Gardening

How To Make A Sustainable Garden In 9 Simple Steps

Modern gardening is taking a page out of our ancestors’ playbooks with more eco-friendly and sustainable methods. Creating a sustainable garden is a fun way to help the environment and teach future generations some of their foreparents’ less toxic and damaging ways to grow food and beautify the landscape. Our tips on how to create a sustainable garden will provide simple, easy steps to help advance environmentally positive changes in the landscape.

1. Start a Compost Pile

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One of the first steps in how to make an eco-friendly garden is by making your own compost. It doesn’t have to be fancy but it does have to follow some rules. Whether you are ridding yourself of yard waste or trying to turn kitchen scraps into black gold, composting is an efficient and cost-effective method that will yield rich material to return to the soil. Using a pile, 3 bin set up, compost tumbler, or other methods will all keep refuse from our landfills and result in a desirable product for your plants.

2. Plant for Pollinators

A bumble bee on an orange flower

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Perhaps you’ve heard of colony collapse in honey bees, or read articles on the disappearance of many species of moths and butterflies. There is something you can do to help our very necessary pollinators. Design a garden that will attract them, provide habitat and nursery sites, food, and water. Native plants are one of the best ways to start a pollinator garden. They are adaptable to their native range, requiring fewer resources to manage, and produce nectar and other food sources, and are attractive to local insects. Planting specimens that produce brightly colored flowers will enhance your garden for both you and our delicate pollinators.

3. Tend to Turf Naturally

White clover in a lawn

(Image credit: Catherine McQueen / Getty Images)

Whether it is by participating in No-Mow-May or replacing sod entirely, it is possible to reduce the huge amount of water, chemicals, and maintenance in the lawn. Other sustainable lawn care practices include mowing higher and letting mulched clippings compost in the soil naturally. Instead of piling on herbicides and fertilizer, manage problems naturally by regular aeration, thatching, overseeding, and top dressing with compost or steer manure. Water less frequently but deeply, creating a dense, deep root system. Mow as late in the season as possible, and consider allowing the lawn to go dormant in summer. Allow those leaves that fall to remain. Mow over them to mulch them into smaller bits and let them decompose into the roots of the grass as a natural food.

4. Choose Water-Wise Plants

A xeriscape garden

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Water is a precious resource that must be used wisely. Turf lawns are classic villains in a water-wise landscape. Consider replacing turf grass with drought tolerant plants. Among the best eco-friendly garden ideas is the drought or xeriscape garden. This water saver depends upon selecting plants that thrive in areas with minimal moisture.


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