What is organic gardening? And can it really help us towards a greener lifestyle?
If you are interested in green living and you are lucky enough to have a garden - or even a back yard - then gardening organically is for you!
This section of Greenfootsteps.com looks at why organic gardening is so environmentally friendly and explores some methods of "green" gardening. Even if you still use the occasional chemical fertiliser, there are still lots of ways in which you can make your garden greener - both literally and environmentally speaking!
Click here to go straight to the articles.
First, a little about organic gardening and why it is more environmentally friendly.
A garden which is eco-friendly is a delight at any time of the year. It is buzzing with life and activity and you know that you are doing a bit towards the health of the planet. If you want to do more "green living", try organic gardening!
Gardening using organic methods is not particularly hard. If you take advantage of well-adapted species and use plenty of good old-fashioned gardening techniques you can have a thriving, lovely garden in a shortish time.
Yes, it does take time... but it's enjoyable, relaxing and healthy exercise in the open air. And you may feel inspired to grow some of your own crops, too, and so cut down your food miles! You can read lots of articles on how to grow vegetables and salad crops in the Grow Food section. And don't forget to check out the Orchard section if you would like to grow fruit.
The pictures of flowers on this page show flowers grown solely with organic methods. No artificial fertilisers or pesticides of any description were used to grow them.
|Cornflower self-seeded in autumn is in full flower in June||Marigold are wonderful companion plants as they bring valuable insects|
|Comfrey is beautiful, helps fertility and attracts the bees||Poppies are easy to grow and often self-seed freely|
Many species of birds, animals and insects rely on being able to travel and find suitable habitats as they go. They use places such as gardens as stop-overs on their journeys between their more permanent bases.
As humans make it their business to colonise and ‘own’ more and more of the earth’s surface, many species are increasingly being squeezed out. Many creatures find themselves marooned in areas of their natural habitat which are cut off from other such areas - cut off by roads, houses, urban sprawl, building sites or industrial complexes.
Picture: Even weed seeds can be valuable for wildlife.
Communities of wildlife – butterflies for example, get more and more stranded in small communities so finding a mate, or even enough food to live and breed becomes a problem.
This is where we come in.
By making our gardens and back yards friendly to wildlife we can help struggling populations of birds, insects and small animals. We can provide food and shelter for wildlife which helps them get from one bio-friendly area to another.
We can do this wherever we live in the world (well almost!), from temperate and cool climates to tropical zones. If you plan a garden using mainly natural, organic and non-toxic products, you will reap the benefits – and so will your local wildlife .
Ok, maybe you don’t much want to help the bears or the rats. (In some parts of Eastern Europe bears regularly raid dustbins.)
But you can do a lot to provide a corridor along which butterflies, moths, hoverflies and birds can travel and you can enjoy seeing and hearing them as they use the space you help provide.
Here is a quick get-you-started list of ways to make your garden more wildlife friendly:
(There are more details of many of these things in this section of the site.)
Picture below: Crabapples in the snow, ready to eat. Blackbirds love them.
Other related pages:
For planting, sowing and growing tips for the different vegetables (mainly easy ones!) please see How to grow a vegetable garden and the articles listed there.
There are more related articles in the Frugal Living section.
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