Beyond Organic Gardens: 5 Ideas To Transform Your Yard Into a Sustainable Garden

Working towards a sustainable future starts in ones’ yard and home

Organic gardens are a great idea. It uses natural products, eschewing chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Why stop there, though? A sustainable garden takes the process even further, encouraging healing and reducing your impact on natural resources. It’s easier than you think to transform your yard into a sustainable garden by following a few tips that have been tested over time.

1. Stop Throwing Away Food Scraps

Compost is a rich soil conditioner that also serves to conserve water and nourish your plants. Talk about multitasking. Instead of throwing your kitchen scraps into the trash, start composting them. Stash a small container under the sink, and add fruit and vegetable peels to it throughout the day. Be sure to empty it into your compost system regularly to avoid odors. Loose piles, tumblers, and bins for indoor or outdoor use are all popular options for managing your waste. Be sure you know about the different methods of composting and what can and can’t go into your system to avoid potential hazards.

2. Choose Native Plants For Organic Gardens

Mother Nature knows what she is doing, and the plants that grow naturally in your area will require less care (i.e., resources) than those that are better suited to another climate. They will be best suited to handle the normal conditions in your area, whether that is frequent drought, flooding, cold or excessive heat. Many are also naturally resistant to pests endemic in your region, which means less preventative and maintenance efforts to preserve your crops.

3. Design Your Yard for Resilience

Take time to plan out your landscape, and incorporate sustainability into the design. Take the terrain, light conditions and type of soil into consideration for the best results. Choose plants that will thrive in the light and soil conditions around your yard, and plant water-loving plants in moist areas of the yard. Minimize hard surfaces so that water can permeate the ground and reduce your need for watering.

4. Grow Your Own Food In Organic Gardens

Growing your own food is rewarding and a major hallmark of sustainable gardening. You will know exactly what was used in its production, so there are no surprises about GMO plants or questionable practices. Since you can keep a close eye on plants, you will be able to nip any problems in the bud, before damage is irreparable. Monitoring crops and harvesting as they are ripe minimizes waste.  In addition, it eliminates the need for transportation of final products, so you are helping the environment in reduced fuel consumption, too.

5. Save Your Seeds

Plants that can produce viable seeds if left to their own devices are known as open-pollinated. Many, but not all of them, will be old-timey heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables. They have a wide genetic diversity and have often adapted natural defenses against pests and disease. Once the seeds are ready, you can harvest them for next year’s seedlings. Tomatoes, beans, peas, and cucumbers are a great place to start since the seeds are easy to separate and dry.

Sustainable gardening is a path toward healing and supporting nature with actions that protect the environment. Adopting organic methods is a great place to start. It is hardly the end-all, though. When you move beyond a policy of doing no harm to one of healing, the environment benefits.

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