Reducing the resources that go into your garden will not only help the environment but help you save money. By taking some simple steps, you can work your way towards a zero waste garden which will be cheaper, healthier and easier on the planet!
The plants you choose to grow in your garden have a significant impact on your garden waste. Choosing appropriate plants and optimising their placement in your garden will use fewer resources, reduce waste as well as help with pest resistance.
Native plants are that occur naturally have existed for many years in a given area. They offer the most sustainable habitat for local wildlife and are perfectly equipped to live in the local climate. Plants native to the UK include:
- Strawberry tree
- Crab apple
- Field maple
- Field rose
- Dwarf willow
When deciding where to plant specific species, it is important to take into consideration how much sunlight and shade your garden gets and when. Planting species in appropriate places to suit their needs will allow them to thrive to the best of their ability as well as reduce waste.
Eliminating the use of chemicals in your garden will stop the need for you to buy expensive herbicides, pesticides and fertilisers that are often sold in plastic packaging. Going organic will encourage you to take advantage of natural plant fertilisers that are most likely already hanging around your house, some examples being banana peel, coffee grounds and egg shells. And on top of it all, your plants will thank you for it!
Here in the UK we are in the midst of a drought, and with hosepipe bans coming into force across the country, it’s a great time to change you approach of how you use water in your garden. Developing suitable watering practices and conserving water where you can will help you use water more efficiently. With global climate change having a direct affect on our weather, the pressure on clean water supplies is only going to increase so reducing water waste is as important as ever.
Rainwater harvesting is the collection of rainwater and runoff for reuse in the garden or in the home. You can collect rainwater in a water butt connected to a downpipe. The rainwater collected is also better for your garden than hard tap water, which may leave limescale deposits or affect the ph of your soil.
Improving Soil Structure
Putting some effort into improving your soil structure will help it retain moisture. Adding organic matter, such as compost and manure, to your soil will bind particles into aggregates and improves its water holding capacity.
A lot of us water our gardens too much, which wastes water. Before watering your garden, feel the soil. Only water if the soil feels damp, or if your plants are starting to show signs of lacking water.
During hot weather, it is best to water your garden in the early morning or in the early evening. This will prevent water evaporating in the heat of the sun during the hotter hours of the day, thus saving water usage.
- Sprinklers are best used to water larger areas such as lawns and unplanted areas
- Hoses and watering cans are great for targeting specific areas such as the plant roots
- Seep hoses are hoses containing holes, which allow for watering underground. They are best used to water rows of plants.
Compost & Mulch
Buying plastic packets of compost and mulch comes with lots of waste in the form of plastic packaging, which isn’t biodegradable or sustainable. You can make your own compost and mulch from waste you already accumulate in your house and garden, saving you money. Read our guide on how to compost to find out more on turning your kitchen waste into compost.
You can make your own mulch by collecting leaves during autumn and winter, shredding them up with a lawn mower and storing into a ventilated container. To find out more about mulch, check out our complete guide on how to mulch.
If making your own compost and mulch is not an option, opt to buy in bulk. This will also save you a considerable amount of money in the long run.
With reducing waste being all the buzz at the moment it is the perfect time to get involved by working towards a zero waste garden!