82 Sustainable Gardening Tips

1 / 7
Want to haul supplies sans fuel power? Try training a goat to pull a cart!
Want to haul supplies sans fuel power? Try training a goat to pull a cart!
2 / 7
Composting, using poultry for pest control and reusing materials in the garden are just a few ways to make growing your own food more sustainable.
Composting, using poultry for pest control and reusing materials in the garden are just a few ways to make growing your own food more sustainable.
3 / 7
Some gardeners intercept the “waste” stream by saving and diluting urine, then using it on plants as fertilizer.
Some gardeners intercept the “waste” stream by saving and diluting urine, then using it on plants as fertilizer.
4 / 7
Instead of store-bought plant markers, try collecting twigs and shaving off a small area to write plant varieties on.
Instead of store-bought plant markers, try collecting twigs and shaving off a small area to write plant varieties on.
5 / 7
You can extend your growing season with natural and repurposed materials. For instance, make a cold frame from hay bales and an old window.
You can extend your growing season with natural and repurposed materials. For instance, make a cold frame from hay bales and an old window.
6 / 7
An old-fashioned hand sickle is an excellent tool for jobs such as cutting a small cover crop to use the material as mulch.
An old-fashioned hand sickle is an excellent tool for jobs such as cutting a small cover crop to use the material as mulch.
7 / 7
To support pollinators in your garden, plant a diversity of flowers and put a few rocks in a birdbath. The rocks will help the pollinators get a drink without drowning.
To support pollinators in your garden, plant a diversity of flowers and put a few rocks in a birdbath. The rocks will help the pollinators get a drink without drowning.

Most gardeners have sustainability on their minds. After all, growing your own food is a huge step toward leading a sustainable lifestyle. Organic, chemical-free methods are inherently more sustainable — for human health, wildlife, the soil and the water supply — than non-organic techniques. But sustainable gardening goes beyond just using organic methods. From water and energy conservation to waste reduction and smart seed-sourcing, there are infinite ways we can make our practices more sustainable.

To find out what’s going on in sustainable gardens across the United States and Canada, we surveyed the thousands of members of MOTHER’s Garden Advisory Group. Here are their best tips, broken down by category, many of which will not only help you garden more sustainably, but will save you money, too! We hope you’ll try these creative ideas in your garden and pass the tips along to your friends and neighbors. (To contribute tips to future articles, join our Editorial Advisory Groups.)

Reusing and Recycling Materials in the Garden

1. I use an old plastic mesh bag to round up leftover slivers of soap. I rubber-band the bag so it’s tight and hang it next to the hose. The combo of the slightly abrasive bag and the soap scrubs off garden dirt.?—?Irene, Washington

2. I make row covers out of tomato cages, old rebar I got free, and used blankets I got at the local thrift store.?—?Cathy, Florida

  • Published on Sep 16, 2011
Online Store Logo
Need Help? Call 1-800-234-3368