The environment is being dramatically affected due to climate change. It’s causing glaciers to shrink, ice on rivers to break up earlier than it should, animals to relocate and trees to flower sooner. It’s predicted by scientists that, because of greenhouse gases, global temperatures will continue to rise for several decades.
But, how can we prevent climate change? With many examples of how we can cut our carbon footprint, there are several ways in which the urban garden can benefit our environment. After all, more than 85% of the British population living in towns and cities according to the Royal Horticulture Society (RHS), and our gardens make up a quarter of total urban areas in many cities.
It’s becoming the norm to have hotter, drier summers it seems. Great, right? Well for all the sun lovers out there, yes, but this could have a knock-on effect for our gardens — which in turn will continue to affect our environment. So, what should you do? If you don’t already have one, get a water butt. If you do have one, add another! Catching rain water to use on your floral displays and lawn will help you minimise your mains water usage, thus helping the environment and aiding self-sufficiency.
A water butt can be an effective tool to limit your water usage. The proportion of household water used in the garden increases by more 30% when temperatures rise, so this addition can be effective, especially with hosepipe bans becoming more regular. Another way to cut your water usage is by re-using any ‘grey water’ which has previously been used to wash dishes or have a bath.
Have more plants in our gardens
Domestic gardens can work as an air-conditioning system for our cities. Did you know that the shelter of trees and hedges can act as insulation in the winter to help bring down energy consumption and heating costs? Place your shrubs and bushes carefully around your property to reduce the speed of the air movement reaching your building. It’s never too early to start planting these either. If you would like to grow such plants from the early stages, make sure you purchase plant supports to enable them to grow in the direction you intend. However, make sure you don’t create any unwanted wind tunnels directed towards your house.
Vegetation can also offer shade which in turn provides aerial cooling. It’s predicted that If we increased our vegetated surfaces in urban areas by as little as 10% then we could help control the summer air temperatures that climate change is bringing. This would also help reduce CO2 emissions.
It’s clear that larger plants and trees can have significant benefits, but the RHS, (The Royal Horticultural Society) released concerning figures that found that nearly one in four UK front gardens are entirely paved. On top of this, over five million don’t have a single plant growing in it. London was the worst culprit and the impact of this is raising urban temperatures and the loss of biodiversity.
Plants in all varieties are vital to improving the quality of the air we are breathing in as they release oxygen after absorbing carbon dioxide. With vehicle usage ever increasing, plants are playing a vital part in offsetting some of the emissions automobiles are releasing.
Grow your own vegetables
Our personal outdoor space can replace up to 20% of all bought food. For the ambitious gardeners, this can reduce your carbon footprint by up to 68lbs of C02 each year. This is thanks to several factors, including the time it takes to get your food to your plate being cut considerably. It’s estimated that the average distance your food travels before it’s consumed is a staggering 1,500 miles, meaning that transportation of the goods is burning fossil fuels.
Also, growing your own food enables you to know exactly what is in the product, avoids unnecessary packaging and shaves the pennies from your shopping list.
Eco-gardening can help combat climate change too and adding compost to your soil helps to provide vital microorganisms and nutrients to the earth. If you want to cut costs too, instead of buying compost, you can also use kitchen scraps, so long as it’s not meat or fish. This will also reduce the waste transported to landfill.
This effectively helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including methane, by reducing any need to use chemical fertilisers and pesticides. It also helps soils hold any carbon dioxide and improves tilth and workability of soils. However, it’s important to carefully maintain your composting or it may reverse the desired effect.
So, although there is an array of factors that must be looked at as we try to combat climate change, it really can start at home. If we all sorted our gardens, we could have a positive effect and help protect our planet.
We, humans, are selfish animals. We have used, reused and abused the Earth for generations. Just think about the plastic covers, factory wastes into the rivers, sewage and what not. We have been the culprits for the present state of the Earth, extinction of thousands of species of animals and plants, the death of hundreds of humans because of pollution, and the list goes on. Nowadays, people are becoming more and more eco-conscious and are looking to do their bit to contribute to Mother Earth. One of the emerging ideas is eco-gardening. This article tries to reason out why eco-gardening is one of this year's most significant trends.
