The Prince of Wales has recently prevailed on gardeners to go green, urging them to “be the change you want to see”. With the falling numbers of domestic wildlife species like hedgehogs, bumble bees in a state of emergency and over forestation of the rainforests, which provide a large amount of the wood used in garden fences, it’s time for green-fingered heroes to step up and save the world. So how do you make your garden more environmentally friendly? Well, luckily for you, we’ve got some tips.
Research has suggested that cutting out chemicals, and choosing to use manure and crop rotation instead, has a positive effect on the health of the organisms in the soil and wildlife in the local area. Plenty of horse riding centres and livery stables give manure away free of cost, or for a minimal donation, so replacing chemicals with their more organic alternative should prove cost-effective to boot.
Using compost not only reduces the need for chemicals but also recycles food waste. If you don’t already have a compost bin to use, then consider making one. A simple design can be assembled by cutting wooden slats to size, and then screwing them together at right angles. Then just sand down the sharp edges and splintered wood and, voilà, you’re ready to go. To make the compost, layer grass cuttings, leaves and natural waste, such as paper, cardboard and vegetable peelings, and turn them regularly. When the waste rots, it will transform into an ideal mix for your garden top soil.
Grow Your Own
Growing fruit and vegetables in your garden or on an allotment will reduce the amount you buy (and the amount you’re spending). For every person who does this, the need to bring food in from abroad is reduced, thus cutting carbon emissions.
Grow ‘Bee-Friendly’ Plants
Planting wild flowers and species like poppy, lavender and sunflowers provides bees and insects with a varied diet of nectar. Specifically look for flowers that bloom as late into the autumn as possible, as these will allow bees plenty of time to pollinate.
Leave Wild Places
Wood piles can provide a safe home for hedgehogs, whose numbers have fallen dramatically over the last few years. Nettle patches are also a good idea, as these help numerous butterfly species to thrive.
Bird feeders lend garden species like sparrows and robins a helping hand, especially in winter. Birds, in turn, help to control pests as their diet consists largely of insects.
Water butts collect rainwater and grey water from bathrooms and kitchens, which helps to cut water usage and save energy. It’s a nice idea to use an old wine barrel, as this is both an attractive option and environmentally friendly.
Improve Your Energy Efficiency
>Invest in modern equipment or renewable energy sources to heat your greenhouse and provide energy when you cut your grass.
Avoid Wooden Fencing and Decking
Deforestation is a real problem. You can avoid adding to it by using composite decking, which marries composite technology with a traditional timber appearance. This eco-friendly alternative is produced by manufacturers like Dura Composites, and avoids using natural timber whilst still maintaining the attractive appearance of ordinary decking. With a little shopping around, fencing alternatives can be found too.
Make your garden eco-friendly today – saving the rest of the world can wait until tomorrow.