10 Eco-Friendly Tips for Sustainable Gardeners

Making gardening your new hobby may be useful for the environment and healing for the soul. If you are looking for eco-friendly gardening tips, this article will be the best guide into the world of greenery.

As the seasons are changing and the days are finally lightening up, it is the perfect time to be going outside and getting your hands in the soil! But how sustainable is your garden?

You all know I'm all about planting both inside and out, so I am excited to have a chat about this therapeutic activity. Today's guest post from Alaskan homesteader Archie is going to shed light on how we can all be a little more eco-minded when growing flowers, veggies, fruits, and herbs. After a long life as a builder, Archie has found a new passion in gardening, and today is sharing lots of tips and tricks to help minimize waste and unnecessary chemicals while maximizing growth and diversity!

Why Sustainable Gardening?

If you have a backyard, why not start a garden? We will tell you how to get your first crop and create a space you can be proud of.

Eco gardening is becoming more and more important in this modern world. It can be a part of a zero-waste lifestyle and helps to save the planet's resources. We produce more goods than we need, and this uncontrolled production produces lots of trash every year. Smarter consumption will help to lessen the amount of garbage, but gardening may also be one of the solutions to control planet pollution. Besides obvious eco-benefits, gardening can be considered a type of therapy as growing and connecting with the earth is good for the soul. It is also an activity that does not demand professional skills. That is why gardening for beginners can become a really rewarding hobby.

Why gardening, you ask? Do you want to taste the best self-grown food? Do you want to know how gardening helps the environment? Read this article and maybe even join a club of gardeners in the near future!

3 “Re-s” of organic gardening

There is one basic sustainability rule that is known as the “3 R's". Following these three well-known rules and applying them as gardening know hows will help to make your green space more eco-friendly.


There is no doubt that reducing the number of chemicals in your garden will make your harvest healthier. You can substitute chemicals in your garden with DIY organic lawn fertilizer. Go natural and stay closer to nature. 


Use everyday household items and turn them into gardening tools. You can repurpose almost any food container for planting seeds. You can avoid plastic by sowing seeds in egg cartons and toilet paper rolls. Do not hesitate to borrow these tools from your friends - that way you can reduce waste for them too. Replace all one-time use accessories with permanent ones, even if they are not new. Second-hand tools work the same way as new ones. If you consider gardening your hobby, do not hesitate to invest in good quality tools. You will not regret this choice even if they are a bit more expensive. 


Turn organic house leftovers and cut plants into the compost. Another trend is using recycled materials for paving and landscaping. The technology of creating pavement out of used concrete or plastic decking out of recycled plastic is incredibly innovative and helps reduce waste. You can make other sustainable choices like getting pots, garden furniture, and fencing made of recycled wood or plastic. 

Collect all types of water

Being a sustainable gardener means that you have to treat fresh water wisely. We can use only 0.3% of the water that we have on Earth, so one step for sustainable gardening is to reduce water waste by collecting rainwater. Installing a rain tank or water butt in the garden is a great way to provide smarter irrigation. Do not forget to protect this barrel from insects. When it comes to sustainable gardening, it's not about using less water, it's about planning to use water without wasting instead.

No sprinklers

Garden sprinklers do not deliver water to all parts of plants. Roots do not get all the necessary irrigation, and lots of water is wasted in the process. By skipping the sprinklers you are making a sustainable gardening choice and minimizing the negative impact of watering plants. We cannot promise that this method of gardening will save the world, but it may help save more water and harvest better crops. Especially if you add cost-cutting irrigation to your gardening must-have list.

Change the soil formula

Not all types of soil are the same. Different gardens and indoor plants need different types of soil and minerals for effective growth. It doesn't matter if you are doing private gardening or larger scale agriculture, you need fertile soil to grow anything in the long run. Invest in a few bags of quality composted soil and mix them with your garden soil before planting.

There is one rule for any type of soil. Never leave “bare soil” even if you do not grow anything at this part of your garden. Cover the soil with something to protect it. The easiest way is to use organic mulches for this purpose. [BLOGGER NOTE: skip using peat at all costs if you are looking to make your garden more sustainable - peat is incredibly slow growing and is essential for wildlife, improving water quality, reducing flood risks, and capturing carbon. Industrial extraction of peat is incredibly damaging, and purchasing or utilizing this non-renewable resource should be avoided]

You may try to change the formula of the soil by adding some organic materials. Coffee grounds contain lots of useful minerals, like nitrogen. Collect used coffee from the espresso machine and add it to the soil before planting. Tea leaves are another great option. All organic kitchen leftovers may be used in composting and provide zero waste household and gardening materials. 


No matter which gardening guide you follow, it will advise you that creating compost is the best way to be more eco-friendly when it comes to your green space. It is an absolutely win-win activity. It is organic, it is cheap, and it will help you grow great vegetables, flowers, and herbs.

