Sustainable Gardening Tips

10 ways to Save Time in the Garden so that it’s Sustainable for your Lifestyle:

  1. Hire someone to help you!
  2. Recruit volunteers or your kids to help you! (Offer them produce or flowers?)
  3. Mulch your beds to keep weeds down and water in the soil.
  4. Use organic pest controls and companion plantings.
  5. Perennial crops don’t need replanting every year and evergreen bushes are low maintenance.
  6. Native plants are adapted to our climate and need less care and many have fruit.
  7. Choose water wise plants to reduce watering needs and avoid invasive or needy plants that will need lots of maintenance.
  8. Install a watering system to do the watering for you.
  9. Get rid of some or all of your lawn.
  10.  Increase hardscape areas for paths, patios, and pergolas.

10 Strategies to make Sustainable Gardening more Affordable:

  1. Find cheap stuff in the community and trade resources with others.
  2. Use perennials and native plants.
  3. Attract pollinators for better crops.
  4. Conserve space with vertical structures, combo fruit trees, & sequential planting in beds.
  5. Conserve water with mulching and drip systems, rain water collection, and runoff control.
  6. Conserve soil with composting, mulching, and cover crops.
  7. Learn to save seeds.
  8. Create your own resources: solar power, compost, mulch, and worm castings, fertilizers.
  9. Get others involved with your project to save time and energy!
  10.  Do your research up front to select the right plants for you!

10 ways to get people involved in your garden:

  1. Invite people to help you harvest.
  2. Instead of a lemonade stand have the kids sell produce or homemade garden products like jelly or herb salts.
  3. Visit your local soup kitchen or food bank to see what they might need and grow and extra row for them.
  4. Make gifts from your garden! Recipients are more likely to take an interest.
  5. Trade produce, eggs, honey or flowers with others for things you want.
  6. Join an online gardening interest group to hear about local events and classes.
  7. Join a garden club or meet up group that suits your interests.
  8. Volunteer in a local garden to meet new gardening friends.
  9. Throw a neighborhood gardening block party to share produce and help each other with garden projects.
  10. Involve the next generation so they understand where food comes from. Involve their school or scout troop in a project perhaps?

Are you building your garden to a long-term plan that helps the environment?

  1. Select appropriate plants for your location and consider their eventual size.
  2. Native plants are often a good choice, since they “grew up in this neighborhood.”
  3. Plan infrastructure for water and soil conservation.
  4. Use eco-friendly building materials and look for recycled options.
  5. Think about ways to improve your soil over time.
  6. Attract more pollinators to improve your crops and those of the whole neighborhood.
  7. Attract birds, worms, bugs and wildlife to the garden. They also help control pests!
  8. Try to create a diverse biodynamic system within your garden using Permaculture.
  9. Consider what is downstream from your yard when selecting garden and home products.


We invite you to check out the New Start Community Garden in Burien.
614 SW 120th Street, located on the New Start high school campus.
Your involvement will help make the garden more sustainable, too!