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Eco gardening ideas and tips

[ecis2016.org] Eco gardening refers to gardening with the goal of sustainability and conservation of resources, by avoiding chemicals and opting for reducing, reusing, and recycling.

What is eco gardening?

Eco gardening refers to the process of using natural resources and processes, to build a garden that benefits the environment rather than harming it.

You are reading: Eco gardening ideas and tips

Eco gardening ideas and tips 

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Eco gardening ideas and tips

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Ecogardening also includes making compost and curtailing the use of chemical pesticides. An eco friendly garden all about giving back to mother nature by using organic methods and enjoying non-chemical fruits and veggies.

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Benefits of eco gardening

Eco gardening ideas and tips

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Eco gardening has various environmental and health benefits. Eco gardens give peace of mind and help relax. By using fewer or no pesticides and chemical fertilisers, eco gardening becomes beneficial to the environment as kitchen waste is converted into compost.

Eco gardening ideas and tips 

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This allows the nutrient-rich soil and diverse mix of plants to create an ecosystem that helps the surrounding environment, replenishes the soil, helps prevent erosion and nurtures an environment for birds and bees. Due to organic components, such gardens flourish in a nutrient-rich bed that produces non-toxic and healthier fruits and vegetables.

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How to make compost for eco gardening

Eco gardening ideas and tips 

Eco gardening ideas and tips

Read also : Tips to get your home summer-ready

 

Healthy topsoil is key to a blooming eco-garden. Instead of synthetic fertilisers, eco-friendly gardens use organic matter in the form of compost and mulch, as well as all-natural fertilisers when needed. One of the best ways to nurture sustainable gardening is to compost the garden and kitchen waste. Take dried leaves, dried grass, vegetable peels, eggshells any other wet waste and put them in a compost pile to turn them into a source of nutrition for the garden. The compost encourages the growth of microorganisms that aerate the soil, promote plant growth by breaking down material, keep the soil moist, minimise the spread of plant disease and provide a substitute for chemical fertilisers.

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Eco-friendly vegetable garden

Eco gardening ideas and tips

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A part of reducing your carbon footprint is to grow your food. Use the garden space to grow fruits, vegetables and herbs. Most people think that the backyard or the terrace are the only options for a vegetable eco garden. However, one can also use the windowsill to grow vegetables.

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One can easily grow microgreens such as radish, mustard, kale, amaranth, beetroot, wheatgrass, basil, buckwheat and sunflower. A few hours of sunlight are needed for fruits and veggies but they provide fresh ingredients for cooking. In an eco garden, one can easily grow tulsi, mint, kadi patta, chillies, lemongrass, ginger, turmeric and spinach. If there is space, grow cabbage, cauliflower, capsicum, okra, radish, onions, tomatoes, guava, pomegranate and pineapple.

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Eco gardening green pots

Eco gardening ideas and tips

Eco gardening ideas and tips

Read also : Tips to get your home summer-ready

 

Eco gardening ideas and tips

Read also : Tips to get your home summer-ready

 

To set up an eco-garden avoid plastic pots. Reuse wooden containers, glass jars, plastic bottles, old tyres, teapots or tin containers creatively. Cut-off the base and use them as mini planter pots that are perfect for small herbs and succulents. Choose terracotta pots, stone pots, or eco-friendly pots made of jute, rice hulls, wood, fibre and bamboo, along with starch-based natural binding agents that are water-soluble and biodegradable. Use cardboard egg cartons or cardboard boxes as containers for your indoor seedlings.

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Eco gardening design ideas

Eco gardening ideas and tips

Eco gardening ideas and tips

Read also : Tips to get your home summer-ready

 

Eco gardening ideas and tips 

A well-designed eco garden should be largely made of recycled and reused material. It must have an efficient irrigation system and an apt selection and position of plants. In a spacious eco garden plant trees for shade and to cool your home in the summer. Try decreasing the lawn space to reduce the energy needed to maintain it. Instead of a huge lawn, convert a part of it in to a perennial wildflower meadow or species-rich space. Go for mixed borders with trees and shrubs to provide a sheltered habitat for birds. A small pond would help the environment as they are considered ecological hotspots for diversity. You can also add fishes in the pond. When designing an eco-friendly garden opt for suitable companion planting. For example, plant garlic and roses together. Garlic is a natural pest repellent for roses. Carrots and spring onions grow well together. The onion scent stops carrot root flies from causing damage and the carrot scent prevents onion flies from coming too close.

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Choose native plants for eco gardening

Eco gardening ideas and tips 

Eco gardening ideas and tips

Read also : Tips to get your home summer-ready

 

Include native plants (which occur naturally where you live) in your eco gardening setup as these grow better and encourage pollinators. Native insects evolve alongside native plants as do native birds and wildlife.

