of flowers that will bloom into the autumn, so that more beneficial bugs are attracted and bees have more time to pollinate your plants. Look into companion planting to ward of predators like whitefly, white caterpillars and carrot flies. If you situate certain plants together, they will mask each other’s scent and tall plants can provide a canopy for smaller ones in sunny and windy conditions.
If you don’t already have one, invest in a water butt. You can always build a wooden casing around it or paint it if you feel that it doesn’t fit in with your garden scheme. A water butt will allow you to reuse rainwater and stop filling your watering can from the garden tap. You will be protecting the environment and saving on your water bill at the same time. In order to stop water evaporating off your plants and guarantee better drainage, try making your own mulch with leaves, bark, clippings and compost.
Recycled and Eco-Friendly Materials
If you’d like to add decking to your garden, make sure that the wood is reclaimed, recycled or responsibly sourced. Alternatively, you can use a wood-effect composite like Dura Deck that is very cost effective and wears well. Recycle everyday packaging to use in your garden, including glass jars, yoghurt pots and plastic bottles. All of these can make great planting options and can also be used to raise and shield seedlings. A compost bin is essential for eco-friendly gardening. You can use an old crate or make your own compost bin from wooden slats, cut to size and screwed together at right angles. Add leaves, vegetable waste from the kitchen, newspaper, grass cuttings and eggshells, and turn regularly. The compost can then be spread as a natural, free fertilizer.