Are All Home Gardens Sustainable?

As people become more and more conscious of the impact their actions have in the environment, sustainability has gained momentum. In the past, it was a fringe movement only some people care about, but today, the demand for a more sustainable living has crossed over into the mainstream world and everyday life, and yes, that includes your garden.

Sustainability is all about maintaining the exploitation of natural resources and your environmental footprint, to a minimum. This includes a lifestyle change that can potentially mean making some hard choices and opting out of the easiest options out there. For the past century, society wasn’t really that interested in being sustainable, so we’ve built a world that’s filled with choices that are dangerous to the environment, getting out of it, takes a lot of hard work and effort.

One of the first things new environmentally conscious people want to do is support 0 kilometre and farm-to-table vegetables, which often leads to them planting their own gardens. After all, you can’t get more sustainable than that. The thing is, that not all gardening practices are sustainable, and actually being able to live off of your own backyard is a lot more complicated than what most people think. If you really want to have a sustainable garden, this is what you need to know:

  • You Work with Your Surroundings

One easy way to turn your gardening experience into a nightmare is by working against your climate. Plants will take much longer to grow -if they grow at all-, they will require a lot of time and effort, and you increase the chances of having to use chemical products to encourage growth. The first steps towards creating a sustainable garden should be studying the climate and the soil that you have available. Then, research the kinds of plants that thrive in such an environment.  Always keep in mind the different seasons you experience and how much time you can devote to gardening during those times. There are plants that are decidedly more complicated than others and can become downright impossible if exposed to the wrong type of climate. Whether you’re working with ornamentals or edibles, planning ahead of time goes a long way.

  • It’s Good for the Environment

This should be obvious: pesticides and chemicals are bad for the environment. The key principle of sustainability is working with the environment and reducing the harm that you do to it, so using harmful chemicals and pesticides is decidedly against the purpose. And believe it or not, so is using more resources than you should, namely: water. Ideally you should be working with plants that can survive with either very little water or what they get from rain. Likewise, they should be able to thrive when using organic compost rather than chemically filled soil conditioners.

Always keep in mind that the act of planting something is not necessarily environmentally friendly per se. Sustainability requires a lot more than that, you’ll have to carefully read labels, find local products, and even make your own. But the result will be a beautiful and useful garden.