Gardening for the Environment
The environment is on everybody’s minds in this day and age. That being said, if you have a garden in your property, you actually have an excellent opportunity to make a positive difference to the environment. A landscape garden has the potential to be substantially more eco-friendly than you might realise; by simply taking a moment to think about the garden landscape design and by extension, the products and materials being used, you can make some important decisions on how environmentally friendly your garden is.
As landscape gardeners in Surrey, we are aware that the landscaping industry has to improve in promoting more environmentally-friendly ways of landscape garden design. DPM have years of experience in creating beautiful gardens for our customers all across this area. Here, we’ve outlined some of the materials to consider when building and maintaining a garden. If you are planning on making some more eco-friendly changes, the ideas outlined in these two blog posts might inspire you. There is more to landscape gardening than simply making a garden look beautiful, and you can read more about that here.
This blog focuses more on the gardening products and materials, while the upcoming blog will focus on environmentally friendly structural design materials.
We are all aware of how damaging plastic is to the environment. As an example, a large percentage of plants are sold in black plastic pots, or seed trays, which is irritating considering not all councils accept this type of plastic for recycling. The majority of these pots and trays are incinerated or sent to landfill, and very little of it is recycled. However, there are ways around this.
You could purchase plants and flowers that are bare-rooted, to save on the unwanted non-biodegradable material making its way into your gardens. Hard-wearing terracotta pots are also highly recommended, despite being more fragile. It is also possible to buy bio-based pots, made from fibrous materials that are pressed into the shape of the plant pot. Alternatively, you may find that making your own plant pots out of recyclable materials might be more suitable.
Fertilisers and Pesticides
Chemicals are very harmful to the environment, as well as other wildlife that may not be the problem species you are trying to control. You can employ many natural methods of pest control in your garden. Some of which include:
- Spraying plants with water (instead of chemical sprays) rinses away any pests and other harmful species from plants.
- Cover any brassicas or root vegetables with mesh or fleece as opposed to spraying them with insecticide.
- Spread compost around plants to keep weeds at bay. This also conserves water while keeping the roots snug during the winter.
- Weigh down some sheeting as a form of eco-friendly weed control, rather than use weed killer sprays.
- Use nematodes. These are a natural and organic pest control solution, and a very viable chemical pesticide alternative.
- Companion planting is recommended for luring pests away from their food plants.
- Rain gardens help with water runoff from a roof or driveway.
The process of digging peat is actually incredibly harmful to several natural habitats, and isn’t sustainable. Sadly, this remains difficult for many people, as peat is very easy to handle and is excellent at absorbing water and nutrients. Using a viable alternative appears to be the most logical solution to the problem.
As an alternative to peat, use homemade compost or leaf mould. Both of these have excellent nutrient levels while still performing as good as peat at retaining water. Additionally, buy peat-free compost, or at least compost with lower peat levels. It’s common to find many composts that use alternatives such as bark or wood fibre. Peat-free composts provide a workable environmentally-friendly alternative, and over the years have become a more popular choice for many garden enthusiasts.