11 Simple Ways to Practice Sustainable Gardening

How much do you know about sustainable gardening? These useful tips might just fill in any gaps in your knowledge! The more you know about these practices the better. Do you think that you’ll use some of these in your garden this year?

1) If you own cats or dogs, brush them and then sprinkle some of their hair around the edges of your garden. Sure, it might look weird, but it will keep any critters away. They’ll smell your predators and steer clear of your vegetables.

2) Place a laundry sink in your yard, near where your vegetable garden is located. A bucket underneath will collect the water that runs through it as you hose off your newly picked fruits and vegetables. Then, you can use that water in your garden.

3) Don’t use a machine to pull up weeds. Instead, get on your hands and knees and pull them the old-fashioned way – with your hands, or, if you need to, with a hand tool. You’ll have a better appreciation for your garden and the earth this way.

4) Instead of using pieces of plastic in order to mark your plants, just grab some twigs. Shave off a section of the bark and write on it with an environmentally friendly marker. The best thing about this is that the twig will end up decaying over the course of the season, helping the composition of your soil.

5) Repurpose old pieces of concrete that you find lying about. They make great stepping stones and even garden borders. Plus, they add a little rustic look to things, thanks to their broken edges.

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6) Create a hot sauce spray in order to keep pests off of your plants. Certain ones will not appreciate the flavor of the spray that ends up on the leaves. (Note: this takes care of many critters as well.) Just mix some ground cayenne pepper, Tabasco sauce, and water in a spray bottle.

7) Rather than buy twine to use as garden ties, just use some old pantyhose. You can even cover growing melons and other trellised vegetables in it, and then tie the pantyhose to the trellis. This is a great way to reuse something that would otherwise end up in the trash.

8) Make your own mulch out of old tree limbs, pieces of branches that you’ve pruned off of your hedges, or anything else that you remove from your perennials. As long as it’s small enough, and you can guarantee that it won’t sprout seedlings, it’s safe to use. This is a great way to use yard waste.

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9) Turn vegetable trimmings into stock. Rather than throw the ends of things right into the compost bin or the trash, place them in a freezer bag. When you have enough in the bag, make stock with them (all that you need is some water, those veggies, and a pot over low heat). Then, skim your stock and place the vegetable bits into your compost pile.

10)  When you’re planting your vegetables, create a furrow on either side of them. This will hold water for some time, and allow that water to go straight to the roots of the plants. It’s like creating a mini irrigation system in your yard.

11) Save items throughout the year and use them for other purposes in your garden. For example, you can use leftover rags (ripped into strips) as markers or ties. You can turn old popsicle sticks into plant markers. There are plenty of things that you can reuse as long as you get a little creative. This is one of the hallmarks of sustainable gardening.

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