Eco-Fitting Your Garden
Country Smallholding|August 2020
Eco-Fitting Your Garden
In this extract from How to Create an Eco Garden, author John Walker explains eco-fitting and how you can use it to create an effective intensive food garden in a limited space
John Walker

Eco-fitting your garden is all about making it more self-sustaining, less wasteful of valuable resources, more reliant on renewable sources of energy and friendlier to wildlife. Eco-fitting will turn a garden that was previously drab, uninteresting and lifeless into an outdoor space that is biologically diverse, beautiful and productive, and much more planet-friendly.

WHAT IS GARDEN ECO-FITTING?

Eco-fitting a garden is similar to retro-fitting a house: it is the updating of any existing elements and the addition of new ones that were not there when the garden was originally made.

Before you set about ecofitting, first spend some time noting down how environmentally-friendly (or unfriendly) you think your garden might currently be. The basic tenets of eco-friendly gardening are:

Recycle all garden waste through composting.

Reduce garden energy use.

Harness and use renewable sunlight energy.

Harvest rainwater and use it wisely.

Improve soil with garden compost and green waste.

Create a thriving garden ecosystem by adding habitats and encouraging wildlife.

Grow flowers to attract beneficial pest-controlling insects and boost biodiversity.

Mulch to conserve soil moisture and stop weed seeds from germinating.

Create areas to play and relax.

Grow some of your own food.

Use reclaimed, recycled and sustainable landscaping materials.

Avoid the use of synthetic insecticides, fungicides and weedkillers.

You may already be implementing some of these ecofriendly practices, but much of the enjoyment of eco gardening is in deciding where you might add more. You don’t have to carry out an eco-fit all at once — adding a lean-to greenhouse is a major undertaking, but simply growing more flowers to attract beneficial insects gives immediate rewards.

INTENSIVE FOOD GARDEN

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August 2020