The South West London Gardener

How can you make your Garden into a more sustainable place?

person planting seeds in garden

Make a difference to the environment with these easy steps that will get you and your family outdoors and active all year round. 

Start a herb/vegetable patch

The guests are in the kitchen, the food is cooking, how about a cocktail? Mojito with mint from the garden? Yes please. And what is in the oven… Vegetables from your own patch of green earth? Unthinkable. 

Not only would you be thoroughly impressing your guests with your green fingers, you would be saving the earth little by little. Negating your personal carbon footprint by not driving to the shops, you’d also be nullifying the carbon footprint of the suppliers who delivered the food to the shops. 

With a little bit of effort, you’ll be getting yourself in a win/win/win circumstance, with a mojito in your hands… What’s not to love?

Make your own compost

All the biodegradable food waste, all the clippings, all the bits and bobs that need discarding can soon be enriching your next season with a bounty of soil enhancing nutrients and microbiology.

An effective compost heap can really make a massive difference in the health of your garden for years to come. The more enriched your soil is, the better and easier it is to grow beautiful plants. 

This is also a great learning point if you have a family, especially children. The Compost heap has its own life, and using discarded biodegradable items can be a great tutoring in sustainability. 

Plant a tree

It sounds super simple, almost a no brainer… A mature tree will absorb massive amounts of carbon dioxide, at a rate of 48 pounds per year. In one year, an acre of forest can absorb twice the CO2 produced by a car’s annual mileage. 

Imagine if everybody that had enough space in their garden planted a tree. Not only would the world be looking a lot greener, but the planet would be thanking us. If you don’t think you have the space, check out this handy guide on what is best to plant. Sure you might not have room for a mighty Oak, but a Forest Pansy, a Red Cascade, or an Avondale might do.

Collect rainwater

The plants in your garden aren’t like you and me. We love crisp, clear water… Your plants want the opposite. They want the nutrient enriched rainwater that falls from the sky oh-too-often in the UK. 

This practice will reduce your water bill, as in summer you won’t be needing to turn the hose on. Having a water butt will also help out the local wildlife that are looking to rehydrate. If you have fish or koi in your garden, a water butt can also be a great breeding ground for daphnia that would enrich your koi’s diet. 

Look after your pollinators 

Old Mr. Bumble Bee needs to make ends meet. So don’t withhold any nectar from him! There are lots of low maintenance pollinator friendly options for your garden. 

Aim to have a good variance of different pollen-rich flowers for your garden. Preferably that will flower in different periods between early spring and late summer. The longer you have pollen-rich plants in your garden the better. 

Creating a bee house for solitary bees and insects is always a great idea too.

So what now?

Spring will soon be upon us. With new growth comes another year that you can potentially help your local environment. So get outside, get your hands dirty… and most of all, have fun.

And if you do need any help or advice in your garden, the team at The Southwest London Gardener are always ready to help solve all your gardening needs.