What is Eco-Garden?
“Eco” stands for Ecology. So, Eco-Garden basically means a mini-ecosystem right in your backyard. People also grow their own fruits, vegetables and flowers in this garden. An Important thing to notice here is that no chemical fertilizers are used in eco-gardens. Only manure and other bio-fertilizers are used. Such gardens often flourish with butterflies, bees, earthworms and other insects. This can also be called a “retreat to nature”.
Why is eco-garden becoming popular?
Eco-garden is an eco-friendly way to beautify your backyard or estate. This is not all, there are more reasons why people are becoming increasingly fond of eco-gardening. Few of them are as follows.
#1 Grow your own stuff
With the vegan population growing year-by-year, the prices of vegetables are soaring. So, people are considering growing their own fruits and vegetables. This is also one of the best ways of spending their time and also save money spent on buying vegetables. It also serves as a good mood booster. Another fact worth mentioning is that it helps you spend quality family time with your dear and near ones in the garden.
#2 Go Organic
Another reason why people fear buying vegetables from the market is the fertilizers and chemicals used while growing them and chemicals used to artificially ripen and/or preserve them. An advantage of eco-gardening is that one can choose what fertilizers, pesticides and/or fungicides to use. If one wants to go natural, he/she can always choose to use eco-friendly products to preserve crops, making it safe both for the environment and human consumption.
#3 Creating a mini-ecosystem
An eco-garden can become home for many tiny animals and insects like squirrels, frogs, earthworms, birds, etc. Your garden shall become a mini ecosystem depicting the perfect coexistence of flora and fauna. This is one of the best ways to do our bit to preserve biodiversity.
#4 Serving Mother Earth
Humans have been extracting resources from Earth. With the increasing awareness of what humans are doing to nature, more and more people are willing to do their bit to preserve Earth for the progeny. So, they are getting into eco-gardening to contribute their bit for the cause of the Earth and its future inhabitants.
This way, eco-gardening is becoming popular these days, especially among the vegans. If you have decided to take up eco-gardening, here is a tip to boost your motivation. Make sure you put up yard signs with your name or your family name on it and put it up in your garden. This gives the garden, which you maintain with utmost care, an identity, just like naming a baby.
Pick up Eco-Gardening and help Mother Earth!!
Jessica is a marketing enthusiast and an influencer in Fashion & FnB verticals. She keeps special interest in the impact of visual branding on business growth. She has been writing for Stuart signstore, having a specialisation on T-shirt printing, for a long time now.
With the realisation of plastic filling our oceans in recent years, we now more than ever need to be conscious about what we fill our houses and gardens with.
For years, items such as furniture, decking, sheds, doors, and fencing have been predominantly made out of timber and have been frequenting gardens and outside spaces since. Timber has always been the go-to choice; however, with rising costs associated with the material, continual maintenance, and eventual rot, it’s not the most ideal. Making the move to an alternative material is not only better sustainably for the environment as it is sourced from already made plastics with new life injected into it, but it is also better on your wallet. Recycled plastic wood is an alternative that lasts forever, needs almost no maintenance at all, is safe (no more pesky splinters), rot-free and is the eco-friendly choice.
How to get your garden blooming using recycled plastic wood planters
Whether you use your garden as a source of nutrition to grow your own produce or as a place of tranquillity after a long day, there’s no doubt it needs to look inviting.
The simplest, and quickest way to get your garden looking beautiful is with a bit of colour. There are so many different types of plants to bring into your outside space, so depending on your budget, your tastes, or the style of your garden, there’s a planter design for you.
For shaded areas
If you are lucky enough to live in a property with a south-facing garden which catches the sun all day through, then you won’t want to be planting up plants that need an excess of shade. However, there are plenty of balcony gardens, terraces, front gardens and borders that, despite best efforts of design, just won’t naturally catch the sun.
As a foliage plant hosta’s can grown on moisture soil. Mulching also helps hostas to reach their potential by adding rotted matter to the soil to increase its moisture levels.
For sunny patches
However big or small your garden, there’ll be a patch that catches the sun at some time of the day, so the best that you can do is take advantage with a sun-loving flower.
