Ten Commandments of Eco Gardening

As we move into the dog days of summer, and gardens, it's a good time to recall some green gardening tips that will save the garden, and the planet.
  • Thou shalt conserve water: gardeners have to conserve as much water as possible. Use a rain barrel to collect run-off rainwater throughout the year and recycle household "grey" water from baths. Watering deeply is better than little and often, as it encourages deep rooting. Only do it in the evening or early morning and direct the water at the soil rather than the leaves.
  • Thou shalt put the right plant in the right place: accept that what doesn't survive without extra help is unsuitable anyway.
  • Thou shalt not use peat: peat bogs are an essential part of the ecosystem and once they have been harvested, they are gone for ever. There are now so many excellent alternatives to peat that it has become impossible to justify its use in domestic gardens.
  • Thou shalt recycle garden waste: composting is the key to successful garden management.
  • Thou shalt reuse non-biodegradable products: re-use those plastic containers.
  • Thou shalt minimise the use of chemicals.

  • Thou shalt leave a messy bit: a pile of logs, long grass and fallen leaves are an ideal habitat for wildlife, providing bugs and animals somewhere to shelter, hibernate and reproduce.
  • Thou shalt use hard landscaping with sensitivity: it is worth considering where materials such as stone, timber and gravel have been sourced and looking at their impact on the environment.
  • Thou shalt use lighting responsibly: light pollution is irritating for neighbours, confuses birds and is a waste of electricity.
  • Thou shalt teach thy children where food comes from: If we are really going to change habits in the future, we have to tempt children away from their computers and televisions and inspire in them a genuine love of nature and respect for their planet. :: The Times
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