Home composting is rapidly becoming more popular and is a great way to do your bit for the environment – as well as creating some perfect garden fertiliser for free!
Low cost compost bins are available from many local authorities and it’s an activity the whole family can get involved in.
The secret to making good compost is all in the mix.
Wet materials such as grass cuttings, fruit and veggie peelings that rot quickly are known as ‘greens’. These need to be mixed with dry items such as cardboard, egg boxes and leaves, known as ‘browns’. Aim for a mix of 50% greens and 50% browns… then just give it time. If your compost tends to be wet and sludgy, add more browns. If it is too dry bring in more greens.
Materials you can place in your compost bin include:
All uncooked vegetables and peelings (eg potatoes, carrots, parsnips, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber)
All uncooked fruits and peelings (eg banana skins and flesh, apples, melon skins, oranges)
Grass cuttings and garden clippings
Egg shells (not raw egg)
Brown box and egg boxes (broken up into small pieces)
Do not compost:
Raw fish waste
Garden weeds (such as dandelions)
Bottles and cans
Cat litter and pet waste
Growing your own vegetables
There’s nothing more satisfying than picking delicious, fresh vegetables from your garden, ready to eat. Carrots, potatoes, onions, fruits and salads can all be grown from the smallest of plots – and the children love them too!
Before you get started, it’s best to prepare your ‘growing area’ and write out a time plan for when seeds need to be planted and crops harvested. Choose a sunny spot and break up the soil to improve drainage. When preparing the ground, split the plot into several sections to make it easier to manage and rotate crops. Use Dunweedin’ landscape chippings to mark out walkways between the growing areas.
Use a good home compost, and prepare soil beds that are 20cm – 30cm deep, and not too wide (so you can reach the middle of each bed). Ask advice from your garden centre about the right tools for you – there are many different labour-saving devices available to make gardening as comfortable and easy as possible.
Once you have done the groundwork… you are ready to start!
Vegetables tend to be grown from seed – and salad crops, sown from April time, make a tasty summer time treat.
The perfect way to enjoy your garden and make it work for you!
Cutting down on the amount of water we use both in the garden and indoors is an important way to look after the environment. There are alternatives to the hosepipe when your plants need watering.
Household water that has been used for washing vegetables and dish water (that doesn’t contain chemicals) can help drench your shrubs and borders.
Using a recycled landscape chipping, such as Dunweedin’ can transform your borders, patios and pathways – and helps retain moisture within the soil for longer.
If you do need to use a hosepipe, choose one with a nozzle which can help control the flow and direct water more carefully.
By investing in a rain butt, you can have a ready made supply of water for your garden.
Also, think about using plants that like dry conditions – you can create a beautiful garden full of grasses and herbs.
Go on – have some fun!
Time to Recycle, Recycle, Recycle!
Using your garden to make a positive difference to the environment can be rewarding… and great fun too!
It’s easy to start recycling in the garden – whether it’s re-using household items… or choosing 100% recycled garden products.
Dunweedin’, a stunning range of colourful garden chippings, is a great example of a recycled product. The chippings are made from recycled rubber tyres – so, as well as offering a new design idea, they also help to solve a very serious problem of how to dispose of the growing numbers of disused tyres generated by motorists.
Given that gardeners appreciate the great outdoors, it’s worth seeking out garden products that don’t damage the environment – and supporting alternatives that use recycling.
If you are looking to recycle, there are also plenty of things around the home that can be revived for the garden:
Old CDs can help scare birds away from your seedlings.
Old plastic containers can be used as planters or cloches.
Broken egg shells sprinkled around your plants can deter slugs and snails.
Use hedging plants – rather than fencing.