Get into the garden: How to be green outdoors

Calling all green fingered gardening lovers...

Get into the garden: How to be green outdoors

Whether you're an avid gardener or have just started dipping your toes into the horticultural world, it's worth knowing how you can make your outdoor space 'greener'.

Things like composting, or collecting rain water (we have enough of it in this country) can become second nature after a while.

To help do your bit for the environment and to encourage wildlife into your garden, we've put together some handy tips from flower farmer and florist Nicola Cavanagh.

So what are you waiting for? Spring into action (pun intended) and start gardening, the green way.

Create your own compost bin

Home composting is one of the most environmentally-friendly ways of dealing with kitchen and garden waste, and it's very easy to do. Simply take a compost bin, fill with your food waste and you're good to go. 

"Not only are you reusing and recycling but you’ll be creating some great compost full of nutrients for your plants. To do this, fill a compost bin with a mix of both green waste such as grass cuttings, tea bags and old flower heads, in addition to brown waste like cardboard and newspaper. Make sure you turn it occasionally and don't add weeds to it".

Compost tea

Admittedly, the idea of brewing up a liquid from your compost sounds a tad revolting – but boy oh boy is it good for your garden.

"This is a great green way to feed your plants with much-needed nutrients. To make it, you’ll need a couple of handfuls of garden compost and top it up with water in a bucket. Let it stew away for a while (around 3-4 days). You can then strain it through an old t-shirt. You’ll then have a nice concentrate that you can dilute with water to feed your plants with".

And there you have it — an organic, liquid fertiliser!

Use water butts

We complain about the rain in the UK, but it can be a blessing for our gardens if we collect it and reuse it. Collect the water that runs off your rooftop via rain gutters and use it for watering your plants to save water. 

Nicola advises, "Depending on the size of your garden you may just have space for one small collecting vessel, but it will save you lots of water".

Attract wildlife and friendly bugs into your garden

"Not only is it nice to have butterflies and ladybirds in your garden, but they also make for a great biological control for pests because you don't want pesky flies and slugs ruining your hard-earnt crops. Certain plants like cosmos, calendula, chives, dill and fennel will attract ladybirds. You can also create bug boxes and habitats for creatures to hibernate in".

Bug boxes are a great thing to make with the kids and will provide meals for frogs, hedgehogs and dragonflies — you need to find an open wooden box, then fill it loosely with straw, twigs and maybe a plastic plant pot or two. Turn it on its side and you'll have a bug playground, ready to house all sorts of critters. 

Don't use herbicides on your weeds

You don't have to use strong chemical herbicides to prevent weeds in your garden. As Nicola says, "You can prevent weeds spreading by mulching around your plants with things like bark, leaf mould or composted straw. Just make sure you hand-weed by pulling them out or hoeing".'

Don't throw away your household items

You don't have to head out to the shops for all of your gardening equipment — you might even have things lying around the house that you can use to keep your plants safe and happy.

"Reuse items like empty plastic bottles. Cut them in half and you can create your own mini greenhouse to place over individual seedlings that you have planted out that may still be vulnerable to cold weather".

There are also lots of different household items that you can use to plant seedling starters in — ice cream cones, hollowed out citrus skins and egg shells work perfectly.

Outdoor lighting

With summer on the way, you're sure to be spending more time in the garden in the evenings, which means you'll be needing lighting. Why not use natural and free solar power to light your outdoor space in the evening? You can pick up our solar lights in store or online.

Feeling inspired to get green this spring? Make sure you stock up on all the gardening equipment you'll need at Asda or pop into your local store