Posted on May 13 2019
If you're a keen gardener, you probably love nature and are very much in favour of a healthy environment. Still, gardening as such is not necessarily ''green'' or favourable to the environment, hence these 6 tips on organic gardening!
1. Watering organically
Restrict watering with tapwater as much as possible; rather use rainwater from the butt. It's much more environmentally friendly, as rainwater is better for your plants whereas tapwater may contain chloride and as a rule has been cleansed chemically. In any event limit watering as much as you can: you don't want rootballs to become lazy, producing weak plants.
Tip: mulch your borders. In summer this helps the soil from drying out which saves watering!
2. Choose sustainable, long lasting tools and other materials
Sustainable means ''less burdensome for the environment''. So when gardening organically, use sustainable tools and garden furniture that are environmentally friendly and long lasting. Should you prefer wooden furniture, choose chairs or benches labelled FSC or PEFC: wood from sustainably managed forests. Moisture-resistant hardwood would be best, but is less green as it is harvested in the tropics (rainforests). Your best choice is European hardwood or oak, both favoured for their long lifespan. Pinewood, although much cheaper, has a far shorter lifespan.
Tip: maintain your garden furniture as best you can. Put it under cover or inside for winter, which prolongs their lifespan substantially.
3. Sustainable fencing
European hardwood or oak is your best choice for wooden fences too, although hedges would be much more environmentally friendly and give your garden a natural, appealing look. Being leafy and literally green, they provide superb nesting spots for all sorts of birds and small mammals. Suitable hedging:
- Yew and Irish yew
Do you happen to prefer another environmentally friendly fence instead of hedging? Why not use live (plaited) willow fences or wicker fences. A very ''green'' solution indeed, lending a natural look to your garden.
4. Avoid hard surfacing
Do put an extra tree or shrub in your garden instead of hard surfacing. The more shrubs and plants your garden contains, the healthier, more attractive and environmentally friendly it will be. Why not select half-hardened surfaces for garden-paths like gravel, small pebbles or bark chips. For your terrace or patio you might wish to choose recycled materials from your own country, for instance re-used baked bricks or clinkers, or gravel-tiles laid upside-down.
Tip: Preferably choose paving like gravel or clinkers which allow rainwater to drain freely.
5. Removing weeds organically
Naturally, spraying chemicals in order to kill weeds is not environment-friendly at all, since it also kills beneficial bees, butterflies and ladybirds and affects your soil. Bees and butterflies are indispensable for pollinating plants and ladybirds eat lots of aphids. So, remove weeds organically. And do leave some in your garden, as quite often they are very beautiful and beneficial plants. Nettles, for instance, are valuable and popular host plants for butterflies!
6. Use organic fertilizers
Chemical fertilizers contain many substances that Mother Nature finds very hard to digest, let alone degrade. On the other hand organic fertlizers offer your soil and plants healthy, valuable nutrients that are also long-lasting (mostly about three months), which means ultra regular fertilizing is a thing of the past.