Gardening For The Environment By Making Your Garden More Green
Want to create an earth-friendly garden but you don’t know how? Don’t fret, I will give you eleven tips on how to make your garden more eco-friendly with green gardening techniques.
These are my tried and true tips on creating a more environmentally friendly garden that is good for you and for the earth.
If you are interested in green living and have a garden, a back yard, or an outdoor space, then gardening organically is for you. It helps you in your journey to living a more eco-friendly life.
Read on to learn how you can create a green garden that will thrive for years.
This post may contain affiliate links, which is at no cost to you. Disclosure.
What Is Green Gardening?
Green gardening, also known as sustainable or eco gardening, is a method to design, create, and maintain your garden to save time, money and energy.
It nurtures wildlife, reduces air, soil, and water pollution, and helps you grow your own healthy food.
- Have minimal impact on the environment from the use of little or no artificially produced chemicals or the need for powered devices to care for the landscape.
- Make the best use of available resources such as utilizing rainwater overflow to hydrate plants.
- Save time and money by replacing manicured landscapes into easy to maintain gardens.
- Provide diversity in the landscape by reducing the size of mowed areas into edible garden plots that improve your health.
- Increases habitat for wildlife and supports an active ecosystem where plants, microbes, insects, and other animals all depend on one another.
Why Should You Be A Green Gardener?
Organic gardening is fun and actually quite easy too. It’s environmentally friendly and is an activity you can do to help the health of the planet.
Green gardening is a great companion to green living.
Having a green garden is not particularly hard and if you implement the following tips you can create a thriving, lovely garden in a short time.
But don’t feel rushed and that you need to do everything at once. Gardening should be a relaxing, enjoyable, and healthy exercise to reconnect with nature and take in the open air.
Growing your own food cuts down on pollution from food being shipped as it’s right outside your door!
Having an organic garden is healthy for you, your family and for the earth.
Going green one step at a time, find out how!
11 Green Gardening Tips
Here are eleven tips for green gardening that I taught to my permaculture students and the homes where I built gardens. Follow these tips to have an eco-friendly garden:
1. Grow Your Own Food
Have a green garden is planting more than just flowers and herbs. Turn some of your lawn into a vegetable garden plot.
40 million acres of the 48 contiguous United States are covered in lawns. And homeowners apply millions of pounds of fertilizers and pesticides to their lawns.
This hurts my gardening soul. This is why I am a part of the Food, Not Lawns community. And to think, all this waste and poison just for the sake of ornamentation.
It’s time to convert some of your lawn to grow your own delicious vegetables, fruits, greens, and herbs.
Don’t have a yard? Look to see if there are any community gardens nearby that you can join. Or if you have a balcony, you can look into vertical gardening.
2. Go Organic
There really isn’t any need for using pesticides, weed killers, and chemical fertilizers on your backyard garden.
This could go into a long tangent, so I will keep it brief I promise, but I don’t believe in “weeds”. All plants serve a purpose and most weeds are actually medicinal plants that you can benefit from.
Sure, I don’t want a bunch of dandelions and plantain taking up water and nutrients from my veggies, but using wise garden planning, mulching, and companion planting will keep unwanted plants to a minimum.
And a few weeds do serve a purpose. I kept a few dandelions hanging around and the rabbits in my yard munched on them and totally ignored my greens and veggies.
Ditch the poisons and instead use all-natural compost, organic garden seeds, organic garden soil, organic weed control, organic garden pest control, and organic fungicide.
3. Make Your Own Compost
Compost is vital for a healthy, organic garden. It enriches the soil, is nutrient-rich, and improves soil texture, aeration, and water retention.
Instead of throwing away food scraps, turn into compost. The same for yard waste. Have a kitchen compost bin (affiliate) and one in your yard (affiliate) to make your own compost to use in your garden.
Store kitchen waste in the kitchen compost bin until you are ready to transfer it to your outdoor composter. I keep mine on the counter and carry it out when it gets full.
Yard and garden waste all decompose at different rates, but they will all break down eventually. To speed up the composting process, chop the larger material into smaller pieces.
Avoid putting materials in the pile in thick layers. They will mat together and reduce aeration, which slows down the composting process.
4. Get Into Worm Poop
Yep, you can even create compost from worm poop. It’s called vermiculture and you can feed worms your kitchen scraps and they will turn into “gardeners gold”.
It’s actually incredible to watch the Red Wigglers work and create compost quickly. You can use in your garden or even for your house plants.
So how does it work? The worms eat up organic matter from your food scraps. It passes through their intestinal tract and poops it out. The result is a fine-textured, nutrient-packed soil like castings.
