Top 5 Sustainability tips for the garden

Sustainability - What does this mean in the landscape?

1. Mulch and Compost your garden

Go to a local landscape supplies center and use their courtesy trailer or get it delivered.  The mulch will mean less watering, better soil structure and healthier plants while limiting the amount of weeds that pop up in your garden and spread throughout your neighbourhood.  Depending on the style of mulch you choose you could spend as little as $30 per 10m2 if you use your local council mulch, or around $60 for decorative mulches and up to $150 for some stone based mulches.
Compost will create healthy soil that has good structure for draining water and holding water.  Be careful about adding too much compost for some native plants.

2. Choose sustainable materials

If you must put in hard surfaces like decking, paving, pergolas etc, choose materials that have low embodied energies. This is the energy needed to extract, manufacture, transport and install your product.  Not only should materials you use in the landscape be low embodied they should also have a reasonable longevity.  A fantastic choices for low to medium use paths are local toppings.  

3. Limit the use of hardscapes

Ask yourself if you need this? How often will you actually have 80 people in your backyard to fill a massive deck?  Consider if the space could be filled with plants instead.  Getting plants at tubestock size (small) is a fantastic way to fill up spaces cheaply and create full, natural feeling space.

4. Line your fences with Fruit Trees

Fruit trees keep on giving without a lot of maintenance.  If you don't have the time to be putting in vegetables every 12 weeks and maintaining a vegetable garden, perhaps fruit trees are for you. They require limited maintenance and you do not have to replant every season.  Each year more dwarf varieties come out that take up less space which is fantastic for the small garden.  Generally in the Melbourne garden, fruit trees require sun for most of the day to provide fruit that is plentiful and tastes good. A fence line is a great spot to find this sun.

5. Can I fix it?

Your deck might be looking a little ragged at the moment but perhaps all it needs is a smarter choice of decking boards. Perhaps it just needs a fresh coat of oil.  Maybe a coat of paint on the back fence will revitalise the plantings that you have in front of them.