Whilst we have tried to become a lot more proficient in recycling unwanted items and rubbish inside the home, when it comes to the garden, it can sometimes be a little more difficult to know what to do with your garden waste.
Not only will tackling your garden waste have beneficial consequences for the environment, but it’s also a great way of transforming your garden into a beautiful, green and wildlife-friendly space for you to enjoy spending time in.
The good news is, is that you don’t need to be gifted with green fingers to implement some simple changes. Also whilst the days are brighter and warmer, and the evenings longer, there really is no better time to have a go at reducing the waste in your garden.
Here are ten of our top tips to help you move towards a zero waste garden.
Composting is an effective way of turning home and garden waste into food for your garden.
Making your own compost may include garden waste such as grass cuttings, plants, leaves, hedge trimmings, as well as household waste such as uncooked fruit and vegetable peelings, tea bags, coffee grounds, egg shells etc.
The process usually begins by keeping these waste materials in a compost bin or enclosed heaped pile ideally covered to keep out the rain.
According to nidirect’s government services tips for composting, once the three types of organisms (fungi, bacteria and actinomycetes) start to develop, this will begin to break down the waste. The process which helps to generate heat assists in quickening the decomposition of waste.
‘Once the bacteria have used up all the starch and sugars, the temperature falls again, creating a better environment for the fungi, which then begins breaking down any woody material.’
Recycle old plant pots
If your garden has lots of old plant pots or trays lying around, then, if undamaged, try and use them again for new plants.
If, on the other hand, you find that you have too many pots to be able to utilise, try and see if your local recycling centre will take them. If not, it could also be worth contacting your local garden centre to see if they will accept them.
Preserving rainwater to use in your garden is another great tip for preventing waste. One of the best ways to do this as suggested in treehugger’s article is to harvest rainwater.
This could be as simple as collecting rainwater in barrels or buckets which you can then use to hydrate your garden.
Alternatively, you could even design your garden beds with rainfall and runoff in mind, and is an effective solution for preserving rainwater without having the hassle of building rainwater tanks.
The same article also suggests that ‘running the gutters on the house into mulched basins that can fill up and then slowly percolate the water into the soil’ is another way of conserving rainwater.
Table salt as a natural weed killer
Keeping on top of weeds in your garden can be quite a task, however using chemical weed killer isn’t always the friendliest solution for your garden.
Instead, why no try getting rid of weeds on your patio, pathways or driveway by using pure white rock salt or even food-grade table salt. When mixed with water and carefully poured as close to the weed’s route a possible, this is both a natural and effective way to kill weeds.
If you try this method, do be sure not to do it too close to the plants that you’re wanting to maintain.
Were you aware that the types of plants which grow in your garden can also contribute to the level of waste in your garden?
When sourcing plants which are best suited to thrive in the British climate and which require little maintenance, native plants are a great choice.
The benefit with native plants is that because they have been cultivated to grow in a particular location, this makes the plants a much more effective for proving shade, wind protection, wildlife habitats, not to mention the possibility to grow particular foods!
Protect your tools
As part of trying to reduce waste in your garden, it’s important not to overlook the fact that your tools will need cleaning and stored conveniently.
Metal tools, in particular, should be dried off before being put away, and as suggested in My Zero Waste’s blog, it’s sometimes good every so often to wipe over your tools with an oily rag to prevent them from rusting.
When purchasing new tools, it can be more cost-effective in the long run to spend more money on better quality tools which will be more durable and hard-wearing.
Create reusable plant labels
A very quick and simple tip for reducing waste could also be to make your own reusable plant labels.
You could try making plant labels using old plastic cups or plastic plant pots, as well as other household items which will be suitable to withstand the rain. This will help in cutting down on purchasing new plastic labels in an effort to help reduce waste.
Water-saving sprinkler systems
As useful as sprinkler systems are, they aren’t always the best tools for preventing water waste through the water evaporating and overspray.
However, by adjusting the rate of water flow and managing the times of the system more effectively, this can help to reduce water waste.
Installing a drip irrigation system is another way in which you can prevent waste and hydrate flower beds, trees and bushes more easily.
Through fitting the system into the soil where you want it to work at a slower speed and length of time, this is an effective way of watering your plants which can’t be reached as easily by your sprinkler.
Share wherever possible
If you find that you have unwanted or an excess amount of items for your garden, rather than throwing them in the bin, why not pass them on to a neighbour or friend?
Whether they’re old, unused garden tools or a bag of compost, the best way of getting rid of unwanted objects for your garden is to recycle them and give them a new home.
Hire one of our skips
Lastly, it’s important that if you are undergoing any work in your garden requiring waste to be removed that rather than going to a landfill, you hire a skip instead.
Our 2-yard skip is the ideal size for clearing smaller gardens, whilst our 4-yard skip is more convenient for larger gardens with more waste to remove.
Our team will dispose of your garden waste using the most effective method possible in an effort to help protect the environment. So if you can’t reuse or rehome your garden waste, then why not call Reds Skips and we will happily take care of your garden waste.