Make Your Garden a Little More Sustainable

Credit: Buffalo News

Do Mother Nature a favor here.

The entire purpose of gardening, one could say, is to bring more green into the world. A worthwhile endeavor, but the process of gardening can occasionally produce more waste than it mitigates. Kind of a catch 22, huh? Well, it doesn’t have to be. There are ways to make your garden a little more sustainable, and it all starts with three words: compost, compost, compost.

Most people, no matter their living situation, produce a steady supply of biodegradable garbage on a regular basis. Now, when I say “biodegradable,” I’m talking about things like fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee and tea bags, and just whatever you didn’t clean off your plate. Those scraps may not be good for eating anymore, but they make fantastic compost. You can get a closed compost tumbler to store outdoors, or if your space is a little more limited, you can keep a worm-based composter inside. One caveat: make sure to only put the scraps I mentioned in there. Don’t add any meat; worms can’t break down meat, and meat in an outdoor tumbler will attract pests.

Credit: Kellogg Garden Products

You can use that compost both as a fertilizer for your plants, or, if you’re patient enough, to create new natural planting spots. If you bury a wad of degradable garbage in a spot on the ground, wait a year and that spot will be absolutely teeming with life, ready to nourish any plants you put in it.

In the winter, when you’re not growing stuff, you may think it’s time to stop composting. You’d be wrong. You can still recycle all of your scraps into perfectly good compost, even when you’re not actively using it. But where do you put it? Just keep it outside. Assuming it’s cold enough out there, if you leave your compost in a tightly covered bin, it’ll freeze on its own, and then you can just use it when it warms up.

Got food scraps? Compost. Got dead plant trimmings? Compost. Dog leave you a present in the yard? Compost. It’s all about that compost.