The value of most homes and the lifestyle of the residents is increased by the addition of a beautiful garden. However, these days it is important to implement sustainability practices, so the garden helps to reduce the carbon footprint of the house rather than increasing it. Gardens and lawns look lovely and enhance your lifestyle, but are notorious for using up lots of water. They also need fertiliser and pesticides to ensure your plants are not eaten up by pesky insects.
Both fertiliser and pesticides tend to get washed into the waterways and in many cases kill things they were not meant to harm. A case in point is the beautiful corals that die due to fertilisers being washed into the ocean. But by using sustainable methods, such harm can be eliminated. Here’s how.
Minimise water usage
- It is easy to minimise the amount of water needed by choosing drought hardy plants for the garden. This will reduce your water costs and save time spent in watering the garden.
- Using organic mulch will help prevent the soil from drying out, again reducing the amount of water needed. It also keeps the ground cooler in the hot summer, a fact that many plants love.
- Choosing the kind of lawn grass that is drought hardy is also important because most lawns need lots of water to keep them green. Do your research to find what grass is suitable for your area that does not need constant watering.
- Setting up an irrigation system that only waters when the sensors tell it the ground is dry is another way to reduce water use.
Reduce fertiliser use
- Australian native species do not require too much fertiliser, so choosing these plants or others like them will reduce the need for fertilisers.
- Again, organic mulch is good not only to conserve moisture, but because it gradually breaks down and supplies natural nutrients for your plants.
- Artificial fertilisers cause an unnatural quick growth that is green and sappy and very attractive to insect pests, so it is better avoided.
Pesticides do more harm than good
- Healthy plants grown organically are less likely to suffer from disease and so the need for poisonous substances to control the disease is reduced.
- Consider companion planting where you grow plants that repel certain insect pests next to those that are susceptible to them.
- Choose home remedies for garden pests rather than spraying poisons around the garden.
Snails can be picked off plants early in the morning while there is still dew. Crush them underfoot or place in a tin and cover with hot water. This will keep some poisons out of the