There is no better time to look at reducing your impact on our environment and adding some goodness back into your own garden. From the balcony to the backyard, there are many different ways that you can create a sustainable garden using everyday items in your home.
Home-made, biodegradable seed starter pots
Toilet rolls/Paper towel rolls
We all have these hanging around at home. Instead of placing them in the recycling bin, why not use them as a great seed starter pot!
They are easy to create and a great project for beginner gardeners and kids. Once you have your rolls, cut them in half to reduce the overall height. Then cut four slits opposite each other, just under half the length of the pre-cut rolls. Fold all four slits inwards one at a time in a circular motion creating a base to the pot. Secure the base by overlapping the slats with each other.
You now have a biodegradable seed starter pot! Fill them with Yates® Seed Raising Mix, sow favourite seeds and water well. Once the seedlings are ready to plant out, plant the entire seed starter pot into a well prepared garden bed or larger pot.
Paper based egg cartons are still a favourite way to get your seeds off to a good start. Just pop some drainage holes at the base of each of the pockets, then fill with seed raising mix, sow seeds and water well. When they are ready to plant out, break off the individual seed starter pots, and plant out directly into a prepared bed or pot.
Not only can these be used as seed starter pots, they can be used as little succulent gift boxes!
Composting and Worm Farms
Reduce your impact on the environment and help your garden at the same time by getting a compost bin or worm farm at your place. Both of these options decrease the amount of organic material that ends up in landfill and the result is you get a lovely rich compost or worm juice and castings that your garden will love!
No matter what garden you have, you are bound to get some weeds popping up from time to time. In larger beds they can be hard to control using hand weeding methods. When the soil is disturbed by the removal of these weeds, more weed seeds are getting the chance to pop up in their place!
An easy way to get some control in these garden beds is to use a combination of an organic weed spray, layers of newspapers and mulch.
Spray the existing weeds in the bed with an organically certified weed killer such as Yates® Nature’s Way® Organic Weed Spray. After 3 days, once the weeds have visible signs of burning and death, layer wet newspaper around the garden beds, at least 8 sheets in thickness, creating a barrier for the light to reach the soil. Keep the sheets clear of the stems of existing plants to avoid rotting or fungal issues. Cover the overlapped layers of newspaper with an organic mulch, such as bark chips, sugar cane or pea straw ensuring to keep it away from plant stems.
If you have space in your yard (and council approval), chickens are your best friends in the garden. They love eating some of those pesky grubs, such as the curl grubs and codling moth larvae, as well as a wide range of your everyday kitchen scraps.
If you don’t like digging up your soil after harvesting is complete, let the chooks give you a hand. Not only do they stir up the soil, they add fertiliser as they go!
Organic Pest Control
Sometimes, no matter how healthy your plants are or how many companion plants you have in the garden, pests can still make an appearance when conditions are right. Gardening in a sustainable and organically certified manner is easy with Yates® Nature’s Way®.
Our Nature’s Way® range has a variety of products to target many of the common pests in your garden, from white cabbage butterfly caterpillars on your broccoli to the dreaded citrus leaf miner and bronze orange bug on citrus. Click Here for more details on Organic Pest Control in your garden.
Recycled Gardening Ideas
It’s so important for kids to get their hands dirty and learn where their food comes from! Here’s an easy ‘recycled’ way to get started.
Have the kids grown out of their sand pit or paddling pool? Convert it into a child sized vegie garden, just for them.
If it’s a solid plastic clam shell style sand pit you’ll need to drill holes in the base to ensure it is well drained and for a flexible plastic paddling pool poke lots of holes through the bottom.
OR do you have some old tires in the garage that are just taking up space? Instead of sending them to landfill, place them in the garden, paint them brightly, they're perfect for growing colourful flowers and hardy succulents.. Please note, tyres are best used to grow non-edible plants.
Locate your recycled garden in a sunny spot and fill with good quality potting mix or bagged garden soil. Plan your favourite ‘kid friendly’ vegies to grow – small varieties of cherry tomatoes, dwarf beans and baby carrots are great choices.
And include a few strawberry plants too! Get the kids to help water and feed their patch each week with liquid plant food. Explain how plants need water and food too!
Yates 1L Ready To Use Nature's Way Organic Weed Killer Spray
Yates 200ml Nature's Way Vegie And Herb Concentrate
Yates 750ml Ready To Use Nature's Way Citrus And Ornamental Spray
More Ideas & Inspiration
How to look after your bonsai
Insiders Guide to buying plants at a nursery