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Home » Gardening and pest control

Four ways to make your garden more eco friendly

Submitted by on Tuesday, 12 February 2013 Loading Add to favourites  5 Comments

eco friendly gardeningWhen we were challenged to write our Green goals for 2013, I mentioned the garden.

The garden, here at Chez Green, in a constant source of stress I have to admit.

I have lofty ideals, images of me harvesting beautiful organic produce, but the reality is I’m really not a gardener.

I like to eat the produce and look out onto a nice space, but I’m a fair weather gardener at best (if at all).

I have two neighbours whom I’m learning a lot from.

They are both elders and they really demonstrate how slow and steady wins the race…

They spend half an hour outside every day chipping away at all the jobs from sowing to weeding to harvesting.

I admire them and wish I could be like them, but that’s just not the case.

I wake up with the energy and motivation to dig an entire bed one day, burn out and then leave it for the weeds to grow again. Or I sow everything at once when the mood strikes and then end up with a glut that I can’t manage.

Every year though, with my inner optimist by my side, I claim ‘This is the year of the garden!’ and I have the best of intentions.

Here are my plans for making my garden productive and sustainable this year:

Compost

Something we achieved last year was to design and build a three part composting system. We’ve had one of those plastic darlek bins for years and it was useless. All I ended up with was a slimy mess complete with resident rats and wasps and in the winter I had to throw food scraps away because the compost stopped working.

Now I have this amazing three part system Mr Green made for me, I have my very own compost to use! I’m super excited about that.

Successional sowing

As I mentioned, I’ll sow a glut of seeds then complain that I need to harvest a glut! I’m going to learn from my neighbours and try and do a little bit every week. Yes I’d love to say I’ll garden daily, but I know that’s not realistic. So I’m going to plant more things in pots, rather than the garden; which I think will be easier to manage, and see what I can achieve.

Water feature

Having a water feature is not just nice to sit next to, it’s beneficial to the eco system as well. We have clay soil which attracts a lot of slugs, so if I can create a small pond and entice some frogs in, they’ll happily eat the slugs. It gives me the perfect excuse for a bit of prettiness too with the use of solar water features. By using a solar powered water feature you can say good bye to the hassle of wires (one of Mr Green’s personal bugbears) and it means you can put a water feature anywhere you want as long as it gets access to enough light.

Chickens

You might remember when I stated my Green goals for 2013 I mentioned we were getting more chickens. We’ll they’ve arrived! I’m now proud mama to four Sussex Lights which are happily settling into an old shed. Chickens also love a few slugs for dinner AND they’ll eat scraps then reward me with eggs. What’s not to love?

What about you? Any plans to make your gardening even more sustainable?

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5 Comments »

  • What great tips! I love composting and I think it is awesome that you have chickens!

  • Over the years, I’ve really been investigating which herbs and veggies grow best in my area. By best I mean require the least amount of water and grow in our climate. I’ve also been paying close attention to what kind of yield I can get per plant … since I grow things in containers, I’m learning that it’s just not worth growing some things because I don’t get enough “fruit” to warrant the plant. I’ve been composting from the start … that’s going well. Also, I’ve been moving my planters around so that the plants which require the most water are directly under the runoff from the roof when it rains. Thanks for sharing your plans with us, Mrs. Green!

  • Good luck with year of the garden. Spring is my favourite time of year. We’ve already got seeds in pots and trays and we’re eagerly waiting for the first few signs of growth to appear. We’ve been trying to use suppliers of organic and old (rare) vegetable seed varieties. It helps keep the biodiversity going. Results have been mixed. It seems to me the older varieties of vegetable are less resistant to disease and don’t perform quite as well. The problem is then exacerbated by the fact that we choose not to use chemical pest controls and last year we just watched a number of crops fail :-( Our funky deep red and purple carrots were very dissappointing, they got destroyed by carrot fly I think. Our rare lettuce varieties didn’t do well either. It’s a shame but we have to be pragmatic. Getting usable crops has to be more important to us than using rare organic seeds so we’re reverting to local commercially available (non-organic) seed. That siad, the green grape tomatos we planted did well and were delicious. It’s weird biting into a green tomato and discovering it to be sweet and full of tomatoey (is there such a word :-) flavor. Anyway best of luck!

  • Frogs eating slugs! Brilliant AND beautiful — what a great idea.

  • Nice helpful tips here. Can’t wait to put them into practice this year. I love this time of year when everything is changing. Happy gardening!