organic

Action: Make your garden a chemical-free zone

The Wildlife Trusts have some great advice about how you can keep your garden organic

See www.wildlifetrusts.org/actions/… for more detail.

Going chemical-free in your garden will help wildlife, make things safer for people and pets, and save money!

Why is this important?

Gardening without chemicals is a good way to ensure that the food and plants you grow are free of pesticides or chemicals. Your garden can thrive without the extra expense of products that are harmful to our wildlife (and often to us and our children).

If you’ve used chemicals in the past, this might sound like a backward step, but with time you’ll end up with a rewarding, healthier garden.

Spraying to deal with pests can often kill their predators too, or at least make them want to avoid your garden. When you stop using chemicals, aphids are the first creatures to return as they have a short breeding cycle. Other wildlife will soon follow.

The best tip for going chemical free is to ensure your garden has as much variety as possible, so that no one species will be able to gain control. The more complex and varied your garden is, the more resilient it becomes.

Harvesting a potato plant

You will:

  • reduce local pollution and contaminated run-off
  • improve biodiversity
  • reduce the carbon and plastic footprints associated with chemicals, pesticides and sprays
  • enhance your garden for pollinators
  • remove chemicals from near your children and pets
  • save money

What to do

The Wildlife Trusts’ suggestions to help you get well on your way to a wildlife-friendly, chemical-free garden include:

  • encourage natural predators to keep pests at bay – for example hedgehogs eat slugs and ladybirds eat aphids
  • try companion planting – carefully mixing your plants to protect each other (www.wildlifetrusts.org/actions/,,,)
  • use physical barriers, for example meshes, nets and even copper pipe (slugs hate copper!)
  • timing and locating your planting to best avoid common pests
  • using harmless alternatives to pesticides – if you have a particular pest problem use the internet to research natural solutions

You can download a free useful guide from The Wildlife Trusts at this link: https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/take-action-insects.

Most good garden centres and shops will advise you as to how to garden organically too.

Another good source of information is Garden Organic, a UK charity that promotes chemical and pesticide free gardening. Visit their website at https://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/ and in particular their advice pages at https://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/growing-advice.

Take action

Make your garden as chemical-free as you can. This is something that you can start quickly and incorporate into your garden plans over the coming seasons. As well as protecting local wildlife and eco-systems you will make your garden safer and save money too. What’s not to like?!

Please also sign up for our fortnightly bulletin of eco-tips below … and thank you.

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