Written by: Purvi Jaswal
Is your garden eco-friendly? Let’s find out here: 4 ways to make your garden more eco-friendly.
Having a garden is an amazing initiative to take on. Not only do gardens provide an extra sense of responsibility, but taking care of your garden can be a fun hobby to partake in. However, maintaining a garden can be hard, especially maintaining it in an ethical manner. Many people assume that gardening itself is an amazing way to contribute to our environment, not knowing some of the repercussions of harmful gardening practices.
I believe that all gardeners (new or veteran) can learn and improve at least one aspect of their garden to make it more eco-friendly. Eco-friendly gardening is easier than it sounds, and most of the time it is better for your garden’s overall health!
Below I have 4 tips to make your garden more eco-friendly!
#1: Composting to Help Richen your Soil
We all collect and dump compost in our green bins, however, what if I told you that placing compost in our gardens can allow for more nutrient rich soil. Creating your own compost pile with your kitchen scraps is a great way to reuse waste that may get thrown away. Your very own compost pile in your garden can help act as a fertilizer that helps strengthen and enrich the soil.
There are multiple ways to create your own compost, so I suggest doing research online to find the best method for you and your garden! However here is a short list of steps I like to follow when creating my compost pile.
- Allocating a bin for my compost waste (you can also use a compost pile instead of a bin)
- Placing your bin in a bright, open, and sunny spot to avoid the compost getting wet
- Filling your compost bin (or pile) with actual compost (different waste products combined together allow for different results, research online materials that fit with your specific gardening needs)
- Keep building on your compost
- Wait until the compost is fully harvested (time may vary depending on materials added)
- Once compost is ready, enjoy your new rich fertilizer
Placing your compost in a compost bin/pile not only helps your garden flourish, but it helps save money on the plastic bags that are required for compost disposal. Now that you are using less plastic bags, less waste is being distributed to the environment!
#2: Using a Rain Barrel
We all know that it is important to water our garden, however, there is an amazing way to reuse water while helping the environment. Next time it rains, place a couple of empty buckets outside and collect the rainwater. The next time you go to water your garden, use the collected rainwater. This is an amazing way to help save you money while also being eco-friendly.
Reusing water will help save on your water bills, since you’re not using water from your hose. Moreover, this hack also allows for conservation of water to occur. The water is used in an efficient and ethical way. Since you’re not using additional water, you’re helping avoid the big problem of water wastage. Finally, using a rainwater collection will also help you avoid over-watering your plants. You’ll be more aware of how much water is given to each section of your garden, which helps you better understand the needs of your garden!
#3: Using the Correct Materials
I believe that buying quality materials for your garden is an important long-term investment. Many people decide to buy new plastic pots for their garden every year, not knowing that this is actually financially draining. Buying good quality gardening materials is extremely important because it is more likely to stay for a long time. Furthermore, good quality does not always mean expensive. However, doing your proper research on pots that you buy for your garden can help save the environment.
If you keep on buying plastic pots for your garden, it is more likely to wear out after a season. These plastic pots are harmful to the environment as they just end up in landfills. However, buying a long-lasting, good quality pot will allow less wastage and more chances of you reusing it. This helps save you money and time, while also helping the environment.
Below are some suggestions for types of materials when looking for plants
The same goes for all your other garden materials. Make sure you’re buying good quality materials that aren’t cheap plastic. An additional step that you could take is making sure that your garden materials are ethically sourced. Small businesses usually follow better ethical practices than their corporate counterparts, and they usually put a lot of care into making their products, which could lead to better longevity. However, this isn’t always the case, so please do your research appropriately!
#4: Using Native Plants/Flowers
Before you decide to dazzle up your garden with pretty flowers and plants, it’s important to know the origin of the plants you bring into your garden. Planting native flowers and plants in your garden allows for native species to flourish. It is an amazing step to help your local community’s environment thrive. As cities begin to expand and build more on top of natural environments, local animal and plant species are suffering. However, by planting native plants, you’re helping restore the environmental community. The surrounding wildlife will have an amazing opportunity to interact with your garden and prosper. You could also attract some pollinators into your garden, which could help make your garden more lively!
Research your community’s native flowers and plants by going online or talking to gardening centres in your city. I bet that your native flowers/plants could be an amazing addition to your garden!
All of these tips are not only good for the environment, but some may even help save you money. I recommend connecting with other gardeners in your neighbourhood to help share these tips and discuss what works best for them! Remember to always do your own research to help better understand how any tip would apply to your garden.
“Home Composting – Put Your Compost to Good Use.” When and How to Use Compost in the Garden or Flowerbed, www.botanix.com/en-ca/botanix-specialists-blog/home-composting-put-compost-good-use.
“Intelligent Use of Rainwater for Your Plants.” GARDENA, www.gardena.com/ca-en/garden-life/garden-magazine/intelligent-use-of-rainwater-for-your-plants/.
Czachowski, Lisa. “13 Best Eco-Friendly, Natural and Organic GARDENING PRODUCTS.” Citrus Sleep, Citrus Sleep, 28 Apr. 2021, www.citrussleep.com/eco-friendly-living/13-best-eco-friendly-natural-and-organic-gardening-products.
“Gardener Uses Found and Inherited Objects to Make Her Garden Low-Waste.” Green America, www.greenamerica.org/story/reducing-waste-reusing-materials-garden.
“Native Gardening 101.” NCC, www.natureconservancy.ca/en/what-we-do/resource-centre/conservation-101/native-gardening-101.html.