Petunias are versatile, pretty plants. They flower in a whole host of colours, and will be found in some of the loveliest arrangements. They are easy to maintain needing only daily water and de-heading at the end of its life, with re-flowering occurring all throughout the season.
Geranium’s flower from early summer all the way to early autumn, flowering in a range of colours, with little maintenance. As long as these are planted in a container with moist soil and benefit from sunlight throughout the day, they will bloom!
Fuchsia’s can be trained to grow into a bush from early planting (this is what will make the statement singular piece in a planter). As soon as there are three sets of leaves on it, the growing tip should be cut to stop the growth in order to stimulate between two and four side shoots, and then stop the shoots once two sets have grown to coax the bush. Repeat this process until the desired outcome is reached.
Not only is it important to be conscious about the types of materials we use in the garden, it’s also prudent to reduce plastic usage in the kitchen too. Purchasing and planting herbs within your garden will significantly reduce fresh single-use herb usage which often comes packaged in an abundance of plastic. Herbs are really easy to pot, manage and maintain, and make for wonderful fresh dishes straight from your garden.
Typical herbs which you can include in your outdoor kitchen are:
- Lemon balm
Want to create your own alluring garden? Head over to Eco Plastic Wood to view their range of bespoke recycled plastic wood products for use in your own garden. All products are manufactured and dispatched from their single factory in Leicestershire, reducing the carbon footprint in the supply chain. All products are made from LDPE, HDPE, PP, Styrene, and PVC waste plastics which are made into luxurious outdoor furniture which is all fully recyclable.
Gardening with children is great fun and you can begin in any month of the year. Check out this huge guide to starting a vegetable garden at GardenersPath.com.
Kids love to plant seeds, eventually seeing them sprout, and finally harvesting what they've grown. Or maybe they just love digging around in the dirt and making a big mess!
Either way, starting a vegetable garden is likely to be something your child will love. It's also a great way to bond as parent and child while growing healthy food that you can eventually eat. The whole process is steeped in tradition and there's something about it that appeals to a primitive side of us humans – those both young and old!
Growing and tending to a vegetable garden also teaches kids a little bit about nature. It would be a shame to grow up without spending time outside, interacting directly with mother nature. A simple vegetable garden can spark a lifelong interest in the outdoors and in nature!
Vegetable gardens take some work. They need to be looked after in order to flourish, and this can make for a great sense of pride for your child as they take responsibility for something and see the results of their efforts over time. This is a useful skills for like as well – Learning that diligence and hard work towards your goals gives you a much better chance of succeeding will serve a child into early adulthood and beyond.
Autumn is one of the best parts of the year for gardening, and you can do so much every day in order to prepare your plants for the upcoming weather changes. Weather conditions starting from March are fit for planting herbs and veggies, but also different sorts of flowers in all colours, as these can blossom even at low temperatures. No matter how big or small your garden is, you can find a quiet corner to relax and enjoy some gardening you’ll be proud of later.
Start with preparing the soil
First, you’ll need to build a strong foundation for your plants. You can achieve this by using fertilizers and nourishing the ground that’s still warm from the summer heat. This will provide your plants with enough nutrients to start growing, as well as with some additional pesticides so that they will start to spread quite soon. You need to keep the soil moist: after being constantly dry during the summer, these cooler autumn days are a true relief not only for the plants, but also the soil. This doesn’t mean you should reduce watering, though; it just means you won’t have to do it as frequently. Although the surface seems like it’s moist, deep down, the soil is still dry and you’ll need to water it quite a lot before the water reaches the roots of your plants.
Plant without worrying about it
Autumn is a glorious time for many plants because the weather conditions suit lots of different species. The most obvious choice would be planting bulbs, because they can survive these conditions and will add some much-needed colour to your backyard. You’d be surprised at the variety of colours, sizes and shapes these flowers come in. Moreover, as they reach their full potential in the spring, this is the perfect time to plant them and show them love before they start blooming. Another great choice is Boronia, a native Australian shrub famous for its unique, fresh, perfume-like smell. Not only do its pink, yellow and green colours really pop in any garden, but they also stand out thanks to this overpowering smell.
