How to Create a Perfect Eco-Friendly Garden
Have you always wanted to have the perfect garden, but never really understood what you need to do in order to achieve it? No worries, we are here to help.
Gardening can be daunting to beginners since it requires a lot of hands-on work, as well as a lot of gardening tools and knowledge that comes with time and experience. That does not mean you should quit before you even start – on the contrary. The sooner you begin gardening, the sooner you will gain all that knowledge and experience to achieve your gardening goals!
Make space for special visitors to your garden
Going eco-friendly in your garden is never complete without little helpers, such as hedgehogs, ants, bats, and many more. Inviting wildlife into your garden will ensure you have a rich and eco-friendly garden.
However, to make sure these little helpers want to come to your garden, there are a few steps you need to do first.
Ease the nocturnal travels of a hedgehog by cutting small holes in your fence, if you have a wooden fence. If you have a wall fence, plant climbers, such as ivy, to make sure small animals can cross your fence. An additional benefit of ivy is that it is full of nectar in autumn and winter when food is lacking.
The best fence, though, is a hedge. It enables animals to move freely and gives them shelter from bigger predators.
You can even put up little bird and bat boxes on your trees, or make a bug hotel.
Plant a tree in your garden
The most eco-friendly thing you can do is plant a tree. Having a garden with trees is the best thing you can do for yourself.
First, having a tree in your garden provides additional housing for birds, bees, bugs of all kinds. Secondly, it helps save the planet, because of the oxygen it provides, and lastly, it provides shade. And in the summer, having a dense leaf tree will provide shade, minimize the need for watering often, and protect your garden and house from overheating, ultimately minimizing the need for AC.
Try to plant a tree that you know will thrive in your environment. Research what type of soil you have, how much moisture does it retain, how much sunlight is in your yard, and then choose the best tree.
Some trees thrive in shade, some like a lot of sunshine, and some just like to be left alone.
According to the conditions you can provide, plant a tree that will last a long time – not only for you and your family but for many other families to come.
Plant for pollinators
Because so many food crops rely on bees and other pollinating insects, the recent fall in their numbers might have significant repercussions for us all.
So, one of the simplest ways to create an eco-friendly garden is to plant a variety of bee-friendly plants with a variety of flower shapes to suit different feeding habits – some bees have long tongues and prefer tubular flowers like foxgloves, whereas other pollinators prefer open flowers like echinacea and buddleia.
Avoid ‘double’ flowers with stacked petals, which may or may not have nectar or pollen, but even if they do, the extra petals make it harder for pollinators to get the honey or pollen.
Observe the microclimate and plant accordingly
Examine the surroundings outside your house and select plants that will grow in the current climate. A yard can have a variety of microclimates. These patches are easily identified by a number of distinct features. Throughout the year, the last spot you find snow will generally receive the least amount of sunlight. Shade-loving plants will thrive in this location. Low-maintenance plants would thrive in areas that appear to be dry throughout the summer.
Looking up the plants that are currently growing on your property is a simple method to figure out what your land is trying to tell you. They’ll have comparable needs and will frequently complement one other’s abilities to produce a better environment. Plants with comparable demands and growth patterns should be selected.
Plant moss in your yard
Many people shy away from having moss in their yard, thinking that it will kill their grass lawns. However, a small moss lawn can absorb an insane amount of carbon, produces a lot more oxygen than a tree does, does not require watering or fertilizers, and absorbs air pollutants. Essentially, what this means is that planting a moss lawn in just a small part of your lawn is equivalent to planting more than 250 fully grown trees.
Moss is also extremely easy to both plant and upkeep. However, given how there are two types of moss, make sure you choose one that will grow on your patch of land.
You can even collect patches of moss in a park, or in a forest, and transplant them. They will spread quickly, and soon you will have your own moss lawn.
Many people think that by watering the garden often, and in large quantities, the greenery will grow faster. However, that is not the case. The only thing excessive watering can do to your plants is harm them.
Try to avoid using a sprinkler system, but water the plants carefully. Established bushes and plants do not need as much water as baby plants, and when you do water them, try to water only the roots and not the foliage.
Additionally, if you have space in your garden, put in a large canister to collect rainwater. It is a great feeding ground for birds, bees, and bugs of all sorts, and it provides a free watering source.
Install solar lights in your garden
While lights are required to make the garden used in the evenings and at night, solar lighting may minimize reliance on energy and make the garden more environmentally friendly. Install solar panels that charge the battery during the day and use the sun’s energy to keep your garden lit at night, or at least for the majority of the night.
That way, you can enjoy your beautiful setting during all seasons, not having to worry that your electricity bill will skyrocket because you spent some time outside. By having these solar lights strategically placed all around the yard, they will soak up the maximum amount of sunlight during the day, and be good illuminators in the evening, without attracting many bugs.
You may still want to have a flashlight handy, but this setup will save you time and money in a variety of ways.
Grow your own food
Growing your own food can be so satisfying – imagine preparing a meal, and just popping out to your garden to fetch anything you may need – from herbs and spices to a freshly picked tomato for a yummy salad.
All you need to have a successful veg patch and grow your own fruit and vegetables is a piece of your garden, some handy garden tools, and some patience.
Once you start learning how to make the best out of what you already have, you will see how easy it is to grow your own food. Plus, the supermarket bills will be reduced drastically, if you no longer have to buy your favourite foods, instead just pick them and eat them straight from your garden.
Composting is super easy, especially if you are using one of the bins that are specially made just for that. All you need is a place in your garden that is not too shady, to put all your grass clippings, fallen leaves, veggie peelings, prunings – and everything that is biodegradable.
Then sit back and wait for the magic to unfold, occasionally stirring the compost pile with a fork. You should have a beautiful, crumbly, granular mixture ready to use for mulching, retaining moisture in the soil and increasing its texture, decreasing the need for watering, and boosting the health of your plants in six months to a year.
Use local materials in your garden
If you want to combine an eco-friendly garden with making the right landscaping choice, using local materials is the way to go. Not only will purchasing paving and bricks that haven’t travelled hundreds or even thousands of miles to get to your plot significantly reduce your garden’s carbon footprint, but you will also support local businesses, making this combination a win-win.
In addition to being ecologically responsible, local materials blend in better with the landscape than materials imported from abroad, giving your remodelled garden a more natural and established aspect from the start.
Have some native plants, too
Including native plants in your yard is one of the greatest ways to build an eco-friendly garden. They’re typically simple to cultivate and maintain, and they’re more pest and disease resistant than non-native species. Before buying plants from greenhouses and garden stores, do some research online to determine which ones are native to your area.
Recycle and reuse
Plastic pots are one of the biggest issues in creating an eco-friendly garden. They cannot be recycled, and most of the time, they just end up as landfills. Because of that, make sure to use your plastic pots as many times as you can, instead of going out and buying new ones for your greenery.
When buying new plants, ask for a recycled paper wrapper instead of the plastic pot.
Use old egg boxes and the cardboard inner tube of toilet rolls instead of buying new pots for seed-sowing. They work great and will biodegrade if you put them straight into the soil once the plants are large enough to go out.
Going green, even though not being the easiest choice, is definitely the best one you can make. You’ve read about the guidelines on how best and most effective to transition your yard to an eco-friendly one, but be free to explore some more if you need more details.
By following these tips though, you will have an eco-friendly garden with ease, and in a short amount of time.