Don’t be squeamish about this poop. I mean, if you eat honey (bee vomit) then you will appreciate the beautiful compost your awesome worms create.
And yes, I LOVE worms!
Whenever I find an earthworm in the garden we are instant friends. They are so beneficial for the health of the soil.
5. Use Native Plants
Find out what vegetables and plants are native to your area. Growing native plants will be more adaptive to climate and temperature changes.
Since native plants are already adapted to local conditions, native plants are easy to grow and maintain. Generally, they require less fertilizer and water.
Using native plants create beautiful, low maintenance and eco-friendly gardens.
Native plants will differ depending on where you live so be sure to check with a local garden center to learn what is local for you before you start.
Native plants are easier to grow and are better suited for your local environment.
6. Recycle Rainwater
Install rain barrels under your gutters to collect rainwater to use in your garden. You can fill buckets to water your plants or use a drip irrigation system instead of an overhead sprinkler system.
Irrigation systems are made of plastic but should last a long time. Also, they cut down on wasting water and are more efficient overall.
Rainwater is relatively clean and a free source of water and you have control over your water supply. Harvesting rainwater for your garden is environmentally responsible and helps conserve water.
Collecting rainwater in rain barrels can also help solve drainage problems on your property and is easy to maintain.
7. Use Less Water
If you live in a hot, drought-prone area, consider planting drought-tolerant plants and native plants that require less water to thrive.
Build raised garden beds on contour to maximize the absorption of rain and nutrients. This helps slow down the flow of water and lets it sink into the soil, minimizing the need to water as often.
Also, utilize mulch to help retain moisture in the soil. Use straw, newspaper, seaweed, grass clippings, shredded leaves, cardboard, or composted animal manure.
8. Attract Butterflies and Bees
Butterflies and bees are vital for a healthy garden. They are known as pollinators and they help move pollen from male structures (anthers) of flowers to the female structure (stigma) of the same plant species.
Butterflies and bees fertilize plants, resulting in the formation of seeds and the fruit surrounding seeds.
Planting flowers that attract butterflies and bees help your garden but is also important because there is a loss of bees and butterflies and they need all the help they can get.
9. Learn Companion Planting
Companion planting boost plant growth, repels pests and improves the flavor of each other. It is a staple of organic and permaculture gardening.
Companion planting uses your garden space more efficiently. You are able to plant more and harvest more food.
The diversity of companion planting is beneficial for pollinators, wildlife, and soil health. Planting calendula on the border of your garden beds will help deter unwanted flying and soil insects from plants. Tall plants can naturally provide shade for more sun-sensitive and shorter plants.
But keep in mind, not all plants get along. Make sure to research and make a garden plan before planting.
Here are some great garden combinations for individual pairings that help each other thrive:
- Chives and tomatoes: Chives protect tomatoes and the onion-like scent of chives helps deter aphids from eating your tomatoes.
- Rose and garlic: Garlic is a natural pest repellent for rose because of its scent.
- Carrots and spring onions: The smell of the onions helps discourage carrot root fly from getting near the carrots. And the smell of the carrots helps prevent onion fly from being too close to the onions.
For more ideas head to Farmers Almanacs guide to companion planting.
10. Seek Out Seed Savers and Seed Swaps
Cut down on commercial seed packs and support local seed saver groups. Or save your own seeds at harvest time. Also, see if there are seed swaps in your area.
A typical package of seeds costs $3 or more, while transplants can cost $5 each. By growing food from seeds you have saved, you can reduce the cost of producing healthy veggies.
You also preserve plants and seeds from the danger of disappearing and they also keep your garden diverse.
11. Use Less Plastic
Most plants come in plastic pots, but did you know that the commonly used black plastic plant containers can not be recycled? This is because the pigment used can’t be detected by the sorting equipment at most recycling centers.
The terracotta-colored plastic plant pots can be recycled, however. So, when buying from a local nursery, look for plants in recyclable containers.
Another option is to start your plants from seed to avoid the use of wasteful plastics. Or consider reusing black pots for seed sowing and repotting rather than buying new. Also, check to see if you can return the plastic pots to the nursery so they can reuse them.
Many garden suppliers stock biodegradable paper, bamboo, grass, and wood pulp pots and seed trays, which are a great alternative to plastic pots if you’re growing plants from seed.
Conclusion On How To Make Your Garden More Sustainable
You can make your garden environmentally friendly and more green by following these tips. Green gardening is a step you can take to lower your carbon footprint and have a positive impact on the earth.
Gardening is a rewarding, fun, and beneficial activity that you can do with your family, your friends, and your neighbors.
Create a more sustainable home with green gardening.
Earth Friendly Gardening Tips To Be More Green
What do you do to create a green garden? Share your tips in the comments.