Hello how’s your garden (or window box) growing? Rain has limited gardening outside, so I’ve been sowing seeds & pottering about in the greenhouse. This has given me time to think about how I want the garden to look this year… & more specifically what else I can do to garden sustainably.
What can I re-use, how can I buy less plastic? It’s a big question & I know feels overwhelming to many gardeners. The best approach seems to be tackling a few things at a time, gradually these add up & make a huge difference.
Here’s 3 things to help you garden more sustainably:
Grow Some Herbs:
A few herbs in your garden will be there ready & waiting for most of the year & will taste so much better than shop-bought ones.
Plastic wrapped supermarket herbs are well-travelled, clocking up many miles before they reach your kitchen.
Buy small plants from garden centres. Plant them into slightly bigger pots or directly into your garden & they’ll be the last herbs you have to buy.
Right Plant Right Place:
You can probably work this out, & you keen gardeners out there will know the phrase well.
It’s generally been used to help you find the right plant for the conditions in your garden. Simply put, don’t bother planting lavenders in heavy, damp, soil in the shade.
Watching a plant gradually fade away is disheartening & expensive, but these days, choosing the right plants is also a way of making sure you don’t increase the size of your carbon footprint. It reduces all those visits to garden centres for supplies of plants & compost, all wrapped in plastic.
This does need a bit of planning, & a will of steel when you visit the garden centre & see everything temptingly laid out, but buying the right plant for the particular conditions in your garden makes sense now, on all fronts.
Indulge me in a small plug here, it will be useful I promise, I co-wrote a book about planting design a while back with lots of information about how to choose the right plants. Find it here.
Make paper pots for seedlings:
A nice mindless (or should that be mindful) task. Made from brown paper or newsprint, thats shaped round a bottle, they can be planted straight into the soil when the seeds are ready to go outside. The paper gradually decomposes. Packing them snugly into a seed-tray keeps them in place.
I’ll just keep using the plastic pots I already have for seedlings, there are never enough at this time of year, so paper pots are a great solution.
The base of a wine bottle is a good shape to form them round, it’s not necessary to buy special wooden forms. Find out how to make them on The Gardeners Website here
What are your tips for sustainable gardening, post a comment & let us know.
all photos: Jill Anderson