Spring is here! It's time to green up your balcony, terrace or garden.
One mission: zero waste gardening!
First of all, choose your gardening equipment carefully.
No more plastic equipment that cannot withstand gardening work. We opt for solid tools that last over time! Are you thinking that quality tools are expensive, especially if you rarely use them?
Don't worry, we have the solution! You may know someone who has a pruner, hedge trimmers, a trowel or a spade that they no longer use. Do not hesitate to ask them to donate or lend it to you. If you can't find what you need, find it in second-hand shops. And for items you will only be using for a short time, rent them at a lower cost thanks to the “Preterie” of the City of Brussels: https://zero-waste.brussels.be/preterie
Now that you are equipped, it is time to get your hands on the ground.
It is often said that “you reap what you sow". So how do you sow zero waste?
Sow your seeds in natural fibre cups, egg cartons, craft paper or newspaper. These alternatives are biodegradable. Be careful with the glossy paper and the ink used. And if you like a challenge, sow without a bucket by moulding your soil with a clod press or your hands!
You can of course do some recycling and sow in cups that you already have at your disposal or that people can give you instead of throwing them away.
To write the names of the species and to stake them, opt for natural and biodegradable supports: all kinds of wood scraps will do the job perfectly.
All this have to be watered! With rainwater of course. Better for planting because it is low in minerals and limescale but slightly acidic, rainwater is a good alternative to tap water, in addition to being free.
To prevent your plants from drying out too quickly in the ground or in your pots, mulching is also recommended and can even become your best ally. Indeed, mulching is a technique that consists of putting dead leaves, grass, straw on the plantations in order to nourish the soil but also to retain moisture. Another good, simple, ecological and economical zero waste tip. No more mulching with unnatural tarpaulins that decompose in your soil. Shredded hedges and flower beds can also be used as mulch. Be careful not to prune all year round to respect the nesting periods.
Plants grow. And if we gave them a boost in case of blues? Long live natural fertilizers! The compost product is the number one fertilizer. So don't wait any longer to compost.
Find out about the City's bonuses here: https://www.brussels.be/bonus-worm-composting-bin
Or join a neighborhood compost: https://www.brussels.be/compost-project-brussels
Finally, avoid pesticides at all costs as they leave residues in the soil and water. Several natural plant-based treatments can help you fight against undesirable plants, such as comfrey, horsetail, nettle etc.
As you can see, waste-free gardening is possible and even very easy. All you have to do is “work hand in hand”... or better to say "hands on the ground" with nature and she will thank you!