Gardening can be fun.
It’s a great feeling to grow your own food. You know you’re eating the healthy, nutritious, and delicious fruits and vegetables from your garden.
You’re a big fan of organic gardening and try to keep your garden as organic as possible.
That’s the best thing you can do for your family.
But there’s something more you can do. Something that can help the environment. Something that makes your garden more sustainable.
What is sustainable gardening?
Sustainable gardening is the use of organic gardening practices. And ways to conserve, replenish, reuse, and recycle natural resources.
You can take several steps to encourage sustainable gardening when growing your own plants. This includes improving the soil, growing native plants and using renewable resources.
Sustainable gardening is a method of gardening that benefits us humans, plants, animals, and other living organisms. It’s a method that utilizes the resources that nature has given to us.
How using good design can create a sustainable garden?
There are several things you can do to have a good design that helps create a sustainable garden.
You can use water conserving techniques like drip irrigation that helps use less water. You can take steps to add organic material and create good quality soil.
You can plan your garden design so you use crop rotation. This can help crops thrive with a lower risk of pests and diseases.
Use recyclable, environment-friendly material in your garden. This can be a thought-process when you’re building stakes, raised beds, or trellises. Buy products from businesses that promote sustainable gardening. Always purchase wood that has been certified to be sourced in a sustainable way.
Plan to grow trees in your garden that can provide shade to your house. This helps keep it cool and reduce your energy bills in the summer.
You could build a roof garden if possible when planning your garden and house. This will keep the temperature regulated in summer and winter.
You can make sure to have a small lawn or none at all. That’s because a lawn requires a lot of maintenance and consume lots of water. You can replace the areas of a lawn with trees, shrubs, and plants that are a lot more sustainable.
Growing native plants helps you create a sustainable garden
When you’re planning your garden, find out the native plants in your geographical region. These are the plants that are suitable for your climate, soil, and growing conditions.
You can find out about such plants from local books, garden centers, and experts in your area.
These native plants are great for sustainability because they are hardy. They also have good resistance to pests and diseases. The native plants need less water and maintenance compared to other plants.
They are also useful in attracting beneficial insects to your garden. The native plants help improve the genetic diversity in your garden.
Make sure to avoid growing plant varieties that are invasive as they can take over your garden like weeds.
You can also save the seeds from your native plants for the next growing season. This helps assure good growth rates for the future of your garden. And it helps conserve the native plants of your region.
Recycle the waste in your garden to improve sustainability
There is a gold mine or organic material in your garden. Often, we tend to throw away such material as waste.
We can use such waste material to create a sustainable environment in the garden. The waste can be used to create your own compost.
Compost is the best way to enrich your soil and improve it to get the best produce.
You can use materials like grass clippings, dried leaves, wood chips, kitchen waste for making your own compost. You could even give these materials to local yard composting services.
It’s a lot better than sending this organic material to the landfill and losing the valuable resource.
You can consider reuse of the plastic containers and pots from your house. You can use them to grow plants in your garden. When done with the reuse, you can send them to a recycling service.
Conserve water usage in your garden to make it sustainable
If you have good organic soil in your garden, it’ll retain a lot of the moisture. The mulch also helps retain moisture and prevent evaporation.
Rain barrels and collection systems are one of the best ways to save water in the garden. You can use more of the storage water and reduce dependency on municipal sources.
The aim should be to water the garden with about 1 inch of water per week.
The best way to water a garden is to use drip irrigation or soaker hose. This conserves a lot of water rather than using sprinklers. If you have a lawn, water it with a low-angle spray rather than a sprinkler.
Angle the spray and place the drip irrigation so the water does not go into drains.
Don’t use water to wash the walkways and paths in the garden. You can use an electric blower instead.
Investigate the use of grey water in your area. If it’s allowed, that’s a good option to recycle water for plants.
Reduce energy use to create a sustainable garden
The best thing you can do is to reduce the size of your lawns or completely avoid them.
This helps you reduce or eliminate mowing the lawn with an energy-consuming lawn mower.
If you do need to mow the lawn, make sure the lawn mower is maintained and the blades are sharp. This makes it efficient and conserves energy. You can consider using electric lawn mowers rather than gas-powered ones.
It would be even better if you can use manual push lawnmowers instead.
It’s good to remove weeds by hand rather than using a machine or chemical spraying.
Try to avoid using many lights in your garden and landscape. Choose fluorescent bulbs or solar lights when you do need lighting.
Chickens can help build a sustainable garden
Chickens are a good resource to have in your sustainable garden. They help till the soil and improve its aeration and moisture-retention.
Chickens can help take out weeds from the garden so you don’t need to use weeding tools. They eat insects that may cause harm to plants in your garden.
Chicken manure is good for adding organic material to your garden soil. And a benefit of chickens is you can get some eggs from them.
Maintain your garden to make it more sustainable
The best thing you can do to make your garden sustainable is to avoid the use of synthetic pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizers.
There are good organic methods you can use to prevent pests and weeds in your garden. One of the best ways to do this is with attracting beneficial insects.
You should get a soil test from your local extension service. This will help you figure out the amendments you need for your soil. They will provide you with organic methods to do so as well.
If you’re using amendments for the soil make sure to follow the recommendations from the soil test. Too much fertilizer can cause excessive plant growth and increase the risk of diseases.
It’s best not to use chemical fertilizers or pesticides because they run off into water sources like streams and groundwater. They are harmful to animals and aquatic life.
It’s much better to allow some weeds and insects to be there in your garden rather than spray chemicals. They can harm beneficial insects as well.
You should learn to distinguish between harmful and beneficial insects in your garden. Learn to distinguish diseases that are cosmetic and don’t harm the plants. You don’t need to use chemicals to deal with such situations.
Develop a healthy soil in your garden using organic material like compost and mulch every year. Healthy soil is the best defense to pests and diseases.
It’s time to give back to Mother Nature with sustainable gardening. Now that you know how easy it is to do this, it’s time to begin your journey.
The first step is to improve your garden design to make it more sustainable. You can start by reducing your lawn size that helps conserve water and makes a big difference.
Let’s use gardening to improve not just our lives but also of other living beings on this planet.