It’s all about the design
Because of the specific weather conditions, many Aussies decide to ask experts for help when it comes to planning their backyard. They know how changeable the weather is, so they often seek out professional help to make sure their plants will survive until the warm weather comes back. People often have a tendency of wanting to do everything on their own and, to be honest, this isn’t always the best solution. Landscape design is a complicated process that includes all the landscape planning, planting and incorporating additional water features. This is why it’s worth hiring experts in landscaping from North Shore to keep your garden flawless and ensure you’ll get the most out of it by the springtime.
Lawn care and fertilizers
After a hot and dry summer, your lawn is quite dry and far away from its signature green colour, so autumn is the perfect time to take care of it. First of all, you need to recover your lawn and fertilize it without using any strong products you used during spring and summer. You need to find a solution that contains a low percentage of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, as these repair damaged roots and help new ones grow. Time organization is crucial here because you’ll need to do all of this before the temperature seriously drops and prevents your lawn from recovering before the cold weather. This will ultimately result in strong roots and thick grass in the spring. What you also need to take care of is your garden’s hygiene, and although this seems like something you can skip, make sure not to do so. Clean all the garbage, remove the grass after mowing your lawn and see if there are bugs eating your plants or trees, because this can be a rather serious problem. This is the time to react; don’t rely on the cold winter temperature to remove the unwanted guests from your backyard, but be prepared for any situation. After that’s done, just pay attention to the final touches and enjoy your garden and its beautiful features.
You may never even consider that your garden could be anything other than eco-friendly, but you’d be surprised how environmentally unfriendly a garden can be. If you have just a couple of harmful habits – using pesticides, not recycling and mowing with a gas lawnmower are just some of these – it’s high time you changed that and did something good for the environment. There is a variety of ways for you to create a sustainable garden and be proud of making a positive impact on the world’s climate problem. Whether you have a garden for aesthetic purposes or really like growing your own fruits and vegetables, it’s important to make a change in your daily life.
Make a compost
While you can purchase the final product from your local supplier, making your own compost has numerous benefits. Invest in a compost bin and separate your garbage in order to create enough supplements to improve your soil. This easy way of using your waste can give your plants the nutrients they need to grow and prevent disease. To start this project, begin by collecting food leftovers and kitchen scraps, but be careful not to use meat. In addition to that, you can also make a compost out of leaves and use it to enrich the soil for your garden.
If you want to keep our planet safe, you obviously can’t always use water from your garden hose to water your grass and plants. This will cost you money and is the total opposite of being eco-friendly. The most sustainable option would be to place containers that will gather rainwater which you can later use for your garden. You can also choose plants which don’t require that much water and thus minimize the size of your lawn and effectively reduce the total amount of water usage. Water conservation plays a big part in decreasing the use of chemicals in the soil because of the chlorine it contains.
Look for advice and help
While some people like to do everything on their own, many still like to consult landscaping experts to help them create a perfect garden design. That way, you can have a great start and work from there to create a true natural oasis. Having someone to help you learn the basics can be crucial when it comes to almost every part of gardening. Knowing which plants go together and which you can keep close by is the first thing any experienced gardener will teach you.
Attract friendly birds
There are so many bugs you’ll want in your garden, no matter how strange that may sound in the beginning. Not all the bugs are harmful and you should consider this option as a supplement to chemicals. Bugs are a part of the ecosystem, and you can use this natural circle to your benefit and get familiar which birds and insects are good or bad for your garden. Buy a birdhouse and attract the ones that are good to have in your garden and you’ll see the change they make soon enough.
Use only a few pesticides
If you need to use pesticides in order to prevent a disease or kill insects, opt for the one that targets those threats directly without leaving marks on the entire plant. Try to see if there’s a more natural and eco-friendly replacement and try to solve your problems that way. Many of them degrade rapidly with a little help of water and lots of different biopesticides can be the best solution for your garden. Be careful and read the instruction very thoroughly before using them on your fruits and vegetables because it’s important to know when you can start consuming the final product.
Since environmental issues and sustainability have been gaining more and more attention, people need to start doing their share of the work to keep the planet safe. By taking steps like these, you too can make a change without investing too much time and money into it, yet still feel proud of your work. A few everyday rules could be beneficial in the long run and keep the final products as aesthetically pleasing and welcoming as it was before.
