Earth Day gardening ideas

Gardening is a wonderful way to celebrate Earth Day by working in harmony with nature. Whether you’d like to start growing some of your own food, supporting biodiversity, or switching to natural lawn & garden products, there are many ways to celebrate and support mother nature.

Enjoy the fresh springtime air in nature and make your space a little greener. Here are 10 Earth Day gardening tips and ideas to get you started!

Earth day gardening

1. Grow some of your own food

Growing some of your own food is the perfect way to celebrate the earth. Whether you’re enjoying fresh greens planted in early March or just getting started planting a spring vegetable garden, growing some of your own food can connect you with nature in a way that a grocery store (or even a farmers market) simply can’t. You’ll also shrink the carbon footprint of food delivery/transportation and the cost of clearing land to grow food.

One of the best ways to grow some of your own food is to add a raised garden to your yard and plant it full of the easiest vegetables to grow. A cheaper option for starting a new veggie garden is to purchase some grow bags.

If you’re into growing edible plants beyond vegetables, I recommend starting with culinary herbs and easy fruit to grow such as strawberries or blueberry bushes. Here is a giant list of plants you can grow in your food garden.

Planting a tree

2. Plant a tree

Planting a tree in your yard is a forward-thinking idea for Earth Day. There are fruit trees, nut trees, shade trees, flowering trees, and privacy trees – more trees than one can choose from! The cost to plant a tree can be quite low if you opt for young trees of common varieties. Beware that fully-grown mature trees can be quite expensive to buy and plant in your landscape.

While the tree will likely be small when you plant it, it can soon add beauty and value to your land. The shade from a tree can help keep your home naturally cool by shielding it from the sun’s rays. And you might even get some fruit or nuts if you plant a tree with edible fruits! If you don’t have space for a tree on your own land, consider donating a tree or purchasing household items from companies that plant trees on behalf of their customers.

Trees provide a habitat for animals and also bring a little bit of nature to our urban surroundings, offering a calm place for a mental rest (picture the wind rustling through your future tree’s leaves). They act as a natural barrier from road dust, while also helping remove carbon dioxide from the air. The world needs more trees!

Earth day gardening

3. Switch to organic lawn & garden products

Organic gardening is no more difficult than using harsh, synthetic chemicals on your lawn and garden. Peace of mind that your products are safe for the earth helps create a serene atmosphere in the garden (and likely lead to much healthier plants).

Over-use of concentrated fertilizer has led to phosphorus pollution of some of our most-loved waterways. While organic products also have their risks, they tend to be applied at much lower concentrations (and thus lower risks of nutrient run-off).

Whatever the product, apply at the rate listed on the package (more is not better). Look for the OMRI logo to indicate the product is listed as approved by the Organic Materials Review Institute for use in organic growing.

Look for untreated, non-GMO seeds for your garden. Many companies are offering more and more organically-grown seeds (yay!) and even seedling plants. Choose compostable twine instead of plastic plant ties and newspaper seedling pots instead of plastic trays or nursery pots.

Compost bin with kitchen scraps

4. Start making & using compost

Compost is one of the most practical Earth Day gardening ideas to take up. Learning how to compost is easy, fun, and useful in your daily life. You can use your nutrient-rich compost as organic mulch, which makes your garden beds look fantastic. It also builds soil by returning organic materials back to the earth.

Earth day

5. Use water responsibly

Another gardening idea for Earth Day is to get serious about using water responsibly. Water is a precious resource and should be treated as such in your garden.

Water conservation is a key part of an eco-friendly garden. Use drip irrigation, water plants early in the morning, fix any leaks, and install automatic timers to water when the sun is not shining.

Pollinator garden

6. Attract & support pollinators

Pollinators are emerging from their winter habitats as Earth Day rolls around. Use this opportunity to attract and support pollinators in your garden. Support your local pollinating insects, butterflies, and birds by planting pesticide-free flowers, nesting habitat, and shelter brush. Access to clean water will also help them thrive.

More Reading: 10 Pollinator Garden Ideas and 10 Hummingbird Garden Ideas

Attracting songbirds

7. Support beneficial birds and bugs

Pollinators aren’t the only wildlife to attract to your garden. There are a host of beneficial birds and bugs that contribute to a healthy ecosystem. Seasoned organic gardeners love to attract and support pest predators and soil aerators to their gardens.

Some of these beneficial creators, such as songbirds, are an absolute joy to have around! Other animals provide natural pest control, including bats, frogs, toads, newts, and dragonflies. These creatures need water nearby. A small garden pond can be a wildlife magnet, but even a classic concrete birdbath can help.

Garden biodiversity

8. Improve plant biodiversity

Improve the diversity of plants in your yard by adding some local plants to the mix. Plant an endangered native plant species or a plