Sustainable gardening is all about creating a garden that benefits both you, the community, and the environment. It means growing your own produce to reduce waste, water usage and food miles. This is important during the summer months when water becomes a precious resource. Here in Waterford, we are lucky enough to have a mild, moist climate, where sustainable gardening practices can flourish. You can practice ethical consumerism by building an at home garden. Enjoy beautiful home-grown fruit and veg, while minimising your environmental impact and create a haven for pollinators in your community.

Sustainable Soil Management. 

Before we begin planting, we need to get our soil. But did you know you can use your food waste to make it at home rather than buying it from the shop? Start by separating your food waste from your regular waste throughout the week. Put all food scraps into a compost bin and store it in a dry place till you’re ready to start planting. Collect both dry materials such as eggshells and newspaper, and wet items like fruit skins and coffee grounds. Once you have enough materials collected, begin creating a compost pile, alternating layers of wet and dry waste, about 50/50 of each. Be sure to regularly turn the pile, so that air gets through it. 

Capture the Rain!

Leave out your barrels and bowls to collect rainwater to nourish your garden. Rainwater is naturally free of harmful chemicals such as chloride and salt. It also comes in the perfect PH balance, with a little bit of nitrogen which is key to plant growth. Not to mention you're reducing your water footprint by taking advantage of this natural resource. 

Give Waterford a Bio-Diversity Boost. 

Choose local and native plants to support natural biodiversity. Plants that are native to Waterford are used to the natural climate and require less water during the summer months. It also helps to promote a healthy eco system and contribute to a more natural environment. 

1.     Strawberries are native to Ireland and survive well in gardens throughout the country. They can act as a delicious treat this summer, you could even try your hand at making at home jams. 

2.     Blackcurrants also fair well in the Irish climate, not to mention they are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. 

3.     Leeks are a staple in Irish cuisine and are very easy to grow in our cool Summers. 

4.     Potatoes (of course) have been a staple in Irish gardens since the 16th century and are extremely well suited to our climate. 

So why not try your hand at a sustainable summer gardening challenge? With a little planning and these simple steps, you can grow a garden which supports you, the earth and local community. Let's grow a greener, healthier Waterford together! If you want to learn more about sustainable gardening, click here.