Garden & Outdoor

Sustainable Gardening Ideas

an image of a flower bed

Now more than ever, we’re in search of ways to make the most of our outside spaces. Alongside the benefits of spending more time amongst nature, putting time into creating a sustainable garden with our sustainable gardening ideas will help to protect our planet and the creatures we share it with.


What does sustainable gardening mean?

Sustainable gardening means gardening in a smarter and more eco-friendly way. It’s about using organic growing methods, all-natural feeds and protective sprays, whilst reducing your waste and use of non-recyclable materials.

If you need some inspiration to help you create your own sustainable garden, we’ve got lots of ideas to help you gradually move towards a more environmentally friendly outside space.


Sustainable gardening ideas

Look for organic products

One of the quickest and best sustainable gardening solutions is to switch to eco-friendly gardening products.

The ecofective® range is a great choice, with products that are organic and that use only natural ingredients. Not only are they pesticide-free, but they also have refill options to reduce your use of single-use plastics.


Use peat-free compost

The farming of peat, for products such as compost, negatively impacts the environment and contributes to the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Taking hundreds of years to mature, peatlands are filled with species that contribute to the environment around us – they’re really important habitats. Switching to peat-free compost is a simple eco-friendly gardening change that you can make to do your bit.

Top tip: If you want to learn more about Homebase’s commitment to going peat-free and what we have available, check out this guide.


Create a compost heap

Recycling your own food and other natural waste to use as organic fertiliser, instead of throwing it away, is a great way to enrich your soil with nutrients. This, in turn, will also allow you to produce healthier plants and more delicious fruit, veg and other crops.

Top tip: If you want to learn how to make your own compost, check out this handy how-to guide.


Companion planting

Another great sustainable gardening tip to consider is companion planting, which is all about creating plant communities that have mutual benefits to each other. For example, carrots love to be surrounded by beans, peas and other plants in the nightshade family – such as tomatoes. The tomatoes provide shade for the heat-sensitive carrot plant, and the carrots help to break up the soil to allow more air and water to reach the roots of the tomato plant. Asparagus, basil, coriander, dill and parsley also go well with carrots and tomatoes.


Grow native plants

When planning your garden, choose plants that naturally grow in your region. This will enable you to create a more sustainable garden as they will already be suited to the rainfall, soil and climate conditions that your garden provides. They’ll therefore need less water and in turn will require less effort to maintain and grow. This also means you’re helping to preserve native birds and insects by providing food and shelter for them.



To create a low-maintenance and more sustainable garden, think about mulching. It has plenty of benefits and can help to prevent your soil from drying out, thanks to its added nutrients and ability to moderate your soil’s temperature.

Biodegradable mulch is made up of organic materials such as leaves, wood chippings, bark and straw. Not only is mulching good for the planet, but it also releases nutrients into the earth that will help to feed your own plants.

Top tip: Learn more about mulching here.


Conserve water resources

Using a water butt to conserve rainwater is a great sustainable gardening solution and will help to reduce your water wastage – and bills!

Other tips include buying large plant pots, so your plants won’t dry out as quickly. Moisture control compost is also a great alternative, as its Aquacoir technology helps to retain water – meaning you’ll have to water your plants less. Fix any leaky taps or hoses, and water your garden in the evening during the hotter months to reduce a loss of water via evaporation.


Grow your own

Growing your own produce is not only better for the environment, but it’ll taste better as well!

From planting a fruit bush to growing your own spice or herb garden, there are so many things you can do. Even if you don’t have much outside space, a windowsill or balcony is a great place to start.

Propagating your own plants is not only a great way to save money, it’s also really easy to do and has minimal environmental impact. Propagation simply means to use a plant’s own cuttings (usually pieces of stems, roots or leaves) to grow a whole new one.

If this sounds like a sustainable gardening idea you can get on board with, we can show you how to grow your own vegetables, how to grow your own tomatoes and how to grow your own potatoes – the list is endless!

Top tip: Check out our other planting guides to discover more eco-friendly gardening solutions.

Supporting wildlife

Finally, when thinking about sustainable gardening and eco-friendly practices, don’t forget to take care of the wildlife on your doorstep. Both bees and butterflies are essential pollinators for our ecosystem. Planting colourful, nectar-rich flowers is a great way to attract them both and you can do so in a border, bed, window box or container. Aromatic lavender, rosemary and thyme are also plants that bees love, as they contain chemicals that can combat pests and viruses in the hive.

Whatever you choose to do, whether that’s learning how to make a bird table, creating a wildlife friendly garden or building a bug hotel – looking after the wildlife in your garden is a great way to encourage biodiversity.

Top tip: Discover all our Wildlife Ideas & Advice here.

And those are our sustainable gardening ideas! Let us know which ones are your favourite, and don’t forget to tag us in a photo of your sustainable garden using @Homebase_UK. Explore more of our Garden & Outdoor ideas right here.



Writer and expert