Gardening is a relatively environmentally friendly hobby, however, there are always ways to make this hobby even more environmentally friendly or sustainable. Gardening is a great hobby that helps people connect with nature and get outdoors more which helps boost moods and one’s well-being. Reducing rainwater runoff by collecting and reusing rainwater is a perfect way to make your garden even more eco-friendly. Here are some other ways you can make your garden and hobby sustainable:
Switch to permeable surfaces: Permeable surfaces are types of pavers, pavements, and other surfaces that allow stormwater to infiltrate the hardscape and is collected into a basin where it is released into the surrounding soil. Permeable surfaces, also known as pervious surfaces, can be used in various outdoor settings such as gardens, driveways, roads, walkways, and patios. By switching to permeable surfaces, rainwater runoff will be significantly decreased because water is able to seep into the ground, helping filtration and reducing water flowing into drains. Permeable surfaces such as decomposed granite will help soften the look of hardscapes and will add texture to your garden while creating a natural look, making it a good option. Other gravels like pea gravel work great too and come in many different colors and sizes.
Switch your turf: Traditional turf or sod requires a lot of water and soaks this water up. However, there are a lot of alternatives to traditional turf that won’t require as much water. Artificial turf is a good alternative because it doesn’t require water or any maintenance or fertilizing. Artificial turf is now able to fool your neighbors, and until they are up close they won’t ever know that your perfectly manicured lawn is artificial. However, not all artificial turf can be recycled, meaning that after it’s life is over, it will end up in the landfill leading to more waste. The good news about this is that there are some companies making recyclable artificial turf, which can be melted and reused for other products. Artificial turf does help reduce greenhouse gases since there is no maintenance required to care for your lawn unlike real lawn which requires a lot of attention. The lack of pesticides, herbicides and other fertilizers also make artificial turf less toxic than typical sod. With artificial turf, rain runoff is able to be reused and captured. Other turf alternatives include using groundcover plants such as thyme, that can be walked upon, and mimics the look of lawn.
Switch to eco-friendly irrigation systems: Drip irrigation, rain collection, and smart controllers are all irrigation systems that help reduce water and have a lot of benefits. Drip irrigation is a more efficient watering solution that delivers water straight to plants’ roots on a slow drip in order to save water. Using rainwater collection systems and greywater recycling helps reduce your water use in your garden. By using rain barrels to collect rain water, you can then recycle this water and use it to irrigate your yard. Smart irrigation controllers help to water your lawn or garden more efficiently. These controllers use weather forecast and soil data to detect the best time to irrigation your yard or garden. This will allow your garden to get adequately watered when necessary without wasting water.
4. Switch up your plants: Wildflowers are low-water and low-maintenance plants that can help beautify your landscape and garden while also making it more eco-friendly. Using native plants attracts natural pollinators to your garden and also helps the native ecosystem. Plus, this helps connect your landscape and garden to the larger ecosystem, increases the connection to wildlife, and decreases the need for additional water or maintenance. Low water plants are also sustainable plants since you can xeriscape your yard or garden. Furthermore, you can choose pollinator plants to attract native pollinators like bees, birds, and butterflies to your garden and this will help support native and local wildlife.
5.Switch to local and reusable materials: Try to choose long-lasting and locally sourced materials for your garden. Locally sourced material will help reduce carbon emissions since they will travel shorter distances to get to your garden. You can up-cycle pots or opt for material like stone that you can reuse for a multitude of purposes. These long lasting options can save you money while having a positive impact on the environment!
There are many other ways you can switch up your garden in order to make it more sustainable and eco-friendly. These are just a few tips that can also help you save time and money, and create a beautiful garden.