A Gardening New Year
January is the perfect time to start planning what to do with your garden in 2022, and what better way to begin than by committing to some New Year’s resolutions?
1. Reduce your use of plastic
Plastic is a major component in the garden, from plastic plant pots and seed trays to watering cans, and compost bins. Most plastic gardening equipment will end up in landfills, where plastic pots alone can take up to 500 years to decompose. There are a few easy swaps you can make in going plastic-free:
Only buy biodegradable pots that are made from natural materials such as coir, bamboo, wood chips, or use paper pots.
Plastic plant labels might be convenient, but they are very difficult to recycle. Simply reuse wooden lollipop sticks.
If you use plastic string, make the swap for a natural jute or hemp, and protect your fruits and vegetables with metal mesh instead of plastic netting – it lasts for years.
2. Go organic
There are many benefits to organic gardening – avoiding pesticides means providing a safe source of food for pollinators, and avoiding any potential toxic effects on your own health and that of the environment.
For pest control, use copper rings around your plants to naturally repel slugs, and a fine metal gauze over fruits or vegetable crops to deter flies, caterpillars, and birds. Instead of pesticide sprays, try neem oil, which is biodegradable and nontoxic to pets, birds, fish, and other wildlife. It’s effective against common pests, as well as being a natural fungicide to combat mildew and other fungal infections on plants.
3. Investing in a rainwater butt will pay dividends
Watering plants correctly is fundamental to a thriving garden, and you can improve the health of your garden simply by using rainwater. Connect a rainwater butt to a downpipe to collect the rain that we will likely have over the coming months, to water your garden in spring. The PH of rainwater is naturally more suitable for plants than tap water, especially if you live in an area with hard water as we do here. Also it will help to cut your water bills
4. Get composting
If you don’t compost already, make it a priority in 2022. Compost is invaluable to a healthy garden as it speeds up the natural recycling of nutrients, as well as providing wildlife with much-needed shelter during winter months. A compost heap or a hotbin shoul’d be in every garden
Nestle a bench in your favourite spot in the garden to sit and appreciate its beauty. Remember you are Gardening, not farming and enjoying your garden should be your main aim.