Now that COP26 has drawn to a close, it might have given you some food for thought about how you can help do your bit to reverse climate change. We all know that something needs to change, but it can be difficult to see how you can make a change as an individual.
Luckily, there is plenty you can do in your garden – and it doesn’t have to cost the earth or take a lot of effort. Read our 6 ways to be a sustainable gardener and do your bit for the planet.
1. Collect your rainwater
One of the easiest things you can do to be more environmentally-friendly in your garden is to collect rainwater. A 210 litre water butt with a tap can cost as little as £30, and you’ll have a nearly never-ending supply of water to water your garden with without ever using the hosepipe.
You can buy standalone water butts, but the best thing to do to get a constant supply is to connect it to your roof’s downpipe so the water that drains off your roof goes straight into the butt. Simply turn the tap and fill up your watering can!
2. Use the no-dig method
For years, gardeners have been told to till the soil and dig through to remove weeds and prepare for planting. But recently, organic gardeners have been spreading the word about the no-dig method.
The no-dig method is exactly as it sounds – you don’t dig the soil! Digging disrupts the soil life, including micro-organisms and worms that do so much to feed plant roots, so by leaving it alone you can end up with more thriving plants.
To clear a growing area of weeds or to create a new bed you’ll need lots of organic matter (like PlantGrow), and light-excluding material like cardboard. Lay sheets of the cardboard on the ground until the area is completely covered before adding a deep layer of organic mulch. The cardboard will block out the lights and weaken the weeds over around 6 months, by which time you’ll have rich soil that you can easily pull roots out of.
3. Plant companion plants
Companion planting refers to planting plants that need one another together. You’ll see it in forests – plants that depend on each other for survival will grow near each other.
Companion planting keeps the soil healthy as you’ll reduce the space left between plants that can lead to erosion. If you’ve got a garden full of plants, it’ll also stop weeds from growing – which is a welcome side effect for any gardener! A full garden will also attract the much-needed pollinators to come and collect the pollen. You’ll also be able to provide shade and support for other plants; tall plants will support your smaller plants, and trees will help vines to grow without any man-made support.
4. Plant for pollinators
Every year we see fewer bees, butterflies and other insects in our gardens. The main reason for this is that their habitats are being lost by new building developments. You can help slow and even reverse the decline of bees, hoverflies, moths and many more pollinators by including a range of native, near-native and exotic plants in your garden.
5. Grow your own flowers
Did you know that some imported flowers have up to ten times the carbon footprint of home- or UK-grown flowers? Grow your own flowers for cutting and arranging in your home, just like our PlantGrow Champion Brigitte does, and you’ll be saving up to 8kg of carbon per bunch – not a small thing if you often buy flowers from the supermarket.
6. Use natural, peat-free products
One of the most important things you can do as a gardener to help reduce climate change is to switch to peat-free products. Peatlands are the world’s largest carbon stores and they act as sponges which drastically reduce the risk of flooding. They also provide valuable habitats for lots of different plants and animals.
When peat is removed for our composts and other gardening products, it disturbs the carbon and releases it into the atmosphere. If we kept all the peat in the world in bogs, it would hold more carbon than all the world’s forests put together – which is vital in reducing the risks of climate change.
Luckily, all of PlantGrow’s products are naturally peat, chemical and animal product free. Our patented anaerobic process enables bacteria to rot down crops and create nutrient-rich, fertile material that produces excellent results in your garden. Gardeners that use PlantGrow report higher yields of fruit and vegetables and longer-flowering plants and blooms, all with 100% natural products that leave no trace on the environment.
Whether you decide to try some or all of these tips for being more sustainable in the garden, you’ll be making a difference – and if everyone does their bit, we can help reverse climate change.