With all the plastic we use, the oceans we pollute, and the trees we cut down, it is apparent that we often overlook the fact that the Earth is our one and only home. It also manifests in how worse our environmental problems have gotten through the years. There’s no denying that all of us play a role in this, so the question is: what are the things that you do to help our living planet?
As gardeners, we must make a conscious choice to not just plant for free veggies or a beautiful landscape. Plant with the planet’s well-being in mind too.
In line with this, here are tips and ideas for SUSTAINABLE GARDENING to keep your plants nurtured, your family nourished, and the environment a little bit better—one sustainable habit at a time.
Water is a precious resource that we must not waste. In one of our previous blogs, we discussed rainwater harvesting, the act of storing rainwater for usage on sunny days. However, that’s not all. There are many different techniques on how to conserve water for gardening purposes.
One of these is mulching, which refers to the process of covering the garden soil with biodegradable (or non-biodegradable, but of course, we wouldn’t want that) material, such as straw, shredded bark, grass clippings, sawdust, and other organic residues. Aside from retaining soil moisture, it also prevents erosion, suppresses weeds, and even adds aesthetic value, among other things.
Another is by recycling your household water. For instance, if you’re boiling vegetables, save the used water instead of just pouring it down the drain. The same goes for the water that gets wasted while waiting for the shower to heat up. Also, take it up a notch and use your old fish tank water as a nitrogen-and-phosphorus-rich treat for your plants!
As follows are other techniques, discussed more briefly:
Plants aside, you might also want to consider turning your garden into one that benefits wildlife. A study funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the USA has found that embracing the concept of wildlife gardening on a larger scale can help boost biodiversity. Moreover, being wildlife-friendly also attracts pollinators, such as bees, ants, and birds, the unsung heroes of sustaining the modern food system.
A wildlife-friendly habitat requires four vital elements: food, water, cover, and a space for raising young. Here are some ways to achieve it:
Composting is the process of decomposing organic matter to add to your plants. It has a myriad of benefits, such as enriching the soil and improving plant quality without the need for chemical fertilisers, reducing methane emissions from landfills, and recycling waste from the yard and kitchen.
Some greens and browns that are ideal for composting are the following:
Furthermore, avoid composting pet wastes, diseased plants, bread, meat and dairy products, as well as citrus peels, among others. These may be too acidic, contain harmful microorganisms, or attract pests and rodents.
PRO TIP: Negotiate with neighbours, grocery stores, hairdressers, and other establishments to collect their compostable items.\
By choosing native plants and trees as additions to your garden, you are helping animal species thrive by providing them with a source of food and shelter. Moreover, native plants are low-maintenance and relatively easy to sustain as they are already well accustomed to your region’s conditions. Thus, they don’t need to be watered and fertilised as much as other plants. Listed below are some native Australian plants that would be perfect for your garden:
Let us take part in the “green movement” to help battle the climate crisis together.