Over the last 10 years, there has been a sharp rise in the number of people practicing sustainable gardening. You may be asking yourself ‘what is sustainable gardening? And what are the benefits?’ Well, to put it simply, sustainable gardening is when you put your garden to work for you. Think about growing vegetables, fruits and herbs in place of decorative flowers and utilizing the free resources that nature has to offer. The idea behind sustainable gardening is that you reap what you sow, and the best part is that you don’t even have to be the world's best gardener.
When following a sustainable lifestyle, don’t for one moment think that you can no longer enjoy beautiful flowers, colorful displays, and aromatic fragrances. There is so much to be gained from growing nutritional and sustainable plants, and the end result is a garden filled with delicious crops that you have grown with your own fair hands and by using free and organic resources.
Many people turn the minds to the BBC sitcom ‘the good life’ when they think of sustainable living, and it’s actually not that far off of the truth. While sustainability is seen as a way of saving money and providing your own produce it is also very much a lifestyle and one that will have you enjoying the time you spend outdoors while helping you get a better connection with nature.
By taking up sustainable gardening you are actively taking part in several important roles. First of all, you will be improving the nutrient content and quality of your garden soil, this will encourage earthworms that in turn oxygenate your soil and provide drainage channels. Next, you will be supporting native and local flora and fauna which is ideally suited to your location. Then there is the main benefit of growing your own fruits and vegetables that are not only organic but also as fresh as can be.
Creating a compost pile is possibly the most important thing you can do for your garden. A compost pile provides you with a place to recycle your uncooked and organic materials without being wasteful which in the future will be used to feed your plants and improve your soil quality. Compost piles can also be used for generating heat during fall and winter in temperate climates, this can help keep a greenhouse warm when the temperature drops outside.
Saving seeds from your plants ensure that you can grow more of the same crops in the following year without having to purchase any more from the shops. You can also join a seed swap club to get your hands on new varieties and species for free. A great tip is to save seeds from any fresh produce you buy from the store, for example, chili seeds. Not many people realize that chili plants can grow almost anywhere in the world, they offer vibrant color to the garden and can be used in cooking when required.
You will be surprised at how much money and water you can save by taking advantage of what mother nature provides. Get yourself some rain butts to store rainwater in and use it over the warmer months to water your garden. Rainwater is not only a free resource but also cleaner and lacking many minerals and chemicals that are found in tap water. If you have enough space in your garden, why not build a natural rainwater pool that you can use to conserve water in on a larger scale. This not only looks beautiful but will invite many of nature's helpers into your garden to control pests such as aphids and caterpillars.
These are just a few of the basics of sustainable gardening, and hopefully, they will inspire you to give it a go. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.