You can add almost all fresh organic leftovers:

  • Vegetable peelings

  • Fallen leaves

  • Cut grass

  • Teabags [Blogger note: just make sure they are plastic free first!!]

  • Wood ash

Create a balance in your compost bin and try that make sure that one type of leftover does not dominate over the others. Also, avoid cooked food and anything that may contain plastic.

Companion planting

Some plants have real benefits when they grow close to each other. Sustainable gardening means taking advantage of this knowledge. 

For example, many gardeners swear that tomatoes taste better when they grow close to basil. At the same time, tomatoes are protected from aphids by the smell of plants like garlic, chives, and marigolds.

Horseradish, growing close to potatoes, protects potatoes from veggie diseases. Leeks and carrots kill each other’s pests. On the other hand, tomatoes should not grow with corn, and they will suffer close to potatoes. Sage and other aromatic herbs will slow the growth of the cucumbers.

The rules of companion planting may help you get marvelous crops.

Choose local

There is a growing tendency to choose local products in all types of spheres, and this is one great way to make sustainable changes. Find local seeds for growing, materials for paving, and trees for the garden to reduce a carbon footprint. It will make your gardening natural looking and safe for the environment. Getting (and growing!) local food is good for the soil. Local farmers will need to create diversity of agriculture so the soil will not be spoiled by monocultures over the years. You will also get better fresher flavors and boost the local economy.

Eco roofing in gardening

You can move your garden activities from the ground up to the roof of your house. Garden-top roofs have became extremely popular, especially in the city, as they have lots of benefits. First of all, they help fight air pollution in modern cities. At the same time, eco-roofs can reduce the level of noise up to 10 decibels. In an urban environment, green roofs are exceptionally aesthetically attractive. They increase biodiversity due to eco-friendly plants that draw in pollinators, birds, and other bugs. Lots of insects and animals choose garden-top roofs as a shelter and a living area. This is yet another way in which gardening is good for the environment. And what is even more convenient, these green roofs do not need any irrigation system.

Increase biodiversity

You can have a positive impact on the environment and make your garden more sustainable by creating an oasis of biodiversity in your garden. Flying bees, singing birds, and small animals like hedgehogs will make your garden more entertaining and alive. This is also great for kids who will like having a place where they can learn about nature up close. Gardening with kids is a beautiful possibility to make family relations stronger and to build the link between generations.

So, how can you increase biodiversity?

Everything is balanced in nature. When you get a wide variety of different insects you attract the birds and animals who need these insects to survive. Insects themselves appear when they have food (like nectar from flowers). So, start by growing a diverse set of plants in your garden that are bee, butterfly, bird, bat, and beetle friendly.

What are the best flowers to grow? Honeybees are attracted by plants with lots of nectar and pollen. These pollinators are very important in your garden if you want to have better crops. So, attract them with sunflowers, lavender, dandelion, apple blossom, and other plants that bring the buzz. Butterflies and caterpillars also need to reach nectar flowers. So, think about butterfly weed and parsley in your gardening plan. [Blogger note: choose your flower colours based on what you want to attract - whites, purples, and blues are usually good picks for pollinators! Also be sure to keep the source of the seed in mind as there are many plants being poached in vulnerable communities!]

Also, having an open water source will help attract water insects, birds, and small mammals to your garden. Consider making a small pond the centerpiece of your garden, and you can have wildlife like fish, frogs, turtles, and dragonflies. Creating a pond may not be considered gardening on a budget, but it is definitely worth all the effort.

Connecting people

Gardening activities connect people. One day you may start by borrowing gardening accessories from a green thumbed friend. Then you find an apple present at your doorstep from a stranger (still, everybody knows who did this). Maybe you become the president of your local green gardening club! Do not feel surprised when your neighbors share crops and organize the biggest pumpkin contest or a home brew wine tasting. Join them and get more ideas for sustainable gardening and just some good plant based fun. And do not forget to invite them to your own gardening party! 

Starting Your Sustainable Garden:

Do not be afraid to make mistakes! Gardening can be easy, but it can also be exhausting. No matter how hard you work, the results can be unpredictable from one year to another. But all the hardships teach us to be patient and work harder. This is the meaning of being close to nature. Do not try changing nature; try to adapt to nature yourself.

So, gardening is a mindful activity that helps you organizing nature around your household, your thoughts, and family members. It gives you the opportunity to become closer to the planet and support your loved ones with organic food. Eco-friendly gardening is the possibility to make our earth healthier and to build social connections. We are sure that gardening will be the thing to change the world, or at least the first step towards it.

What is your choice? Would you like to try something grown in the backyard?

Share some thoughts with us and advise our readers!

Guest Writer Bio:

Archie was a builder for more than 40 years. Mainly after his retirement the enthusiastic electrical works in garden and writes for a blog Home Maker Guide to keep himself occupied. His many years of experience can get you the right tool reviews whether it is a drill, welding machine or so. An impressive fact to note about him is that almost everything in his house is a representation of his skills made by his hands. 

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