Being healthy does not require doctors and medical help as long as you take care of yourself at a most basic level. While the food will be your medicine, superfood will grant you superpowers of longevity, amazing immune system, and radiant younger look. It doesn’t even have to cost a fortune since you can have your own ‘’pharmacy’’ in the secret of your backyard, where you can have an unlimited feast on your medicine without any side effects. Growing these amazing fruits and veggies is fairly easy, so green up your fingers and supply your family with healthy bites.
Related to tomatoes, these are enormously healthy and rich in nutrients that improve eyesight, boost the immune system and delays the aging process. Goji berries are easy to grow since they will make it on any soil type, as long as there is plenty of sunlight and regular watering. Goji starts fruiting in midsummer until the first frost in the fall and make sure to cut them by two-thirds each fall to keep the solid shape.
Rich in protein, amino acids, and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, quinoa is more than beneficial in prevention and treatment of diseases. Although quinoa is proven to be difficult to grow for commercial use, you can grow this plant in the garden. The best time for planting quinoa is April when the ground starts warming. Place some well-rotted manure underneath and harvest it in the fall. Before rubbing the seeds, hang the plants to dry for a while.
Even though used as a spice, oregano is full of nutrients that can boost immunity, improve heart, bones, and digestion. In addition to that, oregano has antibacterial properties and is highly beneficial in improving the functionality of metabolism. You can easily grow it indoors since it requires fairly moderate temperatures, a bit drier soil and six to eight hours of the sun.
A handful of blueberries a day will reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, not to mention that they are a powerful antioxidant. Blueberries can thrive only in a full sun and well-drained soil. Consider planting them in raised beds to ensure drainage and add some organic fertilizer. Since they are shallow rooted plants, they require more water than rest of the fruits.
Since it is rich in vitamin C, fibers and folate, broccoli reduces the risk of heart diseases. It is a cool season crop, but it can be planted in spring also. Broccoli requires full sun, cool weather, rich soil and proper watering. For maintaining the moisture of the soil install Hoselink retractable hose reels in your garden, since it will provide the right level of moist during the sunny days while it won’t take too much space.
They are the most nutritional veggie out there full of minerals, fibers, and antioxidants. Sweet potatoes, aside from being delicious is a top source of vitamin A and which is more important, it is quite easy to grow. They can be grown in a poor soil as long as you are adding some organic compost and avoid watering them too much for they can easily rot.
A king of healthy greens, kale is packed with vitamins, minerals, fibers and numerous cancer-fighting substances. Kale is cold weather crop which tastes best after the frost. Kale prefers full sun, average fertility soil and well-drained but moist ground. Avoid planting the kale near beans, tomatoes or strawberries.
A superfood worthy of its label, ginger is super healthy and can help in fighting various infections, inflammations, pains, and morning sickness. It also improves brain function and protects against Alzheimer's disease. Growing ginger is simple as long as you have rich soil and keep it away from direct sunlight. Also, ginger prefers humidity and moist ground, but avoid overwatering for it may drain away the nutrients.
Almost every fruit and veggie has a health elevating effect while the superfoods listed above is just a small part of Nature’s pharmacy. With some minimal effort and a little dirt on the hands, you can have a healthy treasure growing in your garden, providing the best quality food for yourself and your loved ones.
The damaging consequences of pesticide exposure have been well-documented the past couple of decades. From causing long-term health effects like birth defects to being linked to long-term bee population declines. Although industrial pesticide is largely seen as the culprit, we should still collectively play our part to help reduce pesticide exposure to our surrounding communities.
Instead of using chemical pesticide, try any of these natural eco-friendly methods to keep the pests at bay. These methods may not necessarily give instant results, but they are much more sustainable over the long-term and more beneficial for your health.
Not all insects are pests. As gardeners, it's important to differentiate the good bugs from the bad ones. Biological control is a method of reducing pests by introducing natural enemies. For example, one way of keeping caterpillar populations in check is by introducing natural predators like ground beetles and damsel bugs. These bugs, for the most part, will leave your precious plants alone as their diet primarily consists of smaller animals like the caterpillar.
