The title of this article may seem obvious, indeed you may well be thinking isn’t gardening eco- friendly by its very nature? Alas, this is not always the case as water is wasted, chemicals are used, and items which could be composted and used again are instead burnt or thrown away. This article guides you through how to ensure your gardening really is eco-friendly, with helpful tips and advice on how to save energy and wastage.
Buy a water butt and other rain collectors
Water is an incredibly important resource and therefore shouldn’t be wasted. Any gardener knows that you can have days of rain followed by days of drought, so it is necessary to control and regulate your garden’s water supply. By using water butts and rain collectors in your garden you’re not only saving the environment by not wasting water, but you’re also saving money by reducing your water bill.
A water butt can be fitted to a drain pipe so that it collects rainwater directly from the roof. If you have a large garden then there are water butts available which can store vast quantities of rainwater. Likewise, if you have a small garden and are restricted on space you can install a slim space-saving water butt. Also available are rain collectors which can be placed directly into a plant pot.
Plant production on a commercial scale can mean intense irrigation, the use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers, and the transportation of plants and seeds across vast distances. By propagating your own plants not only are you saving money by getting a plant for free, but you are also reducing your gardening carbon footprint. Propagation is a simple way of obtaining additional plants and can be done through taking cuttings (cutting a shoot off a plant and re-planting it) or dividing a plant (dividing the plant and its roots into multiple plants). One of the best things about propagation is you’re not limited to the plants in your garden. If you’ve admired a friend or neighbour’s plant then simply ask permission to take a sample and you can grow your own.
Build a greenhouse
Through the use of a greenhouse you can rapidly increase the fruitfulness of a garden, allowing you to grow more of your own fruit and vegetables. As in the case of propagating, by growing fruits and vegetables at home you cut down on the emissions and energy used in their production and transportation. By using a greenhouse you can extend your growing period and start planting seeds and saplings even earlier in the year. This means that you should be able to produce more fruit and vegetables than if they were just grown outside. You will also be able to grow plants which prefer a warmer climate, avoiding having to import them from across the globe.
To be a truly eco-friendly gardener it is possible to construct a green house from plastic bottles and other re-claimed materials.
Grant is a garden designer in surrey who often incorporates eco and green ideas into his work. He loves to give eco gardening tips to everyone, from beginners to expert gardeners.