Gardening has many different benefits. First, it allows you to grow your produce without having to worry about pesticides and chemicals.
Second, growing your produce is also much more cost effective than buying it. There is also the fact that having your home garden is much more sustainable for the planet.
With that being said, exactly how sustainable your home garden depends on your practices. What we are here to do today is to provide you with a variety of sustainable gardening ideas.
Our aim here is to allow you to garden in a way that is sustainable both for the planet and yourself. With the tips that we have listed below, you should be able to grow fresh produce in your garden for many years to come.
- The Best Sustainable Gardening Ideas
- 1. Try Focusing on Native Plants
- 2. Keep the Soil Healthy with Homemade Compost
- 3. Don’t Use Peat
- 4. Use Dead Plants to Make Mulch
- 5. Don’t Use Anything Disposable
- 6. Plant Flowers That Attract and Support Pollinators
- 7. Use Plants That Don’t Require Much Water
- 8. Collect Your Rainwater
- 9. Grow Your Own Vegetables
- 10. Take Advantage of Natural Pest Control
- 10 Tips on Sustainable Gardening – Final Thoughts
The Best Sustainable Gardening Ideas
Some of these ideas may indeed seem quite obvious to you, whereas others will not. Let’s take a look at the best ways to engage in sustainable gardening.
1. Try Focusing on Native Plants
One of the best things you can do in terms of sustainable gardening is to focus on planting native plants. Sure, exotic plants from other countries might look nice, but they aren’t very sustainable. First and foremost, choosing the right plants for where you live means using fewer resources.
Chances are pretty high that if the plants you have naturally occur where you live, they’ll need less water and feeding. The less fertilizer and water you use, the more sustainable you are being. There is also the fact of local bees, pollinators, and other insects to consider.
While exotic plants may look nice, your local insects may not have any use for them. To help sustain a healthy insect population, native plants are called for.
Of course, insects are extremely important to every ecosystem out there. Using native plants is also more sustainable for your wallet than purchasing expensive exotics.
2. Keep the Soil Healthy with Homemade Compost
Now, unsustainable growth is often a problem that big farms suffer from. It’s not a huge problem with small local gardens, although it can be after a couple of years. The fact of the matter is that the soil you use for planting will eventually run out of nutrients.
For this reason, many people will just go out and buy more soil. Many people will also buy a variety of unnatural fertilizers. Whether you buy potting soil or fertilizer, in the long run, this is unsustainable. This is the case both for the planet and your wallet.
Therefore, a great way to keep the soil healthy and nutrient-rich is to mix in your compost. Not only are you being eco-friendly by making your fertilizer; but you’re also doing something good for the planet by composting your food waste.
3. Don’t Use Peat
Peat does have a variety of benefits for gardens. Unfortunately, it’s also completely unsustainable to use. Peat is harvested from swamps or bogs, or in other words wetlands. There’s only a limited supply of it out there.
Peat is extremely important in wetlands as it acts as a huge carbon sink. It absorbs a great deal of carbon out of the atmosphere, which is very important in today’s world. Moreover, it also supports plenty of animal life. Whatever the case, just don’t use it.
4. Use Dead Plants to Make Mulch
Sometimes plants die if you don’t take care of them. Sometimes plants just reach the end of their lifespan. Whatever the case, stop putting them in those paper garden bags.
There’s no point in doing that and then placing them on the side of the road. That’s a waste of a paper bag and it wastes the disposal truck’s gasoline as well. It’s much better to learn how to make your own mulch from old plant life.
This means that you are reusing or recycling old plant matter. It also means that you don’t have to go buy mulch from a store, which someone else had to use resources to make.
There is of course also the fact that mulch has many different benefits for your garden. Moisture control and keeping weeds at bay are just two of the benefits.
5. Don’t Use Anything Disposable
Another way to engage in sustainable gardening is to stop using anything disposable. Sure, indoor seed starter trays and plastic pots can be convenient.
However, they’re also really bad for the environment. You should avoid using anything made out of plastic. Even things made out of clay generally aren’t the best.
That said, clay containers are better than plastic containers. However, even better is if you go for natural containers that are biodegradable.
Even better than that, is if you just plant your plants outdoors without any containers at all. Anything and everything disposable should not be used.
6. Plant Flowers That Attract and Support Pollinators
One of the absolute best things you can do in terms of sustainable gardening is to plant flowers that sustain pollinators. This is a huge issue that our world is facing right now: a lack of pollinators.
The populations of bees and other pollinators have decreased drastically over the last decades. Pollinators are of course essential for our environment. Simply put, without pollinators, nothing gets pollinated and all plant life will die.
Therefore, anything you can do to support pollinators is recommended. There are a wide variety of flowers that are very rich in nectar.
These nectar-rich flowers are what you need to plant to attract and support pollinators. This will also help produce a whole lot of diversity within your garden. By planting these nectar-rich flowers, you are supporting bee, butterfly, and other insect populations.
7. Use Plants That Don’t Require Much Water
Many areas of the world are facing increasing water shortages. Therefore, the less water you have to provide your plants with, the better your garden is for the environment. One idea here is to plant a dry garden.
Now, these gardens are of course not 100% dry. Those plants do still need a little bit of water to survive.
However, there are plants out there that require very minimal water. Succulents, cacti, and other such plants are fantastic for this purpose. Many Mediterranean plants excel in using small amounts of water.
8. Collect Your Rainwater
Another very sustainable thing you can do in terms of gardening is to collect your rainwater. Collecting your rainwater in big barrels is much more eco-friendly than wasting tap water. That hose of yours uses many gallons of water every time it turns on.
Not only does this waste water, but remember that it also takes effort to clean the water that gets to your home. That in itself uses resources.
There is then also the fact that water isn’t exactly cheap. Therefore, by collecting rainwater, you’re being both environmentally friendly and helping your wallet too.
9. Grow Your Own Vegetables
Yes, flowers are pretty. However, in terms of worldwide sustainability, they aren’t the best thing to have in your garden. Instead of normal flowers and plants, you should grow vegetables, fruits, berries, and herbs. In other words, you should grow the things that you consume regularly. Growing your produce is much more sustainable than purchasing it from a grocery store.
For one, you are making smart use of the land that you have at your disposal. Second, remember that it takes great amounts of energy and fuel to transport produce from farms to grocery stores. That is a ton of wasted energy, wasted resources, and pollution created, as well.
It’s a whole lot more sustainable to grow vegetables and other foods in your backyard. This is not only the case in terms of the environment but your bank account as well. It is much more affordable to grow your produce than it is to purchase it.
10. Take Advantage of Natural Pest Control
One of the worst things you could do for the environment is to use a ton of pesticides in your garden. OK, so having insects eat your plants is not ideal. However, most pesticides are fairly indiscriminate. You might only want to kill one pest, but end up killing all insect life.
Refer to the section above in terms of the importance of pollinators to see exactly why this is so detrimental. Moreover, pesticides are often extremely toxic and just aren’t good for the environment at all.
Those chemicals can run down into the ground and groundwater. Moreover, most pesticides are not things you want to be putting on plants that you are then going to consume.
There are plenty of natural pest repellents out there. There are also many different plants you can put in your garden that will repel pests. Of course, many natural and organic pesticides are much friendlier for the environment than chemicals.
Read also: 10 Indoor Herb Garden Ideas to Satisfy Your Green Thumb
10 Tips on Sustainable Gardening – Final Thoughts
We haven’t quite exhausted the list, but the 10 tips provided are by far the best ones. If you follow these tips, you should be able to create your own 100% sustainable garden.
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