As the world outside seems to be increasingly uncertain making and caring for a garden seems to be a popular way of finding joy and a degree of control. Some people think that they could never make a successful garden but the truth is that anybody can really. Sustainable gardening is not as hard as you think. It does not have to be a total lifestyle change. Adapting a few sustainable gardening habits will go a long way towards enriching your life.
Here’s why sustainable gardening is worth it
If you care even a little for our planet, then sustainable farming is one of the ways you can show it.
Perhaps you care about saving money, or perhaps you care about recycling and saving waste. Either way you will love switching to a more sustainable approach as it will cut down on both of these. Most waste becomes gold when looking at gardening from a sustainability point of view.
This guide is here to help you get started.
- Start with a garden
Wherever you live, find a place you can plant a few things, If you live in a concrete jungle, you can have a small box garden on your balcony. You’ll be surprised quite how productive you can make this. Just add soil, and you are ready to go.
If you live in a place with a back yard, clear a spot, remove weeds, dig through the soil and you have a bed ready for planting. Start small, and you can increase the garden size as you go along. You could also make some raised beds by boarding around you bed. To this you can add more soil and create deeper, more versatile beds. This is especially useful if your soil is quite thin.
If you have limited space, we advise you to use trellises to maximize the area that you have. On trellises, you can grow tomatoes, beans, pumpkins, and cucumbers. Vertical gardening is increasingly popular. No matter how small your space is, you can grow something in it.
If you are to be a pro at sustainable gardening, you have to become intentional with waste recycling. A lot of the kitchen waste we throw out can be used to feed your sustainable garden or re-grow things.
We advise that you set apart a place where you throw in organic waste such as egg shells, coffee grounds, fruit, and veggie peels. As a rule, anything that will not rot does not go into the sustainable farming garbage haul. It won’t make great compost anyway!
As you go along, you will find ways to recycle or reuse your non-organic waste as well. Most of our waste can come in handy, it only takes some extra thought and consideration to use it.
- Make compost
This brings us to compost – the alternative to commercial fertilizer in sustainable gardening. Composting is surprisingly simple in concept (although like most things you can make it more detailed and complex if you wish).
To make compost, just dig a hole and throw in all your organic waste such as vegetable peels. Let it marinate, and you will have excellent organic fertilizer and planting material for your plants.
If you have no space for a hole, you can purchase a compost bin for this or pick an old container with a cover from around your home. Put in green waste, papers, the kitchen remains, and you will have great compost. However, be sure to keep the area sanitary or you might bring pests to your yard.
See a guide here on how to make a simple compost for your garden.
- Conserve water and energy
For a sustainable approach to gardening you need to think about water storage and conservation.
Adapt habits like mulching and drip irrigation to keep the soil moist around plants with little water. Also, collect rainwater and water your plants with it instead of watching it run off your gutters.
There are also great ways to conserve energy. A simple way is to cut down on the use of power tools in your garden and use good old elbow grease.
Bring back hoes, secateurs, shovels, and wheelbarrows. It will allow you to involve yourself more in nurturing the garden. It’s also an excellent way to stay fit.
- Bring in the animals
Sustainable gardening requires collaboration with all of nature. You want to support life in all forms. A critical aspect of it is nurturing animals, birds, and insects that are good for gardens or need gardens to thrive.
To start with, plant some flowers and plants that will attract insects and birds. Think plants with seeds and berries, sweet-smelling flowers and shrubs. Also, put up structures that will attract them to the garden, such as birdhouses and bird baths. Soon you will have some beautiful birds, butterflies, bees, and other insects thriving in your garden.
- Yes! to Veggies and herbs
We advise that you make your sustainable garden a mix of flowers, vegetables and herbs.
For example, put oregano with peppers. You can also plant parsley and French marigold throughout the garden to repel harmful insects and attract good ones such as wasps. Plant rosemary and lavender for bees and sprinkle in lots of lemon balm, coriander, and dill. Your garden will look amazing!
- Join up with others
As you can see, sustainable gardening is a useful hobby to cultivate. It gives as much as you put into it. Why don’t you start your sustainable garden today?
We advise that you join as many groups and communities as you can to stack up on knowledge and read about other people’s experiences. You could also influence your friends with a green thumb and start your own sustainable gardening group. Good luck!