A lot of people love to feature their gardens as simply beautiful places, with a lot of sun and shine, and plenty of plants that carry the wow factor. But your garden can be so much more than that!
Starting a garden takes some work. However, it’s not impossible to manage when you have some proper research and a bit of gardening prep on your hands! Here are some tips to get you started.
1. Strategically Plant Trees
Trees are good for absorbing all kinds of things, such as carbon dioxide in the air, and the sun’s rays during the most exposed times of the year. And because of this, it’s a good idea to buy some saplings and cultivate them, to ensure they’re growing steady, ready to soak up what could be potentially harmful for your garden in the years to come.
Trees are very good at taking carbon from the surrounding environment and storing it for use in the soil below. Not only does this help to keep the emissions of your household low, but it also helps the plants in the beds below grow much better. However, some trees are better at this than others, so make sure you know your species before you get to digging holes for them.
Plus, if you want to spend time out in your garden, but you hate having to contend with the overbearing sunshine that makes you too warm way too quickly, those trees you’ve planted are going to change everything! The summer’s in your house could be much cooler too, because they’ll keep the sun from baking your walls and making your living room or bedroom feel like a sauna when you’re just trying to relax.
2. Work on Your Irrigation
Watering is a very integral part of gardening, and when it comes to creating a sustainable, ever growing garden, you can’t just rely on your own time and memory. There are going to be some days you can’t water the plants, and some days where you won’t even be in, and that means you need to set up an irrigation system in your garden to keep all of your plants well watered, breathing, and growing.
Of course, a lot of work goes into this. You’re going to need to invest in quite a few materials, or an irrigation system kit you can buy, then dig a few trenches, and with a bit of trial and error, you’ll come out the other side with a proper, long lasting irrigation system. Indeed, you might want to start with looking up element such as swiftdrain aco trench drains for a bit of design and material inspiration.
Take some time to plan; draw out where you’re going to need an irrigation system to reach most of all. Be sure to keep things small in the initial stages, and focus on one bed or two to test out your ideas on – you’re most likely going to be using a drip irrigation system here, so get to know how one works.
3. Set Up a Compost Heap
A compost heap is very much the main cornerstone of setting up a sustainable garden. This way you can put all of your gardening waste, and any kitchen food scraps, to much better use down the line in fertilizing your garden for the future. Not to mention just how good this is for the environment in general, seeing as green waste heading off to landfill is what pushes our carbon footprints up to insane levels!
Now, depending on the size of your garden, you’re going to need one of two heap designs here – either as a ‘three bay bin’ for a large garden, or an average sized bin for medium to small homes; you can build these yourself, or buy them directly from the store. Either one works, depending on the time you have on your hands.
Once you’ve got a compost heap to make use of, you can compact your waste down to a nice paste or mulch, which will allow you to spread an organic and nutritious substance all over your flower or planting beds. For a sustainable garden, you’ll want to use compost at all times, rather than pebbles (as they are inorganic) or store bought mulch or fertilizer, as you can’t be sure what’s gone into these mixes.
4. Keep the Produce Organic
Speaking of keeping your garden organic, the same goes for the produce you’re planning to grow as well. You’re going to be using non toxic products on your plants, and that’s going to ensure only organic, perfectly natural produce is coming out of your raised beds. Be sure to have a thorough read of the ingredients of any store bought fertilizers, weed killers, or bug sprays that you’re interested in.
You are building a sustainable garden after all, and while you can cut corners in a couple of areas, this should not be a practice carried out in the long term. For example, if you do suffer with a lot of weeds in your garden, it’s best to find out where they’re likely to grow, and either block them off from doing so, or contain them in a small section of your garden.
But most of all, don’t worry about how organic your food is, and if it could be better. After all, you’re growing it at home, and bringing it straight into your kitchen to be used in your meals. There’s absolutely no traveling involved other than a few footsteps, and that massively cuts down on both the emissions given out and the burning of fossil fuels during travel that harm the environment as a whole.
5. Bring More Bugs to Your Garden
Bugs in the garden are a good sign! It’s very important to remember this, as a lot of people simply see bugs as nuisances, and that they need to be gotten rid of. And of course, they can chew through your cabbages and make your carrot patch look like a right mess, but bugs are incredibly useful to the ecosystem of your garden, and it’s time to listen to them, and try to attract more of them to your garden.
One of the best things to do, in order to attract bugs, and ensure you’ve made it as a sustainable gardener, is to plant a diverse range of flowers, vegetables, trees, and fruits. Not only does this increase the rate of wildlife in general, but it’s also very nice to be able to pick a pear off a tree one day and then sit down for a home grown salad the next!
But getting back to the bugs on this, known as an ‘insectary’, you’re going to want to plant at least 7 different plant species within a plot or line of garden pots. Do this at least twice within your garden, and watch it change for the better! Don’t forget, these plants need to have varying heights among them, and can be anything from regular herbs you’d find in the kitchen, to more refined plant palettes, used in baking or for medicinal purposes.
Are You Ready to Get Started on Your Sustainable Garden?
Because more and more people need to prioritize this in their lives. It’s best to have a garden that birds and bugs alike love to visit, and to be able to bring in potatoes and tomatoes and lettuce on summer evenings to have for dinner. Not only is it good and healthy for you, but it’s extremely healthy for the environment around us. And if you’re someone who’s worried about the carbon footprint you’re living with, building a sustainable, ever growing garden is the best way to offset it.
So hopefully you’ll keep the above tips and tricks in mind, when trying to build up the sustainable gardening plot of your dreams. It’s important to do a bit more research of your own, and even feel free to join your local gardening community – you might even get some free seeds or cuttings out of it!