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5 Tips to Cultivate a Sustainable Garden


If you have a garden or plan to create a garden, you may be considering eco-friendly, sustainable gardening. Not only is sustainable gardening responsible and friendly to the environment, but it can also be quite economical, since it needs less maintenance, reduces the usage of natural resources and utilizes recycled materials.

Here are ways you can make sure your garden is sustainable and eco-friendly:

Don’t Use Chemicals

There’s no good reason for home gardeners to use pesticides. Fungicides, insecticides and herbicides kill indiscriminately, so, for example, if you want to try to attract butterflies, there’s no point if you’re just spraying pesticides nearby.

In addition, some herbicides like Roundup may be dangerous to you and your family, so that’s another reason to avoid using chemicals.

Synthetic fertilizers should be avoided as well, since they create tender, rapid growth which pests are attracted to. They’ll grow plants, but not healthy plants. It’s a better idea to feed plants natural fertilizers like compost.

Make Compost

Even if you have only a small garden, with the correct knowledge, you can begin making compost on your own. This helps to reduce the waste of food and you can save money by not having to purchase compost.

Once you have a compost bin, place it in a level, well-drained spot in the shade. Now, start filling it with things like vegetable and fruit scraps, annual weeds, grass clippings, twigs, cardboard and dead leaves. These scraps will be broken down by fungi, microbes and natural bacteria, and you’ll have compost in a few months.

Conserve Water

Conserve water by retaining rainwater, watering efficiently and planting wisely. Utilize drip irrigation rather than sprinklers. Drip irrigation saves water by slowly trickling water around the root zone, minimizes disease issues and suppresses weed growth.

Consider capturing rainwater. You can use a rain barrel for this, or you can create swales, which are planted depressions in which water may pool, to slow runoff, allowing for water to make its way back into your soil.


You can also let water make its way into your soil through permeable paving, such as mulch, stepping stones, decomposed granite and gravel.

Don’t Cut Back Plants as Often

Wintertime can be difficult for wildlife, but you can help wildlife during the winter. Resist being tempted to cut back your plants too often during growing season – it’s OK to let parts of your garden be a bit messy.

If you wait until winter ends to cut back your plants, your plants will provide shelter and food for birds as well as a habitat for insects.

If you want to tidy up a bit, bundling up sticks can give homes to insects as well as other invertebrates. You might wish to gather fallen leaves and have them rot down in order to create an eco-friendly mulch, or simply spread leaves which have fallen over flower beds to give homes to invertebrates and frogs, and a habitat where birds can forage.

Grow Plants for Pollinators

Pollinators are crucial to the balance of nature and they require our help. We don’t see as many bees, butterflies or other insects in our gardens these days due to a loss of habitat.


Help reverse or slow the decline in pollinators such as bees and butterflies by growing varied plants, including flowers with nectar. It’s best to choose plants which are native to your region for this, as they’ll support the most biodiversity through habitat and food.



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