Sustainable gardening

In sustainable gardening , beautiful spaces adapted to the natural conditions of the place are created, without wasting resources and respecting the environment.


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  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Definition
  • 3 Historical development
  • 4 Sustainability in gardening
    • 1 Principles of Sustainability applied to gardening
  • 5 Bases to develop sustainable Gardening
  • 6 Advantages of Sustainable Gardening
  • 7 Importance of Sustainable Gardening
  • 8 Sources


There is a growing concern to incorporate sustainability criteria into the management of urban green spaces. The scarcity of water resources, the considerable increase in green spaces produced in recent years and the increasing awareness of the population towards environmental problems, are the main causes of the boost that Sustainable Gardening is experiencing in cities. The garden can not go unnoticed to the pursuit of sustainability. The garden is immersed in the environment in which we live, to improve it it is necessary to know some concepts and know how to start.


The activity for the care of green spaces is known by the name of sustainable gardening, observing a series of environmentally friendly practices, such as avoiding excessive consumption of water and energy , preventing contamination of soils, plants and water sources. for the use of pesticides or other harmful products.

Historical development

After the establishment of sustainable agriculture in the 1980s it was some time before the appearance of the International Society for Sustainable Horticulture, of the First International Symposium on Horticultural Sciences of Sustainability in Horticulture, held at the International Congress of Horticulture in Toronto in the 2002 . The principles and objectives set forth in this conference were discussed in more practical terms at the next conference in Seoul in 2006. Many of the principles and ideas put forth for environmentally friendly sustainable gardens, landscapes and sites perpetuate established sustainable practices as a reaction to resource intensive industrial agriculture. These practices were established in self-sufficiency movements and small-scale agriculture based on a comprehensive systemic approach and ecological principles. The following stand out: biodynamic agriculture, conservation tillage , agroecology, gardening and others. On a larger scale the “total planning farm” that was established in 1995 , the eco-agriculture established in 2000, and other variants of sustainable agricultural systems. Perhaps the most influential of these approaches is permaculture, created by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren as both a design system and a loosely defined philosophy, and for a life ethic beyond sustainability. The application of the principles of sustainability in the horticultural field have been widely accepted in commerce and the academic sector.

Gardening sustainability

To contribute to creating a more sustainable city, the application of sustainability principles in the management and maintenance of green spaces is essential, as gardening is an activity that consumes resources, generates waste and can have a negative environmental impact on the urban ecosystem .

Sustainability Principles applied to gardening

  • Reduce and optimize water consumption: Water is a valuable and increasingly scarce resource on the planet . Therefore, it is necessary to adopt measures aimed at a more efficient use in gardening that allows rationalizing and reducing its consumption.
  • Reduce and optimize energy consumption: Energy consumption of non – renewable sources and the need to control atmospheric emissions of gases of greenhouse , makes it necessary to promote energy saving, energy efficiency and renewable energy use in gardening .

In addition to saving water and energy, environmentally friendly gardening practices aim to avoid the frequent use of chemicals that can contaminate plants and soils, for this reason it is recommended, among other things, to remove weeds from the lawn and of the garden in general by hand so as not to apply herbicides .

Another important measure is to work to increase the number of beneficial insects in the garden. These can help combat the presence of harmful species just as or more effectively than chemical insecticides. To approach a more sustainable gardening, the previously defined Sustainability Principles must be incorporated in each and every one of the areas of gardening: Design, Execution, Maintenance and Management of the green area.

Bases for developing sustainable gardening

Not all gardens are green and sustainable. Some have a negative impact on the environment, for example, attract pests or consume large amounts of water.

The difference between a conventional garden and a sustainable one is that in the conventional one, the focus is on aesthetics and the saving of resources or the use of plants appropriate to the area is not always considered. In the sustainable garden, beautiful spaces are created but adapted to the natural conditions of the place, resources are not wasted and the environment is respected. To develop them, the following is taken into account:

  1. Water: It must be used to the maximum. The best time to water the plants is in the morning, when it is cool, there is no sun or wind . The evaporation is reduced and no waste. To take advantage of rainwater , channels can be installed from the ceiling that direct it to a small reservoir or a source with a recycling system .
  2. Plants: The use of native plants should be considered, since they are better adapted to the local climate and need less watering . To have a beautiful garden all year round , you must choose plants that bloom at different times. They are also looking for indigenous species in the region that are natural repellents of some insects . With a good selection of plants the use of water can be made more efficient by up to 40%.
  3. Home garden: Sustainable gardens also consider cultivable spaces. If you create your own garden , it must be taken into account that: legumes are species that improve the soil with their contribution of nutrients . You can include medicinal plants or useful spices in the kitchen , including some vegetables or fruit.
  4. Fertilizers and pesticides: synthetic ones are the main cause of water contamination. Organic sustainable fertilizers, created from local sources, should be chosen. Another option is to make your own compost. You should not over-fertilize, the more fertilizer is used, the more water will be needed and, on the other hand, the plant has a limited capacity to absorb it. In addition, fertilizers often have a petrochemical origin, with which greenhouse gases are emitted during their manufacture.
  5. Lighting: Lamps that work with solar cells or energy saving light bulbs should be selected . Motion sensors can also be installed.

Advantages of sustainable gardening

-They are low maintenance gardens, allowing lower gardener costs, replacement of plants, use of water.

-They can be held perfectly well, even in the case of not having daily attention.

Importance of Sustainable Gardening

Designing and maintaining gardens with sustainability criteria is an effective way to contribute to sustainable development, minimizing the use of resources, while optimizing their consumption and functionality. In addition, with the implementation of sustainable Gardening, other benefits are also achieved such as: greater biodiversity , a better microclimate , better air quality or support for the conservation of natural plant heritage , especially with regard to endangered species of extinction.


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