As we look to this new year of 2017 and begin planning for our spring gardens, let’s take a look at Sustainable Gardening, what it is and what it looks like. This blog will be the first in a series of 4 exploring sustainable gardening practices.
Sustainable development was defined by a UN World Commission on Environment and Development document entitled “Our Common Future” in 1987 as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.
Extrapolating on the concept of that definition and applying it to what we do in our gardens, sustainable gardening is one that is about good stewardship – taking responsible care of our resources so that our gardens will always be places that will grow productively for future generations – kind of like when your mom told you to always leave any place you’ve visited in better condition than when you found it.
Sustainable gardening practices reduce the workload of the gardener them self, and they focus on prevention and being proactive.
The following is a list of elements of sustainable gardening – none of these elements exist in isolation – they are interdependent and work together to that end.
Components of sustainable gardening include:
• Conserving water resources
• Incorporating soil protective practices
• Garden design that increases productivity
• Growing food
• Using climate compatible plants
• Reducing energy use
When looking at this as a whole, incorporating changes can be overwhelming but changes are made by moving forward one baby step at a time. In our next blog we will take a look at conserving water resources and soil protective practices more closely.
Sources: http://www.planetnatural.com/sustainable-gardening/, http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/your-garden/help-for-the-home-gardener/sustainable-gardening.aspx, http://www.dummies.com/home-garden/gardening/sustainable-gardening-for-dummies-cheat-sheet/, http://www.bhg.com/gardening/yard/lawn-care/10-tips-for-sustainable-gardening/ http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/gardening-techniques/sustainable-gardening-zm0z11zsto, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sam-cohen/sustainable-gardening-and_b_9880140.html, http://www.chicagobotanic.org/plantinfo/sustainable_gardening, http://www.un-documents.net/our-common-future.pdf