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January 31, 2012, 9:09 am betterhomesgardens
With these ideas, going green in the garden has never been easier.
Saving the planet starts in your own backyard – literally! An easy way to make your garden sustainable is to start a compost pile to use as plant food and mulch. This organic waste helps keep the soil moist so you don’t have to water as often. Here are a few other ideas to help you go green.
FOR SOME GREENER INSPIRATION, WATCH THIS VIDEO!1. Recycling pot plants
the result of recycling. Ubeauty Pots & Plants (www.ubeautypotsandplants.com.au) create and sell pots made from the rubber of old tyres.2. Alternative pest defence
You can rid your garden of pests without using heavy chemicals. Make weedkiller by dissolving one cup of salt in one litre of vinegar, then fill a spray bottle and apply directly. Keep caterpillars and aphids at bay by stirring two tablespoons of soap flakes into one litre of warm water and spray away. And protect roses from black spot by applying a mix of three teaspoons of bicarb soda, one litre of water and a few drops of dishwashing detergent.GARDEN: Problem spot planting
If you don’t have the space or patience for a compost pile, you can still turn your kitchen waste into fuel for your garden with the help of a worm farm (available at Bunnings Warehouse or www.tumbleweed.com.au). Worms are waste-munching machines and produce a liquid that’s lapped up by plants. Or, you can buy one-litre bottles of worm liquid from Ecoshop (www.ecoshop.com.au)4. Companion planting
The idea here is to grow plants that complement each other, side by side. Plants that make great neighbours (such as basil and tomato) can help deter pests, attract ‘friendly’ insects, improve crop flavour, enhance growth and boost soil quality. It can work extremely well in a vegie patch but be sure to do your homework before you start – some plant combos benefit each other but others can do the opposite.PICS: The world's grandest gardens
Create a seedling nursery using everyday recyclable household items, such as egg cartons, in place of plastic pots. Simply fill each cup of an egg carton with soil and seed and, when they sprout, separate the individual egg cups and plant them (cardboard and all) in the ground. You can also use takeaway coffee cups (just poke a few holes in the bottom for drainage) or toilet roll cylinders. Just make 2cm vertical cuts around one end of the cylinder and fold in to make a base. Add soil and seed, and pack your new ‘pots’ tightly together on an old baking tray to prevent them crumbling during the water-and-sprout phase. Once they’re ready, plant in your garden.