Inside Track

5 Sustainable Gardening Tips for First-Timers

It’s that time of year again – brighter evenings and warmer weather paves the way for gardening season. 

Moving into your new home brings with it a lot of firsts – where to place your furniture, what colour to paint each room or who to insure your home with – perhaps even how to go about presenting your very own garden. 

There’s a certain amount of pride associated with your garden as is, but the current pandemic has seen many take their first leap (or a return) into gardening.

For one, the art of gardening is very relaxing. But the benefits of a planted and maintained garden are endless – it’s visually appealing, it provides a sense of character to your home, and it even has biodiversity benefits in that it encourages butterflies, bees and birds to visit you while providing a food source for them.

 

Sustainable Gardening Tips

We have compiled a list of sustainable gardening tips for the first time gardener, that will allow you to create a beautiful garden while protecting the planet through eco gardening:

 

1. Positioning

Positioning

You’re going to want to make sure that your plants are located somewhere that is accessible to you, where it will be easy to remember to take care of them.

A common pitiful in gardening is underestimating the importance of sunlight, as many plants require several hours of sunlight daily in order to thrive.

 

2. Natural Pesticides

Natural Pesticides

Chemical products used as pesticides can have a detrimental effect on the environment, so consider the use of natural pesticides. You’re bound to have them in your home already.

Eco-friendly pesticides found in the home may include garlic/chilli mixture, salt or citrus spray.

By doing this, you can repel pests while protecting your plants by introducing beneficial insects like ladybirds. It’s also worth noting that birds can drive away harmful insects and pollinate your garden, so installing a feeding place for them is a great idea.

 

3. Composting

Sustainable Gardening Tips: Composting

Consider using your own compost so that you can feed your plants with healthy, nutrient-rich soil while discarding your food waste in an eco-friendly way.

There are so many things that you can compost, including vegetable scraps, grass clippings, tea and newspapers – but it’s worth understanding what can and can’t be composted.

If you have never composted before, it’s best to do a bit of research or watch an instructional video that explains the entire process in greater detail.

 

4. Water Conservation

Water Conservation

While it’s incredibly easy to use a hose to water our gardens, it does tend to amount to a large amount of water being wasted. The average Irish individual uses 80 to 100 gallons per day.

While a watering can will save a lot of water, it’s even better to use rainwater to water your plants. This can be made easier through the use of a water butt which will collect rainwater from your roof.

 

5. Indigenous Plants

Indigenous Plants

If you want to be really eco-friendly with your garden, plant what is indigenous to Ireland, and what can provide value to our pollinators.

Indigenous plants naturally occur in a local area’s soil and climate. While they’re more eco-friendly, they’re also lower maintenance than non-natives.

Native plants provide a better habitat for local wildlife, however ornamental plants like lavender, snowdrops and willows are also pollinator-friendly.

If possible, reducing mowing can be a great help as it allows wildflowers to grow (an excellent food source for pollinators) The National Biodiverse Data Centre provides an excellent resource for information and advice about sustainable gardening.

 

The above are some of the most practical tips for sustainable gardening, but the following are also some great things that you can do as an eco-gardener:

  • Instead of plastic plant pots, choose biodegradable or recyclable options instead.
  • If you do have plastic pots, reuse them as much as possible.
  • Try to use gardening tools that are not made of plastic.
  • If you buy compost rather than using your own, ensure it is peat-free.
  • Consider planting trees or hedges to help air quality.
  • Consider leaving a small patch of grass unmown to provide a habitat for local wildlife.

 


We hope that you enjoyed our article, outlining five sustainable gardening tips for first-timers.

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