Tuesday, 8 March 2016

How to Make Our Gardens Eco Friendly in Time for Spring

Winter is almost over, kids are back in school and evenings are getting lighter. Now is the perfect moment to give our gardens the love and support they need to revive from the cold winter weather. More so, now is the opportunity to convert it to an eco-friendly garden that can survive throughout the year. Here is my guide to keeping your garden blooming all year long, while keeping carbon footprints low.

Choose artificial grass

This might seem like slap in the face for some gardening aficionados but it’s a necessary move to create a more eco-friendly yard. There is a lot of evidence to support the idea that artificial grass is much better for the environment than the constant upkeep of real grass.

First of all, it does not require pesticides or fertilizer to look bright and beautiful. During winter, grass tends to die or dry out. In despair, many people buy chemical products to keep the grass alive, but these products can damage the environment and even the ozone layer. With artificial grass, the whole backyard stays green and looking healthy all year round without risking the environment.

Additionally, artificial grass does not require any mowing, which saves on pollutants and energy. Best but not least, the amount of water your home uses to keep a beautiful lawn decreases significantly. Grass can be one of the most water-hungry uses in the home, accounting for one-third of residential water use.

Use strong, durable planters

It’s a little known fact that flower pots can have an effect on the eco-friendliness of your garden. For example, the ever-popular clay pots are porous so they dry out very fast, especially as weather gets hotter. That can increase your home’s water use as you have to consistently water your plants to make up for the dryness.

A better idea is to opt for different kinds of planters, such as fibreglass, plastic or stainless steel. They offer the strength of the clay pot but maintain water for longer. They also keep plants healthier because they are UV-resistant and the material is resilient enough to survive through both cold winters and hot, humid summers.

Make a compost heap

In a hidden corner of your garden, create a compost heap where you can collect food waste and other organic material that is decomposing. This material adds nutrients to soil, with the added bonus of being eco-friendly as it puts waste into good use, rather than filling up landfills.

You can add material such as shredded paper, egg shells, fruits and vegetables, dead leaves, coffee grounds and even leftover meals [non-meat or dairy items].

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

Rather than buying new items for the garden, try to think twice about your carbon footprint and how you can reduce it. Reuse items from your home, from neighbours or friends, or even from your garden. Decorative items can be bought second-hand at garage sales and online, and they can look as good as new. Sites like Freecycle offer free-to-take goodies, including gardening supplies that are no longer necessary to the owner.

Some creativity can go a long way with recycling and reusing materials. For example, some gardeners use plastic bottles as seedling protectors by cutting the base of the bottles and placing them over the seedling patch.

Whether you’re looking to become more eco-friendly or revive your garden so it’s once again colourful and welcoming, always remember that there are many ways to do so without damaging the environment.

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