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An introduction to sustainable gardening

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges we face today. There are lots of little things you can do to make a difference, starting in your own backyard.

Here are a few easy ways to get started:

plants being watered plants being watered

1. Water

  • Where possible, try to capture rainwater and grey water for garden use
  • Avoid using sprinklers, instead try to water directly to the roots by hand or using soaker or drip irrigation, preferably in the morning
  • Group plants with similar water needs
  • Weed regularly, because weeds also use up for water
compost with worms compost with worms

2. Compost and mulch

  • Compost, mulch and worm castings improve soil and retain more water, which is better for plant growth so you don't have to water as much
  • Make your own compost using yard clippings and kitchen scraps
  • Watch our handy video on how to make a worm farm
  • Mulching also helps with weed control
  • Mulch is available in a range of varieties for different uses including pea straw, water saving, lucerne and bark chips for landscaping
different plants different plants

3. Types of plants

Where possible use plants that are native to your area - they will have a better chance of survival, need less upkeep, and attract native animals

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4. Fertilisers

  • Use natural fertilisers because they contain the right nutrients for the soil and can be absorbed more easily
  • Use natural fertilisers such as compost, cow or chicken manure, rock phosphate, kelp, seaweed, fish meal etc.
pest damaged leaf pest damaged leaf

5. Pest and disease control

  • Select pest resistant plants and ensure good air circulation
  • Use companion planting to confuse or repel pests
  • Always try the least toxic treatment first then work your way up from there
  • Avoid broad spectrum insecticides
  • Weed by hand wherever possible
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6. Lawn

  • Limit the size of your lawn by making garden beds larger or adding pavers
  • Use a hand push lawn mower
  • Try native ground cover as an alternative
man with recycled bottles man with recycled bottles

7. Recycle and re-use

  • Re-use plastic plant pots
  • Grow your own plants from seeds, cuttings or by dividing existing plants
  • Repair and recycle garden furniture rather than throwing it away
  • Re-use excess timber and building supplies to make planters, sheds, benches, garden furniture etc.
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