Tips for gardeners

GARDENS should be colourful – but they can be greener, too.That's the message from Suffolk Coastal council, which has given some summertime tips on how to be more environmentally-friendly in the garden.

GARDENS should be colourful – but they can be greener, too.

That's the message from Suffolk Coastal Council, which has given some summertime tips on how to be more environmentally-friendly.

Councillors are delighted that more people are leaving their car at home and walking, cycling or using public transport, or getting into the recycling habit, but say there are other areas of people's lifestyle which can also be changed.

"There are many things that can be done right at home that will give the local environment a real boost and give the satisfaction of having a really green garden," said Chris Slemmings, cabinet member for the environment.

"There are many ways that our gardening activities can affect the world beyond our doorstep and Suffolk Coastal's Anne Westover has compiled a list of helpful tips that will enable local residents to sleep with a clearer conscience after a day in their garden."

Among the top ten tips are:

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n Feed the birds – not just with bird food but by providing natural food supply spots for them. Log piles for beetles and larvae, or flowers that produce seed heads for winter feed, like sunflowers, berries and honeysuckle.

n Provide homes for others by leaving wild areas in the garden – meadows, log heaps, slow 'burn' heaps of prunings, ponds, "weedy" hedge bottoms.

n Do not use peat as it is from an unsustainable source. Instead use green waste products or home-made compost.

n Make your own compost by using a conventional heap or a plastic cone.

n Use water butts and recycled water from the kitchen on the garden.

n Use plenty of mulch such as manure, straw, and wood chip to reduce moisture loss from the soil.

For more information on locally produced woodland products, contact the Local Woodland Product Initiative on 01473 327720.

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