Being A Sustainable Gardener, 5 Easy Ways.08:30:00
Im taking the lead here from The Sustainable Living Festival that I posted about last week and thought it would be good to get the fine tooth comb out in this garden oasis of mine. If Im talking the talk, Ive got to walk the walk if you know what I mean?
Ultimately in the doing sense, being sustainable is all the practises that you put into place to conserve and protect the spaces that you care for. Or in the broader sense what we as humans can do to minimise our impact on the earth.
So the question I put to myself was...
What practises are actually happening out in my garden that are not only conserving and protecting the space that I am looking after, but are also making it a healthy, productive and vibrant space?
Well, didn't I just surprise little old ammeter gardener me.
I am being a sustainable gardener without even thinking about it. Mostly, anyway.
If you are doing the same sorts of things at your place, well pats on the back to us. Insert a applause!!
Here are some simple and dare I say it, easy ways to be a more sustainable gardener.
1. Start a Compost Bin:
We have a two bay compost heap in the back corner of the yard and before green waste collection started here late last year, the heap collected all the lawn clippings, wheelbarrow loads full of pruning, weeds and the majority of the kitchen scraps. We didn't layer the contents of the heap in any methodical fashion, nor did we turn the heaps over and over. We piled it on and left it and in good time, and quite quickly just for the record it started producing beautiful soil very quickly, which we then put back into pots and into the vegetable patches for growing vegetables and beautiful flowers and plants.
Whilst the compost heap doesn't get the workout it used to, we mostly pile the lawn and pruning clippings on that dont fit into the green rubbish bin now.
Our green waste bins are collected weekly and in them we can put all of our green waste, even meat and stinky prawn shells. This waste is then going to a huge facility that then processes it all into what will eventually become composted soil that will then be used for projects in and around the shire. I am really happy that the council took the initiative to reduce our impact on landfill and so far I think most of the town has embraced it.
2. Re-Use Objects:
I am getting much better at up-cycling objects and reusing items rather than buying new and throwing things away. Though my husband
3. Companion Planting
Science has yet to fully prove and uncover the actual benefits pertaining to companion planting. Regardless, I love the concept of it all and personally I think it makes your garden look gorgeous. I have read plenty of magazines and books which all suggest that this theory is beneficial in assisting plants to grow, it creates biodiversity in the garden and it can also help in the production of healthy soils. A healthy and diverse garden attracts many important bugs and insects that all work very hard to pollinate your flowers as well as ward off unwanted pests. This in turn reduces the need for pesticides and other chemicals and you will be rewarded with lots of flowers, fruit and vegetables and happy critters in the garden.
I have marigolds and basil planted with the tomatoes. This has been in an attempt to ward of the dreaded fruit fly, however I dont think it is working. Perhaps I need forest of basil and not just a couple of plants to keep the fruit flies at bay, but its all worth a trial and I can only do better next season. The smell of the basil though when Im out there watering the garden is priceless. I have also sown Cosmos and some Sunflowers which are now in bloom and the bees are absolutely loving it.
I found a great link to awesome companion plants for lots of different fruits and vegetables that you might be interested in reading here.
This is probably one of the easiest ways to conserve and save on watering in the garden. Not only in the hip pocket, but in the time we need to spend out watering our plants. Though it is one of the most relaxing jobs a gardener has to do, I know there are times when we are just too busy to water and every little bit we save goes a long way to conserving what is already a precious commodity. Our plants will really benefit from a blanket covering of either pea straw, some fallen leaves, hay, thin wood chips, or even some pine needles. So many options. The garden only need a little layer to hold the moisture in and most of mulching options available are low in cost, (depending on the size of your garden of course) or free if you know the right people. Over time the mulch will then in turn breakdown and will become beautiful, nutritious soil to feed our beautiful plants. I use all the leaves from the Liquid Ambers as mulch in Autumn and at the end of last year we used the straw from the chook shed clean out out on the veggie patches. You might want to read all about that clean out here...
5. Water Tank
When we don't have to turn on the tap from the mains, we are saving our money as well as the worlds precious water storages. Harvesting rainwater in a tank, of whatever size is a great way to sustainably water the garden. We dont have to pay for its usage AT ALL and depending on the size of the tank, it doesn't necessarily need to cost lots of money to set up. It could even be as simple as having buckets dotted around the place collecting water for the garden. Since the last drought and the very strict water restrictions we had a few years back, my mum still has a bucket in the shower to collect some of the run off and uses it to water her garden. Every little bit of water collected goes a very long way and clearly in the case of my mother, forced habits are still paying off!
So as you can see, its very easy to be kind to the environment, without really thinking about it too much. Setting some good habits and always aiming to be better at this sustainability gig is just the start here for me in The Paddock. You?
Have a look around your own garden and those in and around your neighbourhood? See anything inspiring?
Have you stumbled upon any good books, links or blogs that are worthwhile looking at on this topic lately? Id love to learn more.
Or are you already the sustainability king?
Thanks for visiting today.