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Sustainable Gardening Tips

Do you know the difference between eco-friendly and sustainable gardening? It’s a huge one. Most sustainable gardens are eco-friendly but not all eco-friendly gardens are sustainable.

You might be thinking, “But what about my garden?” If so, then you’re in luck because there are five simple ways to ensure that your garden is as sustainable as possible. And those steps will help keep your soil, air, and water clean for the plants and animals who live around it!

So without further ado let us begin our list.

Benefits of sustainable gardening

Gardening is a sustainable activity. It helps to reduce your carbon footprint by producing sustainable food, reducing waste, and conserving water. Gardening also has many other benefits including stress relief, reduced risk of illness, increased creativity and improved mood. 

Reducing your carbon footprint

Gardening can reduce your carbon footprint by producing sustainable food that doesn’t rely on fossil fuels for its production or distribution (which would greatly increase the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere). Sustainable farming practices are especially important now due to climate change which has resulted in unpredictable weather patterns – one year you might have too much rain while another year you might have a drought. 

Helping eco-systems thrive

Organic practices help to improve biodiversity by creating a garden environment that encourages different plants and animals to coexist together. By encouraging healthy ecosystems, sustainable farmers avoid harming non-targeted species; this is especially important because the majority of vertebrate wildlife (which includes fish) has already suffered population declines due to habitat loss. 

Companion planting 

Companion planting is a very smart gardening technique that brings many benefits. Simply said, this is the act of planting certain crops together as a tactic to enjoy a number of useful outcomes. The main ones include but are not limited to: 

  • Stronger crops that help each other grow faster; 
  • More produce in no time; 
  • Natural pest control; 
  • No plants competing for food resources and water; 
  • More space in your garden; 
  • Great garden design opportunities. 

And the best thing about it is that it’s not hard to do. Just find a chart, like the one below, that will show you which plants are best combined with each other and follow it. It’s usually best to do it from the very beginning, but if you already have a garden, it’s still not impossible. 

You can rearrange it however you like and if you’re afraid you’re going to kill the plants, just call for a professional. 

Source: Paul’s Mowing Melbourne

Organic pest control 

Organic pest control is sustainable and eco-friendly.  The use of natural ingredients to combat pests has been around for centuries, but it’s only recently that the practice of organic gardening has gained popularity. It’s also the ability to use beneficial insects to battle the real pests for you. 

Organic pest control uses natural ingredients like garlic cloves or hot pepper sauce to kill insects without hurting humans or other creatures in the environment. It does not contain any toxic poisons that can harm people or wildlife when applied according to directions, nor does it leave behind a harmful residue on vegetables once they are harvested. Of course, this kind of sustainable gardening requires a little more work than using a standard pesticide. However, the benefits make it well worth the effort!

  • Sustainable gardening is the only way to truly ward off pests without also harming any creatures that you would like to keep alive in your environment. If you do not use sustainable methods for pest control, then you risk killing bees and other insects that are essential for plant pollination!  
  • Sustainable methods are much less expensive than purchasing pesticides at garden stores or using toxic sprays. You can make all kinds of natural ingredients into homemade pesticides by combining them with water or oil, which can be easily found around your home if you have never used them before. Using sustainable pest control allows you to save money on pesticides so that you can spend it on something else!

Now let’s take a look at the most important elements of organic pest control: 

Natural Homemade Insecticides

The first thing to do in sustainable pest control is to create natural homemade insecticides. There are many recipes out there for this, but they all serve the same purpose: To create a mixture that can kill pests on contact. Here are some recipes you can try: 

  1. Soap spray

This mixture works well on plants infested by aphids, mites, beetles, and whiteflies. Just mix 2 teaspoons of any mild soap with around 300-400ml of water, shake it well and spray the infested areas. 

  1. Essential oils spray 

Neem oil is the most effective one when it comes to battling harmful insects in the garden. Mix it with water according to the instructions on the label and apply to the damaged areas and the plants you want to protect. Other effective oils are peppermint oil, lemongrass, citronella, and eucalyptus. 

  1. Diatomaceous earth

This is a natural substance that has many different uses and we have an abundance of it since 25% of the planet’s crust is made up of diatomaceous earth. Just sprinkle the substance on the leaves and around the plants that are attacked. It will help protect your garden from snails, slugs, spiders and other crawling pests. Just make sure to reapply it after each rainfall. 

