Last week’s “Straight to the Compost” blog beautifully sets the tone for this week’s topic—sustainable gardening. Well, if you went through the trouble of producing some finished compost, might as well extend your greenifying to the garden, right?
A lot of people consider gardening a green activity. Since it is much promoted as such, most people are unaware that even gardening has its fair share of negative environmental impacts. There is still a degree of sustainable improvement that you can do for your garden.
How much more can we greenify our garden? Find out by reading more.
Guide for a Small
Eco-friendly & Efficient Garden
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What Does A Sustainable Garden Mean?
A sustainable garden is formed and maintained through sustainable gardening practices.
At this point, the obvious question to ask is: what are sustainable gardening practices? Here are some gardening practices that are considered zero percent damaging to the earth.
- Using finished compost to condition the soil – As previously discussed in last week’s blog, the process of producing finished compost is one way of managing food waste at home. Also, its continued use helps in reducing the need for chemical fertilizers.
- Avoiding the use of herbicides and pesticides – Weeds and pests are truly the cause of a gardener’s woes. Most of the time, the easier solution is to use herbicides. However, herbicides are toxic and may harm animals and disturb their natural habitats. With this, it would be best to avoid them. Instead, opt for more sustainable methods such as hand weeding and mulching.
- Companion planting – Companion plants help introduce beneficial insects to the garden. Companion plants, such as marigolds, are plants that have an abundance of pollen and nectar resulting in their capability to call in beneficial insects to the garden. Bees and butterflies are examples of these beneficial insects.
- Using a watering can – Tending to your plants require a lot of water. You can control water consumption by using a watering can. Better yet, collect rainwater and use it for your garden instead. Rain barrels are helpful tools that help make water collection an easy task.
How Can I Make My Garden Sustainable?
You can greenify your garden through regularly performing the sustainable gardening practices enumerated in the previous section.
For the benefit of the beginner, we will be discussing sustainable gardening in order:
- Start by planning a sustainable garden design – Why is this so important? Isn’t gardening supposed to be trial and error? Well, planning your garden design from the start is guaranteed to save you time and money in the long run. Each plant requires different environmental conditions. Some plants need a lot of water while others need a sufficient amount. Some plants love the shade while other plants love the sun. Putting these factors into consideration will allow you to group your plants according to their optimal environmental conditions. This will not only make garden maintenance easier for you, but it will also help you conserve water.
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- Prepare your soil – Especially for countries with changing seasons and unpredictable weather conditions, gardeners have to wait before their soil is workable and ready for planting. Mulching is one good and eco-friendly way to prepare your garden soil. Mulching is the process of covering the soil with organic matter for the soil to hold its moisture, stabilize its temperature, and control the growth of weeds. Common organic materials used for mulching are fall leaves, goat pen or chicken coop cleanings, wood chips, and more.
- Maintain your garden sustainably – Gardening is not a one-time job. Throughout the year, garden maintenance is required. Why do you think gardening and planting were considered commitments? Garden maintenance is the part where the sustainable gardening practices from the previous section are most involved. Here is a reiteration of those practices:
- Using finished compost to condition the soil
- Avoiding the use of herbicides and pesticides
- Companion planting
- Using a watering can/Collecting rainwater
Why Is Sustainable Gardening Important?
The transition towards tending to a more sustainable garden is an important part of greenifying your lifestyle as a whole as well.
Going back to Project Greenify’s belief that there is always a greener way of doing things, gardening too has its own “greener” potential. Especially for those who plant vegetables and eat their produce, sustainable gardening’s benefits extend to helping maintain a healthy and clean source of food. Sustainable gardening practices are also sure to reduce your carbon footprint in the long run.
What Are Sustainable Plants?
Plants thrive in different conditions. Specifically, there are what we consider sustainable plants—plants that need minimal care and are helpful or at least are not damaging to the environment (not invasive).
- Native plants – these plants grow naturally and optimally in your location. They are also well suited to the climate and soil conditions of your region, making them require less maintenance and water. They also help in improving the ecosystem of your region because they provide habitats for animals like birds and beneficial insects.
- Trees – Trees contribute not only through helping the environment but also through regulating the temperature of your home. They are also aesthetic additions to your garden. The critical part about planting trees is where you plant them. As they grow, they may damage your property. It is important to plan this part out before planting a tree in your backyard.
- Low-water plants – The honeybush, and other low-water plants are considered sustainable because they require less water for maintenance. Nevertheless, they are beautiful additions to your landscape.
Ready to get planting? Garden sustainably today! Talk to us in the comments.
- Photos from Unsplash
- Water Saving Tips for Gardens
- Meet the Magnificent Marigold
- What is Mulching?
- 15 Sustainable Gardening Ideas
- Springtime Garden Soil Preparation
- What is Sustainable Gardening?
- Choosing Sustainable Plants
- 16 Natural Alternative to Herbicide Use