While some beneficial insects can be bought and shipped to your doorsteps, it is more sustainable over the long-term to attract beneficial insects that may already exist in your area. There are typically three conditions that need to be fulfilled to attract them: shelter, water, and food. The type of shelter will vary by species. For example, ground beetles like to take shelter in areas that have a diversity of perennial plants. Praying mantis, on the other hand, like to stick around foliage plants, where they can easily blend in and wait for their next prey. Keep in mind that biological control isn't limited to just insect predators. There are plenty of other wildlife species that could play a beneficial role. Examples include: birds, hedgehogs, frogs, and bats.
Growing vegetable or fruit crops in your backyard? Another natural pest control method to consider is companion planting. This refers to the concept of growing plants that provide some sort of benefit to its surroundings. Such benefits could include repelling pests, providing nutrients, or providing shade and support to the main crops.
In the context of pest control, one great companion plant is the lemongrass. A common ingredient found in natural insect repellents is citronella oil, which is extracted from lemongrass species. According to the National Pesticide information Center, citronella oil could repel pests by masking scents that are attractive to insects. Placing lemongrass plants around your backyard is unlikely to fully ward off pests like mosquitoes but it could at least form the first barrier of defense to ward off annoying pests.
DIY Natural Traps
Citronella oil is not the only natural ingredient that could help ward off pests from your backyard. Consider creating your own DIY pest traps by using other natural products such as diatomaceous earth, vinegar, and baking soda. Here is one interesting fact of the day. Diatomaceous earth is made from the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton. The powder has sharp microscopic edges that lacerate the exoskeleton of most insects that come in contact with it. This eventually causes the insect to dehydrate and die. If you plan on creating your own natural pest traps then do be patient. Depending on the scale of the pest infestation, it could take anywhere between a few days to a few weeks to see notable results.
Pest season will be soon on its way so go the eco-friendly route by using natural alternatives to chemical pesticide products.
Whether you’re gardening as a hobby or a necessity, pests always seem to find you. Using organic techniques in your garden is the healthiest way to keep the environment and the people around you protected. Keeping your garden toxin-free shouldn’t be a big task because the green way doesn’t necessarily have to be the hard way.
The problem with pesticides and synthetic solutions is that they have a faster turnaround and you see results quicker. Because of this, users tend to think these results are better than the alternative. However, although synthetic pesticides work quickly, in the long run they tend to wane, which will once again leave your garden unprotected. Organic solutions are slow to work, but are your goals short-term, or long-term? We always recommend using multiple organic combinations in your garden for the best results.
Your focus for keeping pests away should be constantly enhancing your soil. The soil in your garden will be your first line of defense again pests and other critters. Regardless of how fertile the soil starts out being, it will always deplete as time passes, since this is one of your plant’s main source of nutrients. That means if your soil’s nutrients are lessened, your plants will be unhealthy and will become a natural target for pests and diseases.
While your soil should be a point of focus in your garden, another organic solution would be to attract predatory insects. This may sound crazy, but the pests that are eating your garden are just as attractive as your plants, but to other creepy crawlies. So, how do you know which pest is good versus bad? And how can you attract the good critters? By growing specific plants in your garden, you will lure the good predators as well as pollinators and other small creatures like birds that would love to snack on those pesky garden pests. Check out the infographic below from eReplacementParts for more information on keeping your garden healthy, green, and toxin-free!
It may still be chilly, cold and wet outside, but there are plenty of things you can do to prepare your garden before spring arrives.
Plants and bulbs may be laying dormant, but as the days grow longer and the earth begins to warm up things are stirring underground. It may be too late to plant spring bulbs for this year, but other plants and shrubs can be looked after and when it's raining cats and dogs you can also use the time to tidy the shed, make sure your tools are ready for use or even build a new compost bin.
In this infographic we offer ideas and tips on how to prepare your garden ready for spring. We take a look at a variety of gardening related chores that could, and should, be carried out prior to your garden bursting into life.
We've also included suggestions for flowers that will provide colour to your borders, along with ideas for mapping out your garden and planning a seed graph; both of which can be carried out indoors, so there's no excuses for inclement weather putting a dampener on your garden projects.
Read on to find out what you can do to prepare your garden ready for the start of spring and into the warmer months.