6 ways to create an eco-friendly garden

With the environment on everyone’s minds, now is the perfect time to find ways to breathe new life into your green spaces to help them flourish and thrive. Stick around while we share some of our top tips to create the perfect eco-friendly garden this summer.

Use sustainable materials and features

One of the easiest ways to help reduce your garden’s carbon footprint is to use materials or features that have been sustainably sourced. This could include:

  • Upcycling furniture – create quirky garden planters with old pieces you no longer need
  • Secondhand items – local markets and websites such as Ebay are great for finding unique furniture and garden features
  • FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) wood – anything with an FSC tag has been certified as sustainably sourced

Where possible, always try to buy local. As well as cutting on air miles, you’ll also be supporting local businesses.

Cut down on chemicals

The overuse of pesticides has had a devastating impact on insect populations, which also affects the rest of the food chain. You can employ several natural methods to keep your garden free from pests, including:

  • Environmesh netting to cover plants
  • Copper slug rings
  • Companion planting (more on this later!)
  • Garlic, elder or rhubarb in a spray to control bugs

Plant a tree

If you have the space, why not plant your own tree? Research shows that gardens with trees are much more attractive to wildlife than those without. Not only that, but trees can also help to create shaded areas and even reduce noise pollution.

Be water wise

In such climate-conscious times, conserving as much water as possible should be an essential in every garden. Some of the best ways to save water are:

  • Stop or minimise use of sprinkler systems – if it’s an essential to your garden, set it on a timer to prevent overuse
  • Use a water butt – make the most of the British weather by catching any rainwater to cut down on your tap water use
  • Use a drip irrigation system – one of the most efficient garden watering systems, designed to precisely release water to the roots of plants

Try a watering can – if you don’t want to invest in a more sophisticated system, a good old-fashioned watering can does the trick!

Try companion planting

Companion planting is all about creating plant communities which mutually benefit each other. It’s a great way to organically protect your crops from pests and can help to improve pollination of fruit and vegetable plants.

Top tips for companion planting:

  • Avoid monocultures – don’t grow too many of the same type of plant together as this makes it much easier for pests and diseases to spread
  • Plant herbs – their strong scents can help to repel pests
  • Use tall plants to shade crops prone to bolting – peas or sweet corn are great examples

Take care with fast-growing plants – some, such as mint, will grow quickly and might smother other crops.

Use peat-free compost

There has been a huge effort to phase out the use of peat – and rightly so. Mining peat unlocks stored carbon and, when spread in your garden, quickly turns into carbon dioxide before being released into the atmosphere.

Try using alternative peat-free composts or, better still, make your own! Creating your own compost is easy to do and is brilliant for your garden. Not only can you recycle garden and food waste to prevent it from going to landfill, but you can create a rich, moisture-retentive mulch too.

By taking on some of our eco-friendly garden tips, you’ll soon be on your way to create a wildlife paradise!