How to Build a Sustainable Garden

Guest post by Matthew Smith

According to the Brundtland Report, created by the United Nations back in 1978, sustainability or sustainable development includes design, construction, operations and maintenance practices that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. In other words, being sustainable means being able to recognize the importance of thinking ahead, not looking for and applying short-term solutions for benefit.

Nowadays, it is becoming even more important to be aware of the exact impact of your actions on your community and ways to minimize the possibility of further, unnecessary damage.

Even though humans are becoming well aware of the terrible influence they've had on the planet, green solutions are usually expensive. There are, though, solutions which are cost friendly.

Sustainable gardens offer an opportunity to enjoy both the aesthetics of your garden and its functionality, and at the same time provide living conditions for other organisms. Sustainable gardening is something every living creature can benefit from. According to the American Sustainable Sites Initiative, when it comes to sustainable properties of gardening, they are defined as the ability of landscapes to provide ecosystem services that benefit humans and other organisms.

The main focus of sustainable gardening is to inflict as little damage as possible to the environment. It often includes mimicking natural processes, and basically, working with what you've got. The main idea is to keep the human factor out of the game for as long as possible. People, in general, are so used to the idea and application of pesticides that it has become a standard. However, humans tend to forget that nature has existed without the human touch for a very long time.

In case you've been thinking about implementing a sustainable garden in your household, here are some things you should keep in mind.

Antranias via Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Antranias via Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Composting is the first thing people think about when it comes to creating their own, sustainable piece of heaven. There are many different forms of composting, with the most common one being transforming your kitchen waste to useful gardening supplies. However, composting can be as simple as applying leaves to the top of the soil during the winter months. What is less known is that this makes the soil more friable (easily crumbled), while also helping it conserve water.

The first thing you should do when trying to build a sustainable garden is to test your soil. Testing kits aren’t that expensive and offer a simple way to make sure your plants will thrive in this environment. Although many cultures prefer a balanced pH level, some cultures thrive in acidic environments. When testing your soil, you are giving yourself the opportunity to maximize the potential of your plants.

Photo credit: Taifighta via Visualhunt /  CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: Taifighta via Visualhunt /  CC BY-NC-SA

Furthermore, when choosing plants that will enrich your garden, look for compatible plants that go well together. By carefully choosing your garden/neighbors you are creating the perfect opportunity for your plants to thrive.

In case you have been trying to add some structure to your garden, make sure your choices include bio-degradable, soil-protective, recycled materials.

Once you've grown accustomed to this little routine, you will soon discover specific ways of further enriching your garden. Whatever you decide to do, make sure it will pay off in time.


Matthew Smith is a writer working for Fortified Roofing. Throughout his writings, he promotes sustainable living and the use of eco-friendly technology in housing and everyday life.