Sustainability is so much more than another buzzword, it’s something that all of us can work at achieving at work, at home, and in the garden. If you’re interested in sustainable gardening, which is gardening that uses resources in an ecologically-minded way, then the following green tips are sure to interest you. Moreover, it’s also worth mentioning that sustainable gardening is not only good for the environment, it’s also good for your garden as well as your finances!
Focus on Native Plants
Planting natives, plants that are indigenous to your local region, are an excellent means of achieving sustainability in gardening. As these plants are perfectly suited to the climate, rainfall and soil in your local area, they:
Thrive and flourish because of their suitability to the immediate environment
Require less water, fewer supplements, and much less maintenance
Provide food and shelter for local fauna, such as bird and insect populations
Native plants are no less exotic than imported plant species and often include many perennials, which are plants with a lifespan greater than two years. Perennial plants are not only easily maintained, but are also a very cost-effective substitute for annual plant varieties.
Compost Your Waste
Composting is great for reducing the rubbish that ends up in landfills and it’s also great for your garden. A compost bin can be purchased or made and will provide your garden with an amazing variety of nutrients that your plants just can’t get enough of. In addition to organic food waste, you can also add grass clippings, fallen leaves and other organic matter to compost for extra nutrients, which also helps to keep your garden looking neat and tidy, especially in autumn.
Adding biochar, which is charcoal produced from plant matter, to your garden offers a number of excellent benefits, including reducing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This high-carbon form of charcoal captures and stores carbon, with one kilogram of carbon locked away in biochar representing the equivalent of three kilograms of carbon dioxide being removed from the atmosphere.
This is a great opportunity for sustainability-minded individuals to make a difference by saying ‘no’ to artificial fertilisers that limit natural soil fertility, pollute our water supplies, and create hazardous waste. Some of the additional benefits to using biochar in your garden at home include:
Improved soil structure by increasing beneficial bacteria and fungi populations
Increased nutrient and water absorption and retention
Reduced nitrous oxide emissions and leaching of nitrogen into groundwater
It’s also very interesting to note that soil studies of the Amazon Basin indicate that ancient Amazonian civilizations used biochar, albeit a primitive variety, to improve the quality of the soil in which they grew their food.
In addition to the green gardening tips for sustainability discussed above, you can also reduce your lawn area by planting groundcovers, perennial ornamental grasses, and low-growing shrubs, grow your own herbs and salad greens, and xeriscape, which is using gardening and landscaping techniques that aim to reduce your garden’s need for watering.