Growing your own food is a good way to live sustainably, but some gardens are more eco-friendly than others. In this post, you’ll discover eco-friendly gardening tips to help you use fewer resources and increase the sustainability of your home garden.
These tips are easy to follow, so you can start implementing more sustainable gardening practices today.
1. Use a Rain Barrel
Rain barrels collect rainwater and store it for later use. When you need to water your garden, use the stored water rather than getting water from a hose.
Using just one or two rain barrels can save a ton of water each year.
Compost is one of the most eco-friendly gardening tips out there. It’s simple to start, and it has a ton of benefits for your garden.
Composting prevents green waste from ending up in our landfills, and it adds a ton of nutrients to your soil. You can use compost any time as mulch or a top dressing to replenish soil nutrients. You can even plant directly in it!
To start your compost, save any kitchen scraps or other green waste like grass clippings and hedge trimmings. Add brown waste like cardboard, newspaper, and dead leaves. Mix it all together and add water. The compost should be moist but not dripping.
Put the compost in a corner of your yard or use a bin to keep it contained.
Compost tumblers make it easy to create rich compost with minimal effort. Just toss everything in the barrel and give it a few good turns every once in a while.
3. Grow Less Grass
A lush green yard has a lot of curb appeal, but it’s not the most eco-friendly gardening choice. Grass often needs a lot of water, herbicides, and fertilizers to maintain. All of that is hard on the environment.
For the grass you keep, use eco-friendly gardening methods like mowing less often and limiting watering.
4. Use What You Already Have
Some of the best eco-friendly gardening tips help you use fewer resources. Before purchasing tools and supplies for your garden, take a look in the garage or the recycling bin. You may find something that will work just as well for what you need.
For example, old produce containers or egg cartons are great for seed starting. An empty milk jug makes a convenient watering can.
Eco-friendly gardening practices are not only good for the environment, they can be cost-effective as well!
5. Regrow Food
Instead of throwing old food scraps away, use them to grow more food.
Using scraps reduces waste while providing you with healthy food to eat.
Food scraps like the ends of green onions, lettuce, and celery, or the tops of carrots can all be used to grow more healthy greens by simply placing the ends in a jar of water.
Put your new plants in a sunny location and change the water every other day. Fresh greens will start to grow within a few days.
6. Fight Pests Naturally
Some pests, like squash bugs and hornworms, can be managed by simply removing them. This takes some time, but it’s one of the most eco-friendly gardening practices for dealing with pests.
There are many natural and organic pesticides as well, such as neem oil.
7. Fertilize Organically
Organic fertilizers are made with natural ingredients rather than chemicals. They often include things like animal manure, plant matter, and/or minerals from rocks.
Eco-friendly gardening fertilizers have less risk of burning plants than chemical fertilizers do, but burning is still possible. For best results, always follow the directions on the package when applying fertilizer to plants.
8. Use Mulch
After planting, add a layer of natural mulch all around your garden plants. Mulch keeps moisture in the soil, so you don’t need to water as often, and it helps prevent weeds.
Over time, as the mulch breaks down, it adds important nutrients back to the soil.
Straw, fall leaves, compost, grass clippings, and arborist’s wood chips all make good natural mulches.
9. Try No Dig Gardening
Tilling can harm beneficial organisms in the soil and increase erosion of topsoil. To improve your soil health, try implementing the no-dig method.
Instead of tilling, add compost and other organic matter on top of the soil. Over time, worms and other garden helpers work the nutrients through your soil.
When plants are finished for the season, instead of digging them up, simply cut the plants at the soil level. The roots will decompose where they are, returning vital nutrients to the soil and creating a loose texture.
10. Grow Native Plants
Native plants need less water and less maintenance than their non-native alternatives. They have less need for fertilizer, and they’re often resistant to native pests.
Growing exclusively native plants isn’t practical for most people, but adding a few to your garden can help improve sustainability.
11. Save Seeds
Instead of buying new seeds every year, collect your own! Choose the healthiest plants to collect seeds from at the end of each season. You can collect seeds from pretty much any garden plant, including vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs.
Collecting seeds is simple. For fruits like tomatoes and cucumbers, remove the seeds and rinse them with water. Lay them on a paper towel to dry for a few days.
Once the seeds are dry, store them in a paper envelope. Make sure to label your seeds with the variety and collection date.
12. Just Start
Implementing sustainable gardening practices doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing venture. Choose one or two tips and just get started! You’ll soon be on your way to enjoying a more eco-friendly garden.
Wrapping up Eco-Friendly Gardening Tips
Eco-friendly gardening tips are not only good for the planet, but they can also save you time and money! Which of these tips are you looking forward to trying in your garden?
For more practical gardening tips, head to the gardening page. You’ll find inspiration, planting guides, and plenty of tips and tricks to help with all of your gardening projects.
- About the Author
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Sadie Teh has experience writing on a wide range of topics including gardening, outdoor life, crafts, travel, and more. She currently lives on 5 acres near Nashville, Tennessee, where she enjoys growing fruits, vegetables, and flowers (there’s always room for one more plant!)
Sadie’s writing is driven by a genuine desire to help people grow beautiful, thriving gardens while sharing the joy and satisfaction that gardening brings. With a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in education, Sadie’s background not only adds depth to her writing but also allows her to effectively communicate with a wide range of readers.
Sadie’s favorite things to grow are flowers (especially sunflowers) and tomatoes. When she’s not writing or working in the garden, you can find Sadie substitute teaching at her kids’ school, curled up with a good book, or poring over seed catalogs.
Sadie can be reached at email@example.com