  1. Garlic spray 

Garlic has a very pungent smell which is very successful at repelling insects from your home and garden. To make this spray, you have to blend two whole bulbs of garlic and a little bit of water. Leave that for a night, strain it into a big glass jar and add half a cup of vegetable oil with 2-3 tbsp of dish soap. Fill with as much water as you want the spray to be and apply it to the damaged areas in your garden. 

Beneficial Insect Habitat 

The most common pests that invade gardens include aphids, beetles, spider mites, slugs and snails, thrips, whiteflies, and caterpillars. Most of these insects have four stages to their life cycle: egg, larvae/caterpillar/grub stage, pupa stage (when it is not feeding), and adult. Which combination of these stages will be present depends on where you live and when they decide to hatch, but the basic idea is that this cycle continues until all of the pests in your garden are killed.  

How sustainable gardening works against pests depends on when in their life cycle they are present. If you opt for sustainable methods during egg rotation, it will be too late once the egg hatches! Organic pest control requires a little more work than traditional pesticide methods because it relies on timing to kill adult insects before they lay eggs or reach adulthood. However, if you choose sustainable adult control methods, then you will have fewer problems with larvae/caterpillars/grubs during the pupa stage.

So naturally, the next sustainable pest control method is to provide plants that will attract beneficial insects. Set up habitat with egg mortality as your goal! Leave some space in your garden for plants like lavender, dill, anise hyssop, fennel, coriander, yarrow, elderflowers or lemongrass if they are native to your climate zone. This way beneficial insects will be more likely to populate your garden.  Birds are also known for eating pesticides so you can leave some space for birdbaths, feeders, and nests! 

Natural compost pits

The natural compost pit is a sustainable and environmentally friendly way to recycle food scraps and yard clippings. It’s also a great alternative for those who don’t have much space to grow their own garden.   

There are many benefits of the natural composting process, such as: 

  • It reduces landfill waste; 
  • Saves energy by using solar heat rather than electricity or gas-powered machinery;
  • Produces “black gold” (fertilizer) that can be used in your gardens. 

The following steps will help you build your own sustainable natural compost pit!  

  1. Choose an appropriate location for your pile – Place the pile where there is good drainage.   
  2. Build it! Make sure that the pile is built to be at least 3 feet high and wide, with a top opening of at least 18 inches in diameter.   
  3. Fill it! Add browns to your compost pile, such as yard clippings, dry leaves, grass clippings, straw or hay. Add some greens, as well. This includes produce from your kitchen scraps or coffee grounds from your morning brew. 
  4. Turn it! Turning the pile every week will help speed up the composting process and produce a more even product. 
  5. Cover it! Covering the pile with a tarp will help keep the moisture in and make it more sustainable. 
  6. Use it! Your sustainable garden will thank you for your hard work – use your compost on your fruit trees, vegetables, ornamental flowers or even flower pots indoors to give them some nutrients. 

No-dig gardening 

No-dig gardening is a sustainable gardening technique that can be done anywhere and without disturbing the ground. No digging means less weeding and less water and chemical use. It’s also healthier for your plants because roots grow down, not sideways.

There are many benefits to no-digging, the most important being that you maintain the health of all living things in your environment! No-dig gardening is easy and sustainable for any gardener who wants to protect their soil, air, and water from toxic chemicals. 

It works by layering straw, manure & compost in order to create an area deep enough to plant your vegetables or flowers. You can layer those substances on a soil patch or a raised bed, but you can also do this on concrete and wood decks. The only difference is that you will need to prepare the hard surface areas beforehand by placing layers of newspapers, sticks and leaves to improve drainage. 

Eco-friendly gardening equipment

A crucial part of sustainable gardening is going for green gardening equipment. This includes switching from gas-powered tools to electric or manual equipment. Another option is to hire professional gardeners instead, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money on electric equipment you will rarely use. 

Another thing we have to mention is gloves. You should look for items such as synthetic leather or Amara backed with neoprene to promote a better grip on smooth handles like rakes or shovels. Look for sustainable fabrics like hemp, recycled cotton, or bamboo.

And finally, toolboxes. They come in many shapes and sizes but some of them can be sustainable as well. Look for toolboxes that are made from recycled plastic and wood fibres using glue that has been infused with soybean oil. 


Remember, being sustainable means making small smart choices every day with the common future and our home planet in mind. Even if you make eco-friendly choices in your garden, they mean nothing if you don’t apply this to the rest of your life. 

For more ideas, you can check out our article on Eco-Friendly Living.