Practising sustainable gardening at home is becoming more important than ever. With the effects of global warming hitting our gardens hard, with plant species struggling and insect populations dramatically decreasing. This is a vital time to act and luckily there are plenty of steps you can take to help...
Re-use rain water
Instead of using water from the tap, using a water butt to collect rain water is a far more sustainable way to water your garden. Water butts are available in lots of shapes and sizes to suit your needs and can hold between 100 and 700 litres of water. It is estimated that on average around 24,000 litres of water can be saved every year by collecting rainwater to water your garden this way.
Peat for our gardens comes from peatlands. Peatlands are the world's largest carbon stores on land. They are a vital ecosystem for plants and animals and are important in reducing the risk of flooding. When peat is taken for our gardens, carbon is released and these vital habitats are damaged. Our planet's billions of acres of peat hold more carbon than all the world’s forests combined.
Plant for pollinators
Loss of habitat is one of the main reasons why we see fewer bees, butterflies and other insects visiting our gardens. One great way that you can help to support our pollinators is by planting a range of different pollinator-friendly plants. Some easy-to-grow plants that bees and other pollinators love include lavender, bluebells, heather, marigold, honeysuckle, ivy and many more!
Make your own compost
Home composting is the most environmentally-friendly way of disposing of your kitchen and garden waste, plus it's a fantastic way to improve your soil. Every 1kg of homemade compost typically saves over 0.1kg of CO2 emissions, which could save more than 5.1 kg carbon, per gardener, every year. Composting is easy, rewarding and can be great fun for the kids!
Ditch the pesticides
Pesticides are dangerous for the health of your garden, as well as the planet. A decline of insects has a knock-on effect for the entire food chain as insects are vital pollinators. So, instead of reaching for chemical pesticides, try natural forms of insect repellent instead. One great method is companion planting, which means growing plants which are mutually beneficial to each other. For example, carrots and leeks are perfect to plant together as leeks repel carrot fly while carrots discourage leek moth.