Image by Jeremy Levine Design used under Creative commons License.
A sustainable garden will not just save money and help to reduce the impact on the environment, it can also look great too. Here are some tips on how to redesign your garden to be more sustainable.
Use long lasting equipment
Take your shed, for example. Buying a metal shed will give you many more years of use than if a wooden one that is more likely to need regular maintenance. You can pick up long lasting metal sheds from supermarkets like Tesco. Even better, build your own shed from scrap metal to further increase sustainability. The same principle applies to your garden furniture. Choose long lasting materials or get someone else's cast offs and do them up yourself.
Reduce your lawn size
In a sustainable garden it is best to have a small lawn due to the amount of water and fertilizer that a large lawn requires to keep it healthy. Reducing the size of the lawn and replacing it with low growing shrubs or groundcovers will keep maintenance to a minimum. If you are happy to do it, getting rid of your lawn altogether would maximise the sustainability of your garden.
Grow your own food
Growing your own food not only makes your garden more sustainable, but also contributes to making your lifestyle more sustainable as well. By growing your own fruit, vegetables and herbs you know exactly what you are eating. There are crops that can be grown all year round so your growing beds will be in constant use. Just make sure you learn what to plant where and which crops you should rotate each year.
Composting is a must
Composting your cut grass, dried leaves, vegetable peelings etc. will mean that you can grow your own food in nutrient rich soil that hasn’t cost you a dime. Compost gives your plants and crops the best chance of growing healthily and reduces the amount of waste that is thrown away.
Don’t water your garden from the tap
Having garden that doesn’t require watering is obviously the best way to reduce your water usage but a garden with no plants will look a bit bare. But instead of turning on the hose, get yourself a rain barrel that will collect rainfall for you to use. Alternatively, you can use the water from where you have washed up your dishes (just make sure you use a washing soap that is biodegradable and suitable to put on your garden).
Reuse and recycle
Anything that you have in your garden that isn't ready for the scrap heap can be put to use. When designing your new sustainable garden, think outside the box. For example, instead of buying a rain barrel you could use adapt anything you have lying around that could catch rainwater.