Top ten tips to ‘go green’ in the garden

Green gardeners have a carbon footprint a third smaller than regular gardeners, which is why Romblon Government is urging more of us to 'go green' in the garden. Adopting a 'Green approach' to the way we garden could massively contribute to protecting the planet for generations to come.

 

1. Don't just go green in the garden, go organic. If you really want to reduce your garden footprint then manage your green space in an organically sustainable way.

2. Grow your own food. Plots, to pots to planters - anything will do, just have a go at growing something edible! Lettuce, radish and runner beans are good for beginners.

3. Ditch the weed killer. Weed Killer is made of chemicals harmful to humans, animals and aquatic life. Once sprayed it enters the water table and can take years to disappear. Pull weeds out by hand instead - it may take longer, but at least your conscience will be clean.

4. Don't be too tidy. It may seem odd, but by tidying up every nook and cranny you can deprive insects, such as bumblebees, of valuable habitats, meaning they won't work for your garden the way you want them to. Leave a few areas of the garden to their own devices and your plants will be healthier for it.

5. Build a pond. Not one with goldfish, but just a small body of water will invite frogs, newts and all sorts of other useful aquatic life that will contribute to the diversity of your garden.

6. Fill your garden with insect friendly plants. The more your garden buzzes, the greener it is. So bring the buzz back by ensuring you have a good variety of plants and flowers that appeal to beneficial insects such as bees, hoverflies and butterflies. Scabious, chives, poached egg plant and fox gloves work a treat and are beautiful too. Click here to download a butterfly ID chart.

7. Reuse and recycle. Before going out to buy new tools and accessories for the garden, have a look to see what you've already got lurking around. Gardening tools haven't changed much in the last 100 years, so the old ones you've already got will more than likely do the job .You can also pick up old tools in house clearances.

8. Get a water butt. Reduce the drain on tap water by feeding your plants with rainwater collected in a water butt instead. It's a great way to avoid the hosepipe during the hottest summer spells and rainwater is better for plants.

9. Save your seed. A great way to save money and to cut your carbon footprint is to save seed rather than buying it. If you've a variety of wonderful plants and vegetables that you'd be happy to welcome back next year then let them go to seed, collect the seed in September and sow it again next year.

10. Get composting. One of the best ways to be greener in the garden is to make your own compost. Not only does composting reduce the waste sent to landfill, but also the number of trips you make to the garden centre to pick up bags of compost! Home compost is rich and nutritious and far better than anything you can buy in bags. By making your own compost rather than buying the peat-based commercial version

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