With the worsening climate change, people are advised to apply a zero-waste lifestyle to help reduce the strain on the environment. One way to apply a zero-waste lifestyle is by starting a zero-waste garden.
Zero-waste garden is an eco-friendly garden that conserves resources and ensures nothing goes to landfills. It also disallows the use of chemical substances such as pesticides and plastics that could end up in the soil, water, or air. If you’re planning and unsure how to start a zero-waste garden, the following tips will be helpful.
Composting is the process of recycling organic matter like food debris, dead plants, and leaves into a fertilizer that enriches the soil and your plants. Although everything that grows decomposes, composting helps speed up the process by providing the right environment for bacteria and other decomposers to do their work.
The decomposed material is called compost or black gold used for gardening. Composting is eco-friendly as it helps reduce food waste, reduces the need for chemical fertilizer, and prevents greenhouse gas emissions that affect the environment.
Compost can be made by making a simple compost pile, but this is usually not advised as the pile requires a large space and can be susceptible to vermin and pests. Therefore, the best way to make compost is using compost bins such as maze home composters which come in different sizes and designs.
When making your compost avoid using dairy products as they create odor issues that attract flies and pests. You should also avoid spraying chemical pesticides on yard trimmings because this might kill the decomposing microorganisms. Lastly, don’t use black walnut tree leaves because they release harmful substances which will not help your plants grow.
Use Eggshells As Planters
Another simple way to promote a zero-waste garden is to avoid using pots or plastic containers to sprout seeds. Instead, recycle eggshells and use them as pots. Growing your seeds in eggshells is environment-friendly as the shells decompose naturally once transplanted into your garden.
What’s more, eggshells can have several benefits for your plants. For instance, they’re rich in calcium, strengthening plants’ cell walls and encouraging root growth. They also contain potassium, magnesium, and phosphorous, essential for plant growth.
Additionally, eggshells help lower soil acidity making the soil more alkaline. This helps many plants to absorb nutrients and resist harmful substances like aluminum. Using eggshells can also control pests. For instance, the sharp edges of eggshells are detrimental to the soft bodies of snails and slugs, while the smell of eggs scares deers.
Alternatively, you can use biodegradable pots, which you can buy online or from local stores. The downside is biodegradable pots break easily, meaning the roots can break the pot and naturally spread to the ground.
Whatever option you choose, both are biodegradable and good for the environment.
Start Your Plants From Seeds
One way to avoid using plastic containers a zero-waste garden is to grow your plants from seeds. This is because seeds can be directly planted on the ground, unlike seedlings bought with plastic containers.
Aside from buying seeds from the store, you can also get the seed out of your grown plants. You can clean them, dry them, and save them for planting. By doing so, you’ll have no waste and no additional costs. However, before experimenting with the procedure, it’s best to conduct your own research on harvesting seeds to ensure the process will be successful.
Ideally, plants bought from the store may contain bugs and diseases. But if you grow your own seeds naturally without the help of chemicals, you know that your plants will grow healthy and well-nourished.
Reduce Water Wastage
For an effective zero-waste garden, you must adopt ways to reduce water wastage. One of the best ways to do so is by having rain barrels. Rain barrels are containers designed to collect and hoist rainwater for later garden use. To install one, find a flat surface to position one and wrap it with mesh to prevent mold and algae growth. You can also install a screen to reduce gutter debris and prevent mosquitos from breeding in the water.
Another way to reduce water wastage is investing in a greywater system that diverts wastewater from your sink, washing machine, and bathroom and stores it for watering your garden.
Final Thoughts on A Zero-Waste Garden
Practicing a zero-waste garden is one of the simplest ways of starting a zero-waste lifestyle. Use the above tips and other creative ideas to safely and cheaply grow your plants without harming the environment.