Nature friendly gardening

Keeping your plants healthy is one of the best ways to help prevent pest and disease problems in your garden. But using nature friendly techniques will help you protect the wildlife and ecosystem that lives and breathes in your plants.


Your garden is more resilient than you may realise, particularly your lawn. Longer grass results in deeper roots which makes your lawn much more drought resilient, so try raising those mower blades to avoid brown patches. Longer grass is also a big win for local wildlife. By simply changing your mowing routine and allowing plants to flower, you can create enough nectar for ten times more bees and other pollinators - you’re also more likely to spot a greater variety of flowers popping up in your garden!


Reuse your kitchen scraps ​

Home composting is the most environmentally friendly way of dealing with kitchen waste. You can recycle all of your fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells and other organic materials. You can also add in garden waste such as leafy debris too. When you add compost to your soil, you’re improving its water retaining capacity because the organic matter improves the soil’s structure and aeration. This means that you don’t need to water your plants as often, and the soil can withstand longer periods of drought.


Harnessing natural fertilisers

Other natural fertilisers you can make include nettle tea and comfrey tea. Nettle tea is a great nitrogen feed for plants, whilst comfrey tea is very potassium rich. If you decide to make comfrey tea and have leftover chopped comfrey, this can also work well as a good midsummer mulch. It will rot away quickly into the soil and help keep slugs away. 

How to make nettle and comfrey tea​

  • Pop on your gloves and add either stinging nettles or chopped up comfrey leaves and stalks to a container and then fill up with water until the container is full. Wherever you can, use water you’ve re-purposed from your paddling pool or washing up bowl.​
  • Cover your container and leave the contents to soak for 3-4 weeks. ​
  • Use the teas (which we warn you will be very smelly!) to feed your plants. You will need to dilute the tea as follows: 1 part tea to 10 parts water. 
Recycle your grey water

To help your plants flourish, fertiliser offers them a helping hand. If you have pet fish, you might be surprised to learn that your fish tank’s dirty water is full of beneficial bacteria and key plant nutrients such as potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus which help your plants thrive. These are some of the same nutrients that you’ll find in most shop-bought fertilisers. If you haven’t got round to cleaning your fish tank in a while, then it’s worth diluting the dirty tank water before using it on your plants so that it isn’t too concentrated. 

Growing green

Nothing beats the taste of fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs grown in your own garden. Whether you have an allotment, garden or are planting in containers, you can help keep your soil healthy by removing weeds and debris, regularly forking to loose any compaction, as well as adding compost to help the soil conserve as much moisture as possible. Why not explore how were working with farmers in local communities to help improve their soil health too.