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10 Top Ways To Go Green In Your Garden

flowers in pot in garden 1. Save H2O

Pots and containers are notoriously thirsty, so avoid where possible, and if you are using them, remember that bigger containers will dry out less quickly. Line the garden containers with plastic to help retain moisture (old compost bags are good) and add water-retaining granules when planting up. Specialist container composts are ready-mixed with water-retaining granules.

In borders, use a mulch, such as chipped bark, to help keep moisture in the soil – it will keep the weeds downs too!

Ditch the hose and sprinkler – hosepipes and sprinklers get through gallons of water. Use a big watering can and you’ll just get the water where it’s needed.

2. Recycle

Get a water butt and collect rainwater. Rain butts come in all shapes and sizes – you can even buy some that fix to the wall, so however small your outdoor space, you should be able to squeeze one into your garden.

Water from the bath and washing up (horribly called grey water) is fine for the garden.

3. Save your energy

Solar-powered lights are really effective in the eco garden. And because they don’t need wiring in, they’re simple to install. And of course you’re not limited by the length of wiring, so they can go anywhere in the garden – you can now buy strings of solar-powered lights to drape among tree branches, along hedges, or over a pergola. Solar lights are also great for marking out paths – and how about installing one in your shed?

You can save power by choosing manual tools over electric ones. Who needs a noisy leaf blower – just use a rake? And a rotary lawnmower will give a far better finish.

4. Grow your own vegetables

Garden organically and the wildlife will thank you. And if you grow your own vegetables, so will friends and family. If you’ve never grown anything before, start by growing a few tomato plants, some salad leaves and maybe some new potatoes in a barrel. Once you’ve tasted how good they are you’ll be ready to go onto bigger and better things. Opt for vegetables that are expensive to buy, such as tomatoes, salad crops and herbs. Use companion plants, such as garlic, onions and marigolds, to deter insects.

5. Beat the bugs

The best way to beat slugs and caterpillars is to go out at night with a torch and pick them off plants. There are lots of beneficial insects, such as ladybirds and lacewings, which eat aphids, mites and other pests. Encourage them in your garden with specially made ladybird and lacewing houses, or make your own. A bundle of tubes (such as drinking straws) bound together and placed in a catering size coffee tin will do the job.

6. Get composting

By using your kitchen and garden waste for compost, you’re cutting down on the amount of rubbish that goes to landfill AND creating a soil improver that will get your veg and other plants growing really well. The national organic charity, Garden Organic, reckons about 40% of household rubbish can be used for composting, so give it a try! Just remember to keep your compost a good mixture of greens and browns – that is plant waste such as grass clippings and vegetable peelings and dry rubbish such as cardboard, egg boxes, toilet roll middles and so on. Turning it when you have time will help too. A compost bin will keep it tidy, but it’s not essential.

7.Get wiggling

A wormery is a fun way to create compost. Just add all your waste to it, as you would with a compost heap or bin – a wormery works faster than a compost heap and produces fewer odours – and of course the kids will love it. Send off for wormery kits from the internet.

8. Go wild

Birds will do you a favour if you encourage them into your garden. They’ll help to get rid of all bugs (but remember to net your soft fruit or they’ll help themselves to that too!) Just introducing a bird feeder is enough to bring these garden helpers in. Just remember, once you start feeding the birds, to keep it up throughout the year. Install a pond (unless you have small children) and you’ll soon find you have frogs on hand to get rid of slugs and snails.

9. Best of British

Choose native plants, and the wildlife will thank you. Also, because they have evolved to survive in our climate, these native plants will thrive, so you won’t waste time and effort trying to get them to grow. Swap plants and seeds with friends and neighbours, and remember to put plants in ideal conditions. If they like full sun, plant them in the right place, and if they need damp conditions, find them a shady spot, or you’ll waste time and water trying to keep them happy.

10. Eco-friendly wood

If you’re buying any new wooden product for your garden, make sure it conforms to green standards. Look out for the FSC logo, which means the wood has come from sustainable sources. And look after it by protecting it from the elements so that it lasts longer and you don’t have to replace it.

About The Author
Naomi MacKay is a freelance writer and editor who writes for, a one-stop shop for garden products including buildings, garden offices, barbecues, garden furniture and much more, delivered direct to your door. Garden Eco also offers useful information and tips on all aspects of gardening.

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