For many gardening enthusiasts up and down the country, the arrival of the New Year can mean only one thing, the hopeful creation of some fantastic gardening New Years Resolutions. With so many things phone in on around the garden, finding a few to commit to throughout the year can sometimes prove a little bewildering. However with the ever-rising importance of climate change and continually growing talk around the subject, here at Tates of Sussex Garden Centres we believe there is certainly a place for more eco-friendly gardening practices. So from fixing a leaky tap or reducing pesticide use to purchasing a high quality water recycling system, there are so many ways you can make those all important steps to greener living. So if you have been pondering with the idea of eco gardening last year, why not make 2020 the greenest so far with some of our top tips to successful eco gardening.
What Is Eco Gardening?
Firstly, for those who are a little new to the idea of eco gardening, the practice itself is all about gardening in a way that is as sustainable as possible and encouraging environmentally friendly methods. The rather fascinating thing about eco gardening is that a gardener is able to draw inspiration from nature itself, which creates a really rather impressive connection with the earth. Becoming an eco-gardener will mean you learn an awful lot about the interesting interactions that take place between the different living elements of the garden, such as plants, soil and water. One of the main goals of eco gardening is to encourage the growth and development of living elements that are considered useful allies for the garden, which can help to naturally regulate any potential harms to the garden. Using a combination of what might be considered ‘alternative’ or biocontrol solutions, eco gardening should make it a lot easier to take control of your garden and see it reaching its full potential.
Water and Eco-Gardening
Water is one of the most important elements of any flourishing garden, whether you are planning to grow your own herbs, fruits and vegetables or sifting through plant guides to find the perfect species for you beds. With this comes the importance of not wasting water, and this can be done in so many ways. If you are just getting started with the idea of eco gardening, then something as fixing a dripping tap as soon as it is noticeable will make a real difference, also watering your garden in the evening could really help to reduce evaporation and make your water supply last a little longer. One of the best ways to water your garden is to use a watering can, from waste and rainwater collected in a water butt however if you must use a hosepipe ensure it has a trigger attached and used as an alternative to a sprinkler system. Whilst it might sound simple try as best you can to monitor your water usage throughout the year, and keep an eye out for any areas that could leaking water. especially in the summer where using paddling pool water on your plants could really help to cut your water waste. On the slightly more committed end of the eco garden scale you could think about installing a whole new water system for your garden and home, which whilst could slightly costly could just be one of the best gardening investments you make this year.
Pesticides and Greener Gardening
Keeping your garden healthy and flourishing will inevitably mean that there will need to be a certain level of pest control on order, as unwanted creatures will find a way into your garden and take a liking to your precious species. Many people use pesticides in some form or another, whether that be in the garden or within the confines of a garden building such as a greenhouse and can be a practical way of quickly managing pests. However what many people fail to consider is the negative impact these treatments can have on the environment. A lot of commonly used weed killers and pesticides contain a number of chemicals that can easily make their way into rivers and streams, causing a form of pollution that can be very damaging to the environment. One of the best things to do is significantly limit the amount of pesticides and weed killers used in the garden, or look for alternative, more environmentally friendly options on the market to help keep your garden in tip top shape. If you do use these treatments, you should dispose of them safely at official sites instead of pouring them down a drain. Of course, many people use their outdoor space to wash their cars at home and in the same vein it is important to choose low phosphate cleaning solutions as part of your eco gardening efforts.
Growing an Eco Garden
A wonderfully enjoyable part of gardening is of course growing some of your favourite plant species, watching them flourish and keeping them in shape throughout the year. To do this in as green a way as possible can mean making just a few simple changes, from investing in greener tools and pots that are not plastic to rethinking your composting habits. A fantastically environmentally friendly way to make your gardening efforts a little greener is to begin your own journey into composting. Collecting household and garden green waste into a container to breakdown naturally, provides a wonderfully nutrient-rich addition to your soils and with only a small shady area required it is easy for almost every gardener to get involved. If you still prefer to buy a compost instead of making it, then as part of your eco gardening efforts it is good to try and buy peat free composts and plants. Peat free options help to create a flourishing environment for plants and wildlife, it is widely used across the country and is a more eco-friendly way of gardening. Another great way to improve your soil’s quality and add to your eco-gardening activities is to use a mulch, which also has the added benefit of helping to reduce the loss of water from the garden. When it comes to the seemingly never ending job of pruning your garden this year, why not try to keep hold of any particularly sturdy sticks you come across to be used again. A fantastic way to make your gardening a little greener is to dry out these sticks to become support poles for climbing plants, you could also re-use willow as a reinforcement for hanging baskets or dried found twigs as kindling for your very own fire.
Using Wood in an Eco Garden
For many people the start of the New Year could mean the start of some interesting gardening and renovation projects, such as laying decking, new wooden garden structures, garden furniture or even repairing broken parts of a wooden garden building such as a shed, summerhouse or playhouse. Whether you are hiring in help or planning to do it yourself, as part of your grand plan for eco-gardening be sure to buy any wooden materials from a reclamation yard instead of buying new from a wholesaler. That way you are positively contributing to the recycling of scarce materials such as wood, and becoming a far more environmentally friendly gardener. Of course if for whatever reason you choose to buy new wood, as an eco-gardener it is important to make sure that it is FSC certified (Forest Stewardship Council) to have the best chance at an environmentally friendly build.
Greener Gardening at Tates of Sussex Garden Centres
Here at Tates of Sussex we are more than just a garden centre, infact our team of green-fingered enthusiasts have years of experience in all things eco gardening and tips to make your gardening efforts a little greener. In fact here at Tates of Sussex Garden Centres we are very keen to do everything we can to be a more environmentally friendly business, and made the decision to ‘go green’ at our Mayberry Garden Centre when we built it in 2009. Complete with solar panels, grey water recycling and LED light fittings, this split level shop is constructed from materials of the old workshops that closed in 2008. We are also very excited to announce the arrival of our ex-display sale which brings huge reductions on a huge range of our garden buildings, perfect for a gardener on the lookout for a bargain in the January Sales. This sale is currently only available at our Paradise Park garden centre, so be sure to take a trip if you would like to grab yourself the perfect new addition to your garden this year. Here at Tates of Sussex Garden Centres we stock a range of gardening products and our friendly team are on hand to provide useful greener gardening tips to help get you going. We even have a fully comprehensive plant finder to help our customers make the right decisions when it comes to finding the right plant species for their gardens. If you would like any further advice with your eco gardening needs please do not hesitate to get in touch and a member of our friendly staff will be more than happy to speak with you.