Preparing for Spring: Building Self-Sustainable Gardening Habits in Eco-Friendly Ways

Building Self-Sustainable Gardening Habits
Spring is almost here. Now is the time to build self-sustainable gardening habits in eco friendly ways using these great tips from Devin Morrissey.

Creating a garden has so many benefits. There are benefits for your physical health, the environment, and even your mental health. With spring coming around the corner, you can start to prepare for a garden to gain all the benefits it has to offer. Being self-sustainable and eco-friendly are important habits to create, and gardening is a great way to accomplish those things.

By starting a garden and growing some of your own food, you are practicing self-sustaining skills. Avoiding harmful pesticides is an important aspect of eco-friendly gardening. Learning to garden in small spaces will be beneficial to those living in apartments or smaller spaces who still want to gain the benefits of gardening. Self-Sustainable Gardening is fun, can save you money and is much more healthy than the traditional alternatives. 

self-sustainable gardening habits start with planting the seeds
Starting a Garden

Starting a garden will start with getting an idea of what you want from your garden. Do you want flowers, herbs, or veggies? What does your space look like? How much sun will your space get? Answering those questions will help you get a better idea of where to start and how. Once you have an idea, you can start to get supplies and create your own eco-friendly haven.

  • Find the right spot: Whether you’re using an existing garden area, creating one, or just using an above-ground gardening structure, consider the spot you want to use. This will help to figure out what plants you want, how much room you have to work with, how much compost you need, etc.

  • Create your own compost: You can make your own compost with food waste (no meat or dairy), shredded paper, lawn clippings, dead leaves, coffee grounds, or egg shells.

  • Get the ground ready: If you’re working with natural ground, create your area, build your box, or clear the already existing ground for your garden. This means getting rid of grass or weeds, digging up the earth, and adding compost to the area.

  • Get your plants in: Each plant comes with its own set of instructions, so be sure to look up each plant’s ideal environment and care. Consider planting native plants and flowers as they will thrive in their natural climate. They will require less resources and will be more eco-friendly and sustainable. You can use eco-friendly seed starters, plant the veggies you would like, or flowers to help pollinators. The choice is yours.

  • Maintain care: Maintain the care of your little garden. Whether you have a raised bed full of veggies or a couple of herbs in a windowsill, the labor may be different, but they both need your attention. Don’t be too hard on yourself if your garden doesn’t go as planned and some plants die or don’t survive the season. Gardening is plenty of trial and error, and you might not get it right the first time.

self-sustainable gardening in small places

Gardening in Small Spaces

As long as your plants will get sun, water, and good soil, you can still garden in a small space. Many plants are bred to be in small spaces, so you can search for plants that specify their size. You might also consider plants that grow up instead of out such as tomatoes or peas. The positive side to all of this is that you won’t have to compost nearly as much. Urban gardens can create some amazing flowers and veggies, so don’t feel boxed in by your small growing space. You can get the added sustainable and eco-friendly perks from a small garden as well as a large one. Some plants that are great at growing in small spaces like window boxes, small plots, or planters are:

  • Sweet potato vines
  • Salvia
  • Chives
  • Lettuce
  • Basil

If you’re looking for plants that can grow in small containers or spaces and you’re wondering about ones that thrive with sun or shade, check out the information provided in the Farmer’s Almanac.

Self-Sustainable Gardening to grow your own food
Growing Your Own Food

Growing your own food is a great way to practice self-sustaining and eco-friendly habits this spring. You don’t have to have a garden that encompases all of your veggie needs, but even growing lettuce or onions can be a great thing for yourself and the environment. Growing your own food involves choosing the right plants for your climate and the right plants for your stomach. If you don’t like tomatoes, for instance, it’s not very helpful to plant them, even if they fit your environment. Some great plants to grow in order to keep yourself in self-sustaining food are:

  • Potatoes
  • Squash
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Kale

Don’t let this list limit you, however. You can try any veggie, fruit, or herb that you want to try that makes sense for your climate — some are just more difficult than others. Pay attention to seasonal foods and follow their natural growing habits or you won’t find much success. However, once you do figure out which plants work best for you, you’ve discovered a major step in sustainability which is being able to grow some of your own food with your own resources.

Self-Sustainable Gardening is pesticide freeAvoiding Pesticides

Avoiding pesticides and chemicals is a key component in creating a self-sustaining, eco-friendly garden this spring. Pesticides are extremely dangerous for you, other animals, and the environment, so it’s best to seek out natural pesticides that won’t erase all the good work you’re doing by creating something so beneficial. Instead of using a pesticide or herbicide, use their natural predators like ladybugs or praying mantises by introducing them into your garden. You can also use mulch to get rid of weeds or pull them yourself, which can be a great form of exercise. You can also look into bug traps to prevent pests from destroying your plants, shiny deterrents to thwart birds or rodents, or plant companion plants to repel insects. There are a ton of tips and tricks out there that won’t do the damage that pesticides will.

Self-Sustainable Gardening tips
Self-Sustainable Gardening Tips

Self-Sustainable gardening with a focus on creating eco-friendly habits isn’t the same as any other type of gardening. It’s about finding ways to ensure your garden is able to give out what you put into it. It’s about finding ways around depleting resources and, instead, recycling those resources. You’ll want to focus on staying away from chemicals and purchases for your garden that are not eco-friendly and find better alternatives. Ultimately, your garden should be doing positive things for you and the environment.

  • Collect rainwater: Collecting rainwater is a great way to keep your garden eco-friendly, especially in areas where water is scarce and restricted.  
  • Compost all year round: Composting year round is great for large gardens that will need compost early on in the gardening cycle to ensure your soil is rich with nutrients and ready to create healthy plants come spring.
  • Save your seeds: Saving the seeds of plants like sunflowers and marigolds is a way to recycle your plants year after year.

  • Companion Planting: Earlier companion planting was discussed as a way to prevent bugs infestation to eliminate the need for pesticides, but there are other reasons to companion plant as well. Companion plants can also give each other places to climb, provide shade, or can keep weeds away.

Growing your own garden – particularly self-sustainable gardening –  is a wonderful feeling. You get to see your little green sprouts of life come to be from your care. Not only that, but each sprout is working to help pollinators, and it might be helping to feed you too. By planning your spring gardening now, you’ll have a head start on how to start a garden in the first place. You’ll have a better idea on which sustainable and eco-friendly habits you’d like to implement and certain tricks to make your gardening a little easier. Whether you have a large raised bed or a few inches in a window box, you can create the perfect eco-friendly garden.

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About Devin Morrissey

Devin Morrissey writes from his garage, where he occasionally takes breaks to fix his friends’ cars. He outlines his articles with his dog, Scrummy, who is the best soundboard a man could ask for. You can follow him on Twitter, if you want.

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