Make your garden super eco friendly

Make your garden super eco friendly

Recycling is great, walking more/driving less is fantastic and taking the train not the plane is excellent. And you can earn extra green Brownie points by changing the way you garden

Oeco Garden Rooms has been looking into how we can make Britain's gardens more eco and wildlife friendly. Pictured above: feed the birds - putting a bird feeder in your garden will help our friends with feathers thrive throughout the year, whatever the weather

Everyone's doing it. Being more eco, that is, because there's no getting away from the facts. The last five years have been the hottest since records began and the world is warming up so quickly that life could become untenable in a growing number of countries by 2030. It's imperative we lobby governments to act on climate change and it's also crucial we each to out bit to reduce our own carbon footprints. We can make a difference by using less energy, buying less, recycling more and making our gardens and outside spaces havens for wildlife.
 
So if you haven't appraised the way you garden, why not give it some thought? The team at Oeco Garden Rooms have been thinking about gardens and how to garden to benefit the environment and they have come up with asome easy handy tips. 
 
Composting 
 
Composting is a great way of being more environmentally-friendly because you're reducing landfill waste and providing much-needed nutrients to your plants. A supply of fresh compost can be used all around the garden, helping to retain moisture and reduce plant diseases and pests in your soil.
 
Get started by buying a compost bin: they're available in a range of styles and materials. Pick a suitable space for bin, which should be somewhere that has good air circulation, is out of full sunlight and is away from large trees or vines, as these can steal nutrients from the compost.
 
Compost can be made using household waste including raw vegetable peelings and skin, crushed eggshells, fruit peel and tea bags. You can also use garden waste like fallen leaves, grass and wood cuttings and old plants. Try not to use plants that have died of a disease or aggressive weeds as this may harm the compost.
 
To create good compost you need regularly to turn the heap to balance it out. This will give faster results while making sure all the compost has is nutrient rich. Once ready, the bottom layer of compost will have a soil-like dark brown colour and be spongy to the touch. Simply dig it into your flower beds/soil and watch your plants flourish.
 
Get composting. Home made compost helps your soil to support strong plant growth
A water butt is essential because harvested rain water ensures your garden is watered even in times of drought
Gardens should be a haven to wildlife
Lavender is a plant that can thrive when water is scarce
Saving Water
 
Water is one of the most important resources for your garden, but with gardening taking up to 70 per cent of the UK’s water supply during summer months, limiting water consumption is vital if you're to cut your carbon footprint.
 
Collecting rainwater is one of the easiest ways of water-saving and is as simple as connecting a water butt to your gutter system. The average water butt holds between 100 and 150 litres, which is more than enough for your weekly gardening needs.
 
Planting drought-resistant plants is also a good way of saving water in the garden. Lavender, sage and verbena are all good choices when it comes to plants, while the Lawson cypress conifers and golden rain trees are good additions for something bigger.
 
Mulching your soil areas such as flowerbeds, hanging baskets and potted plants helps to improve soil structure and retain moisture. Bark, woodchips and grass clipping all make good mulches and are a cost-effective way to cut down the amount of water needed in the garden.
 
Helping Wildlife
 
Giving the wildlife in your garden a helping hand not only aids local ecosystems, but it can also help you to control pests and other plant-destroying mini-beasts.
 
Birds are natural predators of slugs, snails and other mini-beats, so inviting them into your garden is a great way to control these pests. Bird feeders, water bowls and birdhouses are all great ways on enticing birds into your garden, and you have the added bonus of being able to spot and record all the different species that visit too.
 
Interplanting is a method of planting different species of plants next to one another in rows to prevent pests. For example, one set of plants may attract a certain pest, while the other houses the predator. This technique is widely used in organic farming, however, it is just as effective in everyday gardens.
 
Log piles and overgrown areas of the garden provide shelter for small mammals and hedgehogs while also providing a source of food for birds in the form of slugs, grubs and caterpillars. You don’t have to dedicate a large area of the garden to wildlife to make an impact; in fact, just a small area can provide long-lasting benefits to the local ecosystem and wildlife.
 
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