Top Tips For Cultivating A Sustainable Garden - Ecobuy
Sustainable Gardening

Transform your yard into a sustainable garden this spring with easy tips and gardening additions. Not only is gardening an amazing way to create an aesthetic paradise for you and Australian wildlife, but an incredible habit with benefits for your physical and mental health.

The most beautiful sustainable gardens are sprawling with life and colour, with havens like bird baths and bee hotels to attract wildlife. The beauty of these gardens comes from their diversity, which is the key to nurturing a sustainable garden.

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What is sustainable gardening?

Sustainable gardening is about cultivating diversity and supporting wildlife. Tending to the land benefits the ecosystem in your backyard in numerous ways – you’ll quickly see improvements to soil quality and plant health and start waking up to birdsong in the mornings.

Plant diversity is essential when gardening to mimic the biodiversity of natural ecosystems. Biodiversity has many flow-on benefits. It attracts a wider range of important wildlife like bees and birds that fertilise plants and sow seeds (nature’s gardeners!), it prevents pests from taking out your entire garden, and it improves soil quality. In other words, biodiversity is the best way to strengthen your garden and make it resilient against weeds, pests, drought, and flood.

Soil and plant health go hand in hand. Why is soil quality so important? Soil contains essential biota for plant growth. Soil biota, which means living things in soil, include worms, insects, fungi, and other microorganisms. These facilitate natural processes like growth and decomposition, and interact with roots to make sure plants are getting everything they need, like water, nutrients, and minerals.

Now we know that soil quality and plant diversity are the key ingredients to a sustainable garden. Here are some easy ways to achieve this in your garden.

Choose native plants

It makes sense that native plants will be best-suited for your sustainable garden. Because native plants evolved with our wildlife, they have an existing relationship with the surrounding flora and fauna as well as the soil. This means they are compatible with your existing garden. They are well-suited to Australia’s dry climate, so are low-maintenance as well.

Popular native plants in Australia include:

Banksia – these plants are iconic, colourful, and will attract plenty of Australian birds and bees. Banksia are suitable for Australia’s dry climate.


Bottlebrush – well-known for their vibrant red flowers, bottlebrush will attract rainbow lorikeets, and are extremely adaptable and low-maintenance.


Fan flower – these flowers prettify any garden with their purple, blue, pink, and white flowers. They are small, easy to manage, and only require light pruning.

Fan FlowersGrass tree – these are perfect if you’re not a fan of large trees that drop leaves in autumn and create shade all year round. Grass trees are resilient and distinctive native shrubs.


Pigface – these resilient plants have vibrant flowers and can grow in dry, sandy conditions.

Coastal Pigface

Say no to pesticides and fertilisers

While pesticides and fertilisers may seem like a quick fix for low soil quality, they are more damaging in the long term. Pesticides are harmful to pollinators. Pollinators are essential for creating self-sustaining and resilient gardens.

Using fertiliser acidifies the soil and the excess nutrients and minerals seep into groundwater, making it toxic, and ultimately impacting human health as well. Try composting instead to create organic fertiliser!

Start composting

Composting is the silver bullet for many home and garden problems including food waste and low soil quality. Small-scale composting can be done in the kitchen, although it is easier to start a compost bin next to your garden. You can buy compost bins of every size and shape or make your own in a large container or on a patch of soil in your garden. Add your food and garden waste to the compost and turn the soil regularly to encourage decomposition. Proper compost care, as well as adding worms, will speed up the process. Mixing compost with the soil acts as an effective fertiliser for plants.

Composting is extremely popular among gardeners and non-gardeners alike. Your local council may even have a community compost centre. Find out everything you need to know about composting here.

Attract birds with a feeder or bird bath

Many of the native plants above attract birds, but if you want to go a step further, get a bird feeder or bird bath.

Run a bee hotel
Bee Hotel

Bee Hotel

Bee hotels, both DIY and store-bought, have become extremely popular recently and for good reason. Bees are vital to a healthy ecosystem and indeed to a healthy planet. The rapid and worrying decline in bee populations world-wide sparked many grassroots and local initiatives to save our bees. The best thing you can do to help bees at home is planting native nectar-producing flowers like banksia, grevilleas, and fan flowers. Other great ideas are running a bee hotel, or setting up a watering hole for bees.

Bee hotels provide a shelter that bees can rest or lay eggs in. Find out everything you need to know about bee hotels here.

If you’re interested in setting up a watering hole for bees, all you need to do is fill a shallow plate with water and place stones in it. The stones act as islands for bees to sit on and drink without drowning.

Embrace the ‘mess’

A slab of buffalo grass is a lot less sustainable and a lot less fun than a garden bursting with flowers, shrubs, and ferns. Remember that the key to sustainable gardening is biodiversity. Having a bird bath or a bee hotel without plant diversity will be ineffective. Planting a range of flora attracts a range of fauna. This creates a self-sustaining and low-maintenance ecosystem that is both eco-friendly and beautiful.

The misconception that gardens must be completely weedless may also be harmful for your sustainable garden. Soil coverage is a major benefit of weeds. Nutrients and vital topsoil can blow away without plants acting as an anchor. Weeds can hold down the topsoil to stop erosion, dryness, and fix chemical imbalances. Weeds also provide a home for soil biota.

Plants that are traditionally considered weeds can benefit wildlife as well. For instance, bees love clovers and ladybugs love dandelions, so think twice before you eradicate them from your yard.