When it comes to building an eco-friendly garden, one of the biggest tricks is trying to get it to fit comfortably- maybe next to your shed. There are numerous ways to make your backyard more self-sustainable; not only by reducing waste, but also by becoming more reliant on renewable energy sources.
Transforming your backyard into an Eco-Friendly or better yet, environmentally positive garden is one of the best things you can do. Gardening is an activity that’s been proven time and time again to be mentally beneficial, relaxing and soothing. And a garden that reduces your environmental footprint? Small changes like that have a huge collective impact on the health of our planet, and it’s something we can all do!
Eco-friendly gardens can have many positive effects on the environment, such as helping with climate change at the most basic level by cutting energy use and reducing waste. But there’s more to it than just that, the CO2 filtering of your plants, and the positive impact of a biologically diverse environment growing right there in your backyard is often underestimated.
Here are 5 ways you can begin to transform your backyard into an eco-friendly garden
Your eco garden should be made to attract plenty of birds, mammals and bugs. While there are some bugs that can be harmful to plants, there are many beneficial bugs as well that help to reduce the bad bugs. Some of the bugs you want to attract to help minimise harmful pests include ladybugs, lacewings and ground beetles.
To attract wildlife, you should grow a variety of wildflowers to encourage beneficial bugs to lay eggs. Set up nesting boxes and even gorgeous stone bird baths to encourage birds into your backyard who will eat pests such as caterpillars, snails and slugs. There are heaps of easy bird-feeder projects you can that will also transform your backyard into a bird-watcher’s paradise.
A diverse range of plants will create a healthy garden. Certain combinations of plants complement each other by boosting their growth and vitality. Large plants can create shade for the sun-sensitive smaller plants, and certain plants can deter pests and may be beneficial to plant next to vegetables. Honestly, companion plants could have a book written about the concept (and there have been many!). But for now, here are some good companion plants to include in your garden:
- Roses and garlic
- Chives and tomatoes
- Carrot and spring onion
- Cucumber and dill
Although you can purchase soil from your local gardening shop, composing is a great way to supplement your garden’s soil. Composting is an easy way to give your eco-friendly garden the nutrients it needs while also being great for the environment and saving you money. Again, there are heaps of easy and cheap, or even free, home composting projects you can try. The feeling of throwing your food scraps and green waste into a compost setup rather than the trash is awesome.
Composting is essentially providing the perfect home for earthworms, who will process your green waste and food scraps into extremely nutrient rich soil for your garden. The benefits of using compost to feed your garden are endless, and if you’ve made the compost yourself- doubly so. In addition to nutrients to feed your plants, compost is generally perfectly aerated and the ideal ground for healthy plants.
Conserving water is an important part of eco-friendly gardens. Although your garden will need plenty of water, there are many ways to reduce how much you use:
- Plant native species
- Water in the evening to avoid evaporation
- Don’t over water
- Install an eco-friendly irrigation system
- Use grey water
- Collect rainwater from you residential shed roof
You may have realised by now that many of the items included in this article relate to recycling and reusing, which is the basis of being environmentally friendly. The water to feed your plants doesn’t have to be as clean as your drinking water, consider rinsing your dishes in a bucket of water first, and using that to water the garden! Or set up clever water traps to catch rainwater and send it straight to your plants!
Grow Fruits and Vegetables
An eco-friendly garden almost always has fruits and vegetables growing. Understanding the use of companion planting to reduce pests is a skill you’ll want to learn to avoid the use of chemicals on your fruits and vegetables. This will also reduce the risk of diseases. You don’t need a large area to grow your own fruits and vegetables. Even a small area can be plenty enough to get started! You can even consider using your residential shed wall as a support area to grow climbing plants such as grapes, beans and vine tomatoes- which also looks amazing!
Eating the fruits and vegetables grown in your very own, environmentally sustainable garden that you’ve built with recycled materials and grown with reused water and compost is a pretty special feeling, and one you won’t forget soon. It’s also really really easy, all you have to do is get started!