Aimee Brett is not employed by, for any company, consult, or has shares in or receive any funding from any business or organization which could benefit from this piece, and has not disclosed any affiliations outside of their academic institution.
Nottingham Trent University offers financial aid as part of The Conversation UK.
A beautiful garden may have a negative impact on the environment. The chemicals we employ to get rid of bugs and weeds are based on fossil fuels and could harm wildlife.
It doesn’t need to be a burden that causes guilt. It can actually be an empowering action of eco-conscious slackness.
It’s not possible to solve every problem in the world by acquiring a piece of land. However, there are a few easy things you can do that, if only you put them off can help the wildlife and the environment.
So stop being so tidy. Say goodbye to pesticides and herbicides.
Lazier gardening has many benefits. It can aid in reducing the carbon footprint of your garden and also decrease the chance that flooding could occur..
However, it’s not the only thing. In the world insects are declining because of global warming as well as changes in how land is utilized and managed. Poorly maintained gardens may become a sanctuary for these vital creatures.
The same insects provide essential food sources to hungry birds. One blue tiny chick is able to consume up to 100 caterpillars every day.
Conserve carbon in the soil
Exposed soil by digging causes the carbon in it to release. It may also alter the soil’s structure, making the soil more fertile.
If you’re worried about the environmental impact of carbon that escapes out of your soil (in addition to the work that goes into digging, planting and weeding) then it might be worth putting in perennial plants and vegetables that will last for a long time, instead of plants that only endure for only one season before they end up dying.
There will always be soil disturbances as you work your beds – especially when you’re first putting in your crop. However, using perennial crops can lessen this disturbance, and have the added benefit of using less time.
Planting a soft fruit bushes as well as strawberries will mean that with some effort, you will be able to harvest fruits every year. If you have room, it is also possible to consider planting asparagus and utilizing strawberries as a partner crop that is planted between them to control the weeds and keep your soil well-watered.
Fennel plants are re-seeding each year they produce beautiful flowers as well as edible seeds, as long as you don’t pick the bulbous stems. Globe artichoke is another alternative to spice up your summer dinners. Make sure you leave some blooms since this can provide pollen for butterflies and bees later in the season.
Read more: Bees and hoverflies are key to growing more fruit and veg in cities — new research
That said, annual plants do have their benefits, too. These plants add organic matter to the soil as they die off each year and should reseed to come again. But, if you have to constantly dig over the bed and replant from scratch, then this will have an environmental, energy and financial cost.