Creating an eco-friendly garden

CandideZA
Published on June 5th 2019
34
A hand holding a piece of food
Gardens play such an important role in preserving and protecting our environment, depending on the approach we take. When we garden with the environment in mind we have the opportunity to contribute to slowing down the effects of climate change, reduce waste, preserve soil and water quality, cut down on energy use, and improve wildlife habitat.
In the light of World Environment Day today, here are a few ways in which you can contribute to restoring our natural world.

Start a compost bin

Producing your own compost is not only an easy way to give your soil the nutrients it needs but is a more satisfying solution for the environment (and your wallet) than that of synthetic fertilisers. Read more here about starting your own compost bin.

Re-use, reduce and recycle

To reduce waste you have to get creative. Reuse what you already have, including plastic containers, seedling trays, fencing, plant clippings and vegetable peelings.
Tap these posts to see how our community members are cutting down on waste and recycling everyday household items.
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Cut out the chemicals

Rather than reaching for toxic pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilisers, opt for horticultural oil and insecticidal soaps. Tap on the article below for a homemade insecticide recipe. Also, by creating a habitat for predatory insects like dragonflies, parasitic wasps, ladybirds and praying mantis, you can encourage natural pest control.
A man in a garden

Choosing plants

Opt for native species to your region as these will be well-adapted to the local growing conditions, meaning they will need fewer resources to maintain. Native plants also provide habitat for native insects, birds and other wildlife. Alternatively, when selecting non-native plants, consider drought-tolerant species with wild-life value. Avoid planting invasive species as they might spread into natural areas and displace native species.
Read more here about bee-friendly plants.

Conserve water

Save water by using recycled water for irrigation, installing a rain barrel to catch water from your roof, replacing sprinklers with drip-irrigation, or installing a butt on every downpipe. Tap on the article below for some waterwise tips to implement in your vegetable garden.

Increase biodiversity

Tap on the article below to learn more about increasing biodiversity in your garden and the numerous benefits it presents.

Plant with your garden

Look to nature for inspiration when designing your garden - mimic a natural ecosystem and work with the microniches n your garden. For example, if you have waterlogged soil, choose wetland plants, for areas with full sun exposure opt for waterwise plants like succulents, indigenous salvias and strelitzias, and for areas with dappled share consider clivias or spurflowers. This will promote healthy plants that suffer fewer pests and diseases.
A close up of a flower garden
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Follow and read AlanGardenMaster’s articles as he develops his new one-acre plot. PimlicoDan shows city gardening in a whole new light, or follow DaisyDays on her adventures in the allotment and as a professional gardener. Just a few of the many personalities you’ll meet in our app. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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