Low-waste gardening in the Okanagan

By: Amanda Cormier

Low-waste gardening in the Okanagan

Tags: Low Waste Gardening, Okanagan, Kelowna, Compost, rainwater barrel, canning, Xeriscape

Minimize your enviromental impact with these great tips! 

Go Native
Xeriscape gardens have become trendy in the Okanagan’s hot, dry summer climate. This style makes use of plants that are native to the climate and drought-resistant. This allows you to make your garden “water-wise”, saving on cost and waste in a time when water is scarcer. If you are looking for inspiration, check out one of the public xeriscape displays, such as at Mission Creek Regional Park.

Make it Rain
Speaking of saving water, why not take that literally? A rainwater barrel is a great way to make use of nature’s bounty to the benefit of your landscape and pocketbook. Although rainfall can be limited, if you collect rainwater over time, you can cut down on your water usage. Not only that, but you are free to use this water whenever you want –not just on permitted watering days.

Trash to Treasure 
Composting is a great way to minimize your trash load while also improving your garden’s performance. If done properly, compost can greatly improve your soil quality without the need to purchase fertilizer. It’s as simple as heaping your food and yard waste in a pile and letting nature do its work. You’ll want to avoid composting animal products, such as ggshells, which will be more likely to attract critters to your yard.

Waste Not, Want Not
Success can sometimes lead to excess in the produce section of your yard. Fruit trees and vegetable gardens tend to over-perform, leaving you with more than you can consume fresh. One option is to consider preserving your produce through canning. This allows you to have healthy, homegrown treats through every season of the year and can also make great gifts. If that’s too much effort, some local food banks take donations of fresh fruits and vegetables to distribute to those in need.