As the world continues to face the consequences of climate change, many individuals are taking steps toward sustainable living. Let’s dive into more information on sustainable gardening.
One way to contribute to a sustainable lifestyle is through gardening. However, gardening practices can also harm the environment if not done correctly.
Transforming into a sustainable gardener requires changing your gardening routine and using the right equipment. This article will explore how to create a sustainable gardening routine with the right equipment to reduce the environmental impact of gardening while still enjoying the benefits of growing plants.
What Is Sustainable Gardening?
Sustainable gardening is a practice of gardening that seeks to minimize environmental impact while also maximizing the health and productivity of the garden. It involves using techniques that conserve water, reduce waste, and promote biodiversity.
By implementing sustainable gardening practices, gardeners reduce their carbon footprint, conserve resources, and support a healthy ecosystem. Additionally, sustainable gardening can lead to increased yields, healthier plants, and more enjoyable outdoor space.
Start with Good Soil
Soil is the backbone of a garden and where sustainability starts. Healthy, loamy soil contains many beneficial micro-organisms that help the soil produce robust vegetables, flowers, and other healthy plants with a limited environmental impact.
As a sustainable gardener, your first step with good soil starts with a soil test. How else will you know what nutrients are missing from the ground?
Your local garden center or university extension will have soil tests available. You can also send your soil sample to your local university extension to be tested. They send you the test results with recommendations on fixing the deficits.
From there, you work to improve the soil by amending it with organic matter, including compost or aged manure. If you don’t have access to organic matter, you can buy bagged compost and manure online or at your big-box retailer.
The soil’s pH may be unbalanced as well. If you have acidic soil, you want to use lime to make it more basic. If your soil is too basic, you’ll need to use sulfur to make it more acidic.
Your goal is to have a pH of 5.8–6.5 for garden soil, which is slightly acidic.
Brinly manufactures ground-engaging products that mix the organic matter into your garden soil. These products include
- Sleeve Hitch Box Scrapers
- Sleeve Hitch Rear Blade
- Sleeve Hitch Disc Harrow
- Sleeve Hitch Moldboard.
Choose the Right Plants
As a sustainable gardener, you want to choose plants that grow in your region and install these specimens at the right spot on your property.
For example, if you plant coneflowers (Echinacea), which are native plants for many Northeastern landscapes, then you want to plant them in a spot where they get at least 6 to 8 hours of daily sunlight.
Conversely, if you plant coneflowers in the shade, the result will be limp stems and powdery mildew showing up on the leaves.
For sustainable gardening, try to use as many native plants as you can because these plants don’t use as many resources as non-natives do. Plus, they attract wildlife, such as birds and bees.
Sustainable gardening means using less water by grouping plants together based on their water needs. You also employ soaker hoses, drip irrigation, or bubblers to irrigate your vegetable gardens, hanging plants, trees, and groundcovers.
If you have poor yard drainage, you want to repair that with a dry creek bed, rain garden, French drain, or swale.
Also, harvest rainwater using rain barrels, which you can store for watering your plants later.
Practicing smart water techniques saves water and money and prevents your plants from disease and death.
Use Organic Fertilizers
As a sustainable gardener, you want to use the best fertilizers in your garden. Organic fertilizers, such as compost, contain naturally decomposed products, such as bat guano, blood meal, bone and feather meal, decomposed fish, and kelp ingredients.
You can make your fertilizer by using a compost bin where you put in fruit and vegetable peels, egg shells, coffee grounds, chopped leaves, grass clippings, straw, and many other unprocessed, organic materials.
You may find that you do need to buy bagged organic fertilizer at your local garden center or big box retailer if your compost bin doesn’t provide enough compost for your garden.
Again, refer to your soil test results to see which nutrients should be added. Then, apply the right amount of organic fertilizer to correct the problem.
Practice Companion Planting
ElmDirt.com has an informative article on companion planting. Sustainable gardening includes companion planting because you combine two different plant types to fight pests, attract pollinators, and grow a bigger harvest of vegetables.
For example, ElmDirt.com recommends planting basil with tomatoes—a marriage made in heaven because basil is used in many tomato dishes. Basil helps tomatoes grow larger yields and repels flies and mosquitoes.
ElmDirt.com also recommends planting marigolds, asparagus, celery, onions, lettuce, parsley, and spinach with your tomatoes.
Then, there are sister crops. For example, ElmDirt suggests planting zucchini and corn together. The zucchini vines wrap themselves around the corn stalks benefitting both plants as they share nutrients and moisture.
Use Sustainable Garden Tools
Every sustainable gardener has tools that make working in the garden efficiently and eco-friendly.
According to TreeHugger.com, you want to buy long-lasting hand tools, so you don’t throw away your trowel or cultivator after every growing season. Instead, you purchase quality tools that last for many growing seasons.
Here are the top 7 hand tools that TreeHugger.com recommends for sustainable gardening:
- A watering can made from galvanized steel with powder coating to protect it from rusting
- A stainless steel trowel with a comfortable no-slip grip
- Soaker hoses
- A soil knife
- A hand rake or cultivator
- A rounded point shovel
- Hand-held pruning shears.
How Brinly Garden Equipment Helps You Develop Sustainable Gardening Routines
Brinly manufactures durable, long-lasting lawn care and garden equipment for the DIY homeowner. Since 1839, Brinly-Hardy Co. has been dedicated to providing quality, durable, and innovative lawn and garden tools.
In addition to our sustainable gardening tools, we have many other lawn and garden products to help you with creating and maintaining a beautiful property throughout the year:
- Garden sprayers
- Lawn rollers
- Lawn sweepers
- Push spreaders
- Spike and plug aerators
- Tow dethatchers
- Tow spreaders
- ZTR products.
You can buy your next Brinly lawn care and garden products online. If you have any questions about your Brinly lawn and garden product, contact our customer service today by dialing 877-728-8224 or filling out our contact form.
ElmDirt.com, Companion Planting.
GardenDesign.com, Growing Conflower: How to Grow and Care for Echinacea.
MissouriBotanicalGarden.org, Sustainable Gardening.
Pennington.com, All You Need to Know about Organic Fertilizer.
TreeHugger.com, Our 10 Favorite Eco-Friendly Gardening Tools.