Wasteless gardening: A guide for lockdown

Since self-isolation began, people have been turning their attention to fixing up their home and gardening. The perfect way to fill time being productive and staying active, it’s no surprise this has been a popular choice for people staying home.

However, all this good has come at a slight cost. Over a third of English councils have suspended collections of garden waste as they struggle to operate at normal capacity with the ongoing shortage of staff in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.

Households are being encouraged to start thinking of ways to limit their wastefulness when carrying out these tasks, so The Greenhouse People are here to offer a few helpful tips…


It might sound obvious, but there really is no better way to be sustainable than a good old compost heap. Making your own heap from kitchen and green waste is the perfect way to make throwing things away guilt-free.

Layers is the ultimate way to get the most out of your compost – regularly add alternating layers of green (nitrogen-rich) materials like grass cuttings, weeds and uncooked vegetable peelings and brown (carbon-rich) materials like leaves, wood chippings, shredded paper and cardboard, and sticks allows the compost to truly thrive.

Effectively composting renews the waste into soil, which you can feed back into your garden, encouraging your new plants to flourish. In theory, this means constantly recycling your produce in the greenest way.

Wasteless worming

A worm bin is another way of being careful with how you deal with waste from the household and the garden. This small container contains worms that can be fed with kitchen scraps and leafy waste. You must be careful not to dispose of meat or woody material however, as these things are not good for our creepy crawlies.

The worms digest waste and turn it into compost, this is ideal for using in your vegetable beds or large outdoor plant tubs for a sustainable and wasteless soil, while keeping wildlife friendly along the way!

Reuse before you refuse

Before you chuck anything out, try thinking of the best ways you can make use of it in an alternative way. This can be the most effective method to stay green and environmentally sound as you are fractioning the amount you buy and the amount you waste.

Get creative with how you do this, too. For example, the more pedantic of gardeners like to label their plants. Instead of purchasing ready-made labels, get crafty and use lollypop sticks or various off cuttings of wood you find around the house.

Other things have more obvious ways to renew. Twigs are great to throw onto the BBQ or in your chiminea now were all able to sit in the garden, providing a waste-free way to clean up your green space. Old plastic sacks that once seemed useless can be given a new purpose as they line hanging baskets of flowers that could inject some spring-style into your home’s exterior.

Return your plant pots

If you’re done with a pot, throwing it away is probably the worst thing you could do. It’s unnecessarily wasteful as people will always be looking for cheap or free things to use themselves!

Garden centres and nurseries are often open to reusing pots, which is an easy way to make sure that things stay resourceful, but even using social media is a great way to see if anyone can make use of your old things before you turn to getting rid of them altogether.

If all else fails, try upcycling. Repurposing products is not only great for limiting waste, but could also save you money while being a fun activity to pass the time during lockdown.

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