Zero waste gardening

Zero waste is far more than a phase or a buzz phrase. It’s a wave that is generations old and part of the norm in gardening circles and is now sweeping through the rest of our under pressure environment.

There are numerous little things we can all do to be a little greener in the garden and a little more friendly to nature. There’s loads we can also do to help under pressure pollinators who play such a critical role in gardening and the wider food chain.

Teresa’s top 10 tips for Zero Waste gardening:

1. Use manure-based fertilisers where possible. Alternatives such as Fast Grow are brilliant for anything and everything, particularly vegetables. Make sure you work it into the ground a little or pets will gobble it up otherwise.

Fastgrow fertiliser is made from Irish seaweed

2. If you want to dilute manure-based fertiliser, add two or three fistfuls to a watering can and let it stand overnight. Add a little extra water the next day and give your plants a good soak. This is faster acting than scattering it in dry form.

3. Organic tomato food encourages flowers and is great food for bedding plants. It also helps promote good foliage in plants. Dilute it and work it into the ground.

4. Stay away from chemicals where possible. They are gobbled up by plants and impact on insects landing on them

5. Instead of landfilling broken, old terracotta or ceramic pots, break them into small pieces and use them as rubble to prevent water logging in your new containers

Broken terracotta pots will improve drainage and reduce the weight of your containers

6. Use your organic cuttings from the house and garden to make your own compost as discussed in an earlier blog. This will reduce your need to landfill and provide you with a rich, nutrient-loaded feed for your plants at various times of the year.

7. You can also make your own compost area using pallets, cardboard, old carpet and rugs

8. In your vegetable garden, use cardboard instead of plastic or other covers to keep weeds down. You can cut out pieces if you’re planting and cover the surface with twigs to provide a mulch effect.

Cardboard is a great weedblock for the vegetable garden and will decompose into the ground in time. Photo credit: Pinterest

9. Use egg boxes for planting seeds. They are perfect seed trays and can be sown directly into the soil when ready to grow

10. If you do buy bits from your garden centre, recycle their packaging where possible.