“I’m going to clean and re-use plastic pots this year,” says Ruth
Carry out tasks but always enjoy your patch, says Ruth
You’re less likely to throw in the towel (or trowel) if you set about tasks a little and often rather than taking the bull-at-agate approach.
LIKE many people, I start each January with a burst enthusiasm about self-improvement. This will be the year when I get fit, give up pick ’n’ mix sweets, read a ‘classic’ novel a month and keep our house looking like it’s straight from the pages of Homes Illustrated.
It never quite goes to plan, of course, but there’s no harm in dreaming.
For 2019 I’m adding ‘getting the garden straight’ to my list of resolutions. This includes two major projects – installing a pond and sorting out the embarrassingly neglected wasteland that is the front garden – but also a vow to keep on top of everyday tasks. It is the seemingly ‘humble’ jobs such as weeding, deadheading, cutting back, turning the compost, dealing with pests and preventing diseases that build up to create a better-looking, low-maintenance garden.
I also want to garden more economically, especially when it comes to buying plants – which is where dividing comes in handy (see the how-to panel, right).
One thing I am definitely going to do this year – and urge you to follow suit – is to garden more environmentally. We already have a wildlife-friendly patch and only use chemicals as a last resort, but I’d like this to be the year when we really start to move away from the use of plastic.
One-use plastic and its catastrophic effect on the planet was one of the biggest news stories of 2018. Now Amateur Gardening is backing the horticultural industry’s plans to find a viable replacement for black plastic pots that can only go to landfill and can’t be recycled at the kerbside. Many suppliers are now starting to use taupe-coloured pots, which can be recycled, but there is so much we can all do to help.
We are encouraging our readers to wash and reuse pots and look for alternatives to plastic in other areas. For example, if you find old Venetian blinds at the tip or at a car-boot sale, cut them up for labels and then wipe them clean after each use.
If you have discovered other ingenious ways of using less plastic while gardening, please share your tips with other readers via our letters page.
Hoe off weeds before they get established Deadhead regularly to prolong flowering Join AG’s campaign to reduce global amounts of one-use plastic by washing and reusing your pots