Easy Tips to Create a Thriving Ecosystem in Your Garden
Guest Post by: Jade Piper, writer and environmentalist
Fighting for the environment’s future can seem bleak and a lost cause at times, with climate change, the prevalence of deforestation, and the rampant pollution of almost anything we can think of.
But believe it or not, creating a healthy and thriving ecosystem in your garden is one of the easiest ways to help the environment. So even if you only have a tiny backyard garden at home, know that every little effort you make makes a difference.
This article shares five impactful but straightforward ways to achieve an eco-friendly garden that’s also kinder to our planet. So keep on reading to learn everything you need to know!
- Plant Pollinator Plants
Attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies is a cornerstone of an eco-friendly garden. Unfortunately, the alarming decline of honeybees, both wild and domestic, and it’s devastating consequence on human food production have made headlines worldwide in the past years.
According to Green Peace, 70 out of the top 100 human food crops, which provide the majority (90%) of the world’s nutrition, are pollinated by bees. Research scientists have identified several factors causing bee decline, including natural habitat loss, pesticides, drought, nutrition deficit, air pollution, and global warming.
It’s an environmental issue that seems daunting, but you can do something to help in your little way. Plant pollinator-friendly flowering plants that can supply beneficial insects with food and a place to play around. Aside from that, they’ll also add a gorgeous splash of color and texture to your garden and dinner table, as some of them are edible.
Here’s a list of pollinator-friendly plants that you can add to your eco-friendly garden come springtime:
- Butterfly bush
- Do not use chemical pesticides.
An eco-friendly garden should be absolutely free of pesticides and fertilizers. Firstly, these toxin-laden chemical products can do you and your garden more harm than good.
Here are some excellent reasons why pesticides are always a bad idea.
- They can be hazardous to your pets.
- They kill off pollinating insects, such as bees and butterflies.
- Exposure can also cause adverse reactions in humans, such as skin allergies and breathing difficulties.
- They’ll create an imbalance in your garden’s ecosystem because they eliminate all bugs, good and bad.
- The use of pesticides can produce water run-off that pollutes rivers, streams, and other natural bodies of water.
Instead, opt for natural homemade solutions, including neem leaf, salt spray, garlic and onion spray, or eucalyptus oil, to keep aphids and other pests under control.
- Add a shallow water feature to attract pollinators and other wildlife.
Birds, bees, butterflies, and other wildlife like frogs all need water to survive, especially during the scorching heat of the summer season. Incorporating a water feature that will make them want to spend more time in your eco-friendly garden. This could be a bubbling fountain, a birdbath, a saucer, or a tiny pond where they could drink or take a dip to cool their bodies inside and out.
For birds, it’s also a way to clean themselves from dust, debris, and parasites that may be hanging out in their feathers. The beauty of having a water feature is it also adds a calming effect to your garden, making it a tranquil space you’d love to hang out in to ease the day’s stress.
Nevertheless, ensure that no water is wasted in the process. Harvest rainwater and implement innovative strategies that focus on water conservation.
- Set up feeders and shelters where they can rest and rejuvenate.
Birdhouses, butterfly boxes, or bug hotels are interesting decorative features that make your home garden more inviting to pollinators. They offer a sanctuary to cavity-nesting insects and a warm shelter during storms. Aside from planting pollinator plants, you can also boost their nutrition by setting up bird feeders and nectar feeders.
- Make your own compost.
Composting is an efficient and natural way to enhance the quality of your garden’s soil quality, retain moisture, and minimize plant diseases and pests. It also encourages the production of beneficial bacteria and fungi that naturally breaks down organic material to create humus, a nutrient-dense material that all plants look for.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to kickstart your backyard compost at home.
- Pick out a dry, shaded spot to set up your compost pile or bin.
- Add in dried leaves and grass clippings.
- Moisten dried materials when necessary.
- Once your compost becomes more established, throw fruit and vegetable scraps from your kitchen into your compost pile.
- Cover the compost with a tarp to lock in moisture.
Once your compost turns into rich, dark matter, it means it’s ready to work its magic. Incorporate it into your potting mix, use it as mulch, and add it as ground cover around your fruit trees.