Zero Waste Gardening – 8 Tips To Be Less Wasteful

When considering things you can do in your life to be more eco-friendly, zero-waste gardening should be on the list!

Not only does it cut back on wastage, but it will also give you a warm glow knowing that you helped to create an excellent growing environment for your crops.

Here are my top 8 zero-waste gardening tips.

8 Tips To Give You A Zero-Waste Garden

zero waste gardening bag

Compost Heap

For a zero-waste garden, starting a compost heap sounds logical. It will return your food scraps to earth and is the ultimate form of recycling for your garden.

I have several composters in my yard. Most of my food waste goes into the composters, along with any garden waste (plant cuttings, etc.). I even add in some cardboard now and again too.

It all helps to add nutrients to the soil underneath the heap.

Get Creative With Twigs

Instead of throwing twigs and plant cuttings away (or using them in the composter), use them to create awesome decorations.

You can use twigs, berries, and leaves to create beautiful wreath ornaments, like this:


Or you can place a number of longer twigs in a vase to create something like this:

twigs in vase

You should consider giving these as an eco-friendly gift to your friends and family. You could save money and give them something hand-crafted!

Reuse Pots

If you love gardening and farming and are one of those who visit the nursery often, you may have noticed that you take more plastic pots to your home than you need.

You can use them in a variety of ways instead of throwing them out.

You can put various plants in these pots and use them for anything else, such as shaping those pots into a decoration piece.

Plastic containers can be reprocessed again and again to grow seedlings and relocating other plants. Along with plants and plastic pots, plastic and paper labels can also be recycled and reused for different purposes.

  • Fertilizer Disperser– Small plastic containers have holes in them that you can use to shake and disperse fertilizers. You can utilize the holes in it to sift pallets in the ground.
  • Container Bins – You can use the extra pots to store gardening equipment.
  • Use As Liners – If you have beautiful plastic pots with no holes for drainage, you can use them as liners. You can even use them to protect other items from the weather.

Use Urine

Some people don’t agree to use this tip as it is a little weird!

Fresh urine is always sterile, but don’t worry about the bacteria present in it (research backing this up is here).

Urine contains nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and many chemical elements to provide rich minerals to plants and help them grow healthier.

If the urine is a day or two days old, make sure to water it down before usage.

Human urine also works as an accelerant to your compost heap.

It sounds gross, but you wanted to know about zero-waste gardening!

Seek Advice

expert gardener

If you are new to gardening, it is best to search for a gardener who can guide you and tell you which type of plant to seed where and why.

Seeking advice is crucial because if you are new at gardening, there are chances that you would make a mistake and spot any plant at the wrong place, and it dies, or grows slowly, or affects other plants nearby.

So, the guidance of an expert will be beneficial. They may also be able to give you some zero-waste gardening tips!

Grow Food From Scraps

chili with seeds

If you want a zero-waste garden and want more food cheaply, you can grow it from your kitchen scraps instead of buying new expensive plants or seeds every time.

If you want some vegetables in your garden or backyard, here are a few that you can quickly grow:

  • Sweet potato – This crop is easy to grow. If you want to grow sweet potatoes in your garden, place the seed in warm water. The leaves will grow from the sprouts called slips. Plant them in soil when shoots appear. Hence, your plant is ready to water.
  • Onions and Spring Onions – You must know how to grow the onions, as onions are a staple in every kitchen. Growing them is extremely easy. Instead of discarding their tips, set them in water as the roots start sprouting at the bottom.
  • Lettuce and Asian Greens – Romaine is the easiest to regrow among all the varieties of lettuce. Just pop it in water, and it will start growing.
  • Any Seeds – anything with seeds in can be grown in a suitable climate. Use the seeds in most vegetables or fruits to re-grow!

Use Natural Weed Barriers

To reduce the number of weeds in your garden, use some natural methods.

  • Wood Chips – Wood chips prevent the seeds from sprouting. They also maintain the beauty of the garden. It helps keep the moisture in it as it insulates the soil, which helps in conserving more water as your garden doesn’t need much water.
  • Water Newspaper – If you have many newspapers at your home, you can put them to good use by using them as weed barriers. The place where you don’t want to grow weeds, just lay down the thick layer of newspaper on your garden, and it will help prevent the weeds from growing. Wet newspapers block the passage of light and are biodegradable. It allows water to pass through it and move down to your soil.
  • Cardboard – Cardboard is also a good source for blocking weeds. Cardboards also attract worms which are beneficial for your soil. It may take longer to break it down, but it compromises the water absorption. Before breaking it down, it also composts itself into the ground.

Buy Quality Garden Tools

garden tools

For the growth and development of a well-managed garden, you will need various tools.

Every tool has its purpose that is pretty crucial for the development of a garden. When you go out to buy the tools, make sure you invest your money in good-quality tools.

Those with higher quality last longer, and there’s less risk of throwing them out or breaking them.

Make sure you are buying them with a warranty as it is a sustainable approach. Get those with a warranty of several years or better.

Buying cheap gardening tools is a false economy. By spending a little extra, you reduce the chances of throwing lower-quality tools away when they break (which happens regularly!)

Final Thoughts

Zero waste gardening isn’t complicated or expensive. It is, in fact, easy to do!

As I said above, composting is one of the best things you can do as it allows you to re-purpose all your food wastage to something more useful.

You should also try to remain plastic-free. Although it is not necessarily ‘zero-waste gardening,’ it doesn’t still help the environment and allows you to be more eco-friendly. Stop using plastic pots if you can’t repurpose them (see above), and stop using plastic bags.