Creating a sustainable garden means less work for you in the future, healthier food, and a reduced carbon footprint on the planet. It’s the ideal eco-friendly way to grow food (and flowers) and it will provide benefits for everyone and everything involved. The soil, water, air, pollinators, and your health will benefit from sustainable gardening practices and these tips will help you create a sustainable garden at home. Read our 6-Step plan below to find out just how easy it is!
1. Select A Sunny Location
Food-producing plants require a sunny location that will provide them with at least 6-hours of direct sunlight every day. Some plants, like squash, enjoy a little shade in the afternoon and will produce better when planted in a location that receives morning sun.
2. Start With The Soil
The soil feeds the plants and it needs to be amended with plenty of organic matter before anything is planted in the garden. To keep the soil fertile, apply compost and well-rotted animal manure on top of the soil twice a year -- once in early spring and again in mid-summer.
3. Make Compost
Save kitchen scraps, garden, and yard waste to create compost to feed the soil. A sustainable garden uses everything, including all plant waste, to enrich the soil. Start a compost pile so all organic material can be recycled into plant food for the garden.
4. Mulch Is A Must
Mulch will help the soil retain moisture, prevent weed growth, prevent soil compaction, and will slowly decompose to improve soil structure and fertility.
Use straw, pine needles, tree bark, compost, etc., around garden plants as a mulch.
5. Organic Pest Control
Synthetic pest or weed control products used in the garden will seep into the plants, produce, soil, and water system. Keep your garden sustainable and healthy with organic pest control products like neem oil, DIY pepper spray, beneficial bugs, and rough mulch.
6. Plant Choices
Native and self-seeding plants are ideal for a sustainable garden. Native plants have adapted to the environmental conditions in your climate and can withstand the elements better than non-natives. Self-seeding plants will return year after year without you re-planting them if they are happy in their environment. The seeds are easy to harvest too.
Creating a sustainable garden is as easy as 1-2-3. Select a sunny location, feed the soil, and plant native, self-seeding plants.