Four ways to be a greener gardener | Tenant news

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Four ways to be a greener gardener

Eco-friendly gardening is on the rise as more gardeners look for low-impact ways to take care of their green spaces, and you can too.

Using recycled materials for pots and pathways, opting for natural pest control methods and making your own compost can benefit the environment, local wildlife and reduce what you spend on garden supplies.

Take a look at our eco-gardening tips.

Make your own compost

Creating your own compost from kitchen and garden waste produces healthier plants without the need for fertilizer and pesticides.

Women and Home magazine suggests you should aim for 25% to 50% soft green materials such as grass clippings, annual weeds, or vegetable and fruit kitchen waste. The rest should be woody, brown material such as prunings, wood chippings, paper, cardboard, straw, or dead leaves.

The Royal Horticultural Society suggests using a compost bin as it’s more efficient and saves on space. If you enjoy DIY you can build your own bin from wooden pallets or recycled planks or buy a purpose-made bin.

Save on water

When you water your plant pots, window box or flower beds, focus on the roots of your plants and not the leaves because plants can only effectively use water through their roots.

You can collect rainwater by using a rain barrel or another watertight container. Another tip is to give your plants your leftover cooking water from pasta or vegetables.

Grow your own veg

Food packaging waste is a huge problem, which is why more people are choosing to grow their own produce.

According to the Horticultural Trades Association, 35% of British adults say they use their garden or outdoor space such as balcony or window box to grow their own herbs, fruit and vegetables.

Try and grow your plants from seed as it is cheaper and reduces the amount of plastic packaging.

Use newspaper-made pots or reuse paper cups instead of buying plastic pots. You may want to stand them on a tray in case they leak. Remember to collect seeds from your own plants for the next year.

Use natural pest control

The best way to manage garden pests is to use clever plant combinations. Consider:

  • putting marigolds among tomato plants as they can deter greenfly and blackfly due to their potent scent
  • pairing sage with carrots as it serves as a natural pest deterrent, thanks to sage's strong aroma
  • planting nasturtiums, as they act as a barrier against caterpillars that eat cabbages, while garlic planted alongside rose bushes repels aphids
  • planting leeks and carrots together for mutual protection as leeks ward off carrot flies and carrots deter onion flies and leek moths.

Be summer ready

An older lady sitting on the edge of a flower bed in her garden.

Get your garden ready for warmer weather by focusing on key maintenance tasks:

  • If you have a lawn, re-seed any bare patches and use a metal spring-back rake to remove any mossy areas.
  • Tidy up flower borders by removing weeds, dead flowers, and give your shrubs a prune to identify any gaps for new plants.
  • A proper watering is essential for summer growth, best done in the cooler early mornings or evenings to minimise evaporation.
  • Consider planting annual bedding plants for added colour, deadhead existing plants to encourage continued blooming, and incorporate plant containers for additional greenery, especially in smaller garden spaces.
  • Don't forget to clean patios and decking to create a fresh and inviting outdoor seating space.

Pictured: Tenant Mrs Harrison-Burton in her flower-filled garden at Raynville Crescent, Leeds.   

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