Instead of using exotic plants, plant local varieties of trees, vegetables and flowering plants. These are easier to grow and are more eco-friendly as they require fewer chemical fertilisers and pesticides. They can also prevent water run-off and improve air quality. Native plants and trees in India include tulsi, aloe vera, methi, marigold, hibiscus, jasmine, brinjal, cabbage, chillies, pepper, banyan, gulmohar and neem.

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Reuse water and save rainwater for eco gardening

Eco gardening ideas and tips

Eco gardening ideas and tips

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Eco gardening involves using water consciously. Instead of wasting rainwater, install a water tank that maximises roof run-off and redirects it into the garden. In a spacious garden consider an underground rain tank. There are various tanks and water harvesting systems available for even the smallest of gardens. Avoid throwing pots full of water down the drain after you have steamed or boiled veggies. They are full of nutrients and can be reused as fertiliser. Use water from unfinished water glasses and water bottles to water your plants.

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Organic pesticides for eco gardening

Eco gardening ideas and tips

Pesticides can harm the environment and contaminate soil, water and other vegetation. This can prove toxic to many organisms, including birds, insects, plants, fish and even domestic animals. Turmeric powder has natural bactericidal and antifungal properties. Spray it on the leaves to protect them from flies and ants. To protect plants in an eco-garden use organic neem oil extract to repel harmful bugs. 10 ml of neem oil can be mixed with a few drops of liquid soap and warm water and sprayed onto the plants. Make a paste of chillies, a clove of garlic and a small piece of ginger and add it to one litre of water. Use only 4-5 drops of the liquid to prevent bug infestation. Overdosage of chillie and ginger can cause inflammation in the plant leaves so be careful about the quantity.

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Eco gardening light ideas

Eco gardening ideas and tips

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Eco-conscious gardening also means consuming less energy. Go for LED lights or solar-powered hanging lights as they are inexpensive and energy-efficient. Natural eco-friendly materials and hanging lights can create a vibrant accent in the garden. Bamboo, jute and recycled glass bottles can be creatively used for garden lights.

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Incorporate a green wall in eco garden

Eco gardening ideas and tips

Add a lovely green wall and a vertical garden to enhance the beauty of the eco-garden. Grow herbs and flowers using containers and planters. Vertical gardens function as natural air filters. It creates a clean and healthy environment and helps reduce the carbon footprint of a building by filtering pollutants and carbon dioxide and improving the air quality.

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Tips for eco gardening

Eco gardening ideas and tips

Read also : Tips to get your home summer-ready

 

  • Plants need light to thrive so be aware of the sunlight. If the sunlight is too dim, plants tend to grow lanky and lose their colour. Place them according to their need for sunlight.
  • Cut off healthy portions at the node and use these to create new plants for your garden.
  • Plants require space to flourish. However, in a small space continued growth can lead to crowding. Evaluate the space and reallocate the plants at their sapling stage.
  • Use mulch to reduce water loss. Regularly mulch the plants by adding dry leaves. Mulch helps enrich the soil, keep moisture, protect the roots and prevent soil erosion.
  • Watering should be done as per the condition of the plant and the season to avoid flooding and mould creation.

Eco gardening ideas and tips 

Read also : Tips to get your home summer-ready

 

  • Avoid cutting down everything in the fall as dead plants and hollow stems become homes for pollinators and insects.
  • Grow plants that are attractive to pollinating insects.

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Eco gardening ideas and tips

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  • Opt for natural and locally sourced landscaping material.

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Eco gardening ideas and tips

Read also : Tips to get your home summer-ready

 

  • Keep water for birds (and insects) in a shallow dish, bowl or birdbath.
  • Push lawn mowers are environment-friendly and give you exercise.

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Eco gardening ideas and tips

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  • Create seating from recycled material. Tyres may be fabricated and put together to provide a comfortable seating arrangement.

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FAQs

How can I make eco-friendly garden flooring?

Choose pavers made from recycled materials for permeable paving that allows water to drain into the soil. Use recycled plastic moulds filled with resin-bonded gravel. Opt for local natural stones as they are environment friendly. For pathways, consider natural or recycled materials such as chipped wood or bark and crushed brick.

How does saving seeds from the garden help the environment?

Saving and sharing home-grown, organic seeds can be great for eco gardening. Pepper, cucumber, basil pumpkin, coriander and tomato seeds can easily be dried and stored for later plantations. Tomatoes, peppers, beans and peas have self-pollinating flowers and seeds that require little or no special treatment before storage. Saving seeds helps to preserve genetic diversity and has a positive ecological impact.

Why are butterflies important in an eco garden?

A majority of plants need pollinators like butterflies and bees to reproduce. Butterflies are important pollinators. They are attracted to bright flowers and feed on nectar. Their bodies collect pollen and carry it to other plants. This helps in increasing biodiversity.

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Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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