5 Free Ways to Make Your Garden More Sustainable

Gardening in and of itself is already a great initiative towards sustainability. It reduces the distance your food travels to get from where it’s grown to your plate. Which reduces its carbon footprint. And, it promotes a bio-diverse approach to growing food, compared to the single-crop farms that are so popular in today’s agricultural system.

Even as home gardeners we can always find new ways to improve the sustainability of our food. Here are 5 free adjustments you can make to your garden to make it more sustainable.

Make your garden bee-friendly

Making your garden an inviting place for the bees will help your garden and the planet thrive.

Some plants rely on bees and other animals to pollinate them while others are self-pollinating, relying on the wind to help them. Without bees, many of the fruits and vegetables we enjoy today would not be possible.

Many people know that planting flowers in the garden can help attract bees. But there are extra steps you can take to make your garden even more inviting. Here are some other ways you can attract bees to your garden:

  • Choose the right kind of flowers. Choosing local flower varieties will attract the local bees that already know them.
  • Build or buy a bee box. Bees can store food and live in bee boxes. They can be as small as bird feeders and can be a great way to decorate your garden.
  • Provide water. Creating shallow water spaces for the bees to drink from will make your garden more inviting.
  • Use non-toxic pest control strategies. Pesticides are harmful to bees and other beneficial insects. Avoid them to keep the bees happy and healthy.

Use rainwater to water your garden

Collecting rainwater to water your garden is a great way to reduce water usage. Water conservation helps reduce water shortages and drought, and it helps reduce the energy used to process, and, deliver water.

You can buy a rainwater barrel, or you can improvise one out of an old storage bin or paint bucket. Storing them where your gutter lets out is a good way to collect the most rainwater.

Only grow what you can eat

While you can always compost any food that isn’t eaten, it’s always better to reduce the amount of space used as organized garden space, and try to leave as many wildlife-friendly spaces as possible; where tall grasses and other plants can grow.

Growing only what you need will also help you use fewer resources like compost, water and, fertilizer on food that isn’t going to be eaten.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t make your garden beautiful. Add some flowers and ornamental plants if they make your garden a more enjoyable space.

Favor used materials and tools

This one is a given. Reusing materials and tools is always better than buying them new. You can find great deals on tools for your garden on Facebook Marketplace, at your local thrift store, or on platforms like Kijiji and, Craig’s list.

Finding used materials like reclaimed wood, roof panels, bookshelves, or anything you can make a box with, will make your garden more sustainable.

Just be sure that the materials you are using are food safe.


Composting your table scraps, fruit that isn’t suitable for eating and any other plant material from your garden is a great way to reduce and reuse your waste. You can create a simple compost pile in your yard and use it to fertilize your garden.

This one is not only free but will help you reduce costs for fertilizer and store-bought compost!

When making decisions about your garden, a great way to start is to ask yourself: Is there a way I can reduce, reuse or recycle to achieve my goal? 

With this question in mind, you are sure to come up with even more creative and innovative ways to make your garden a more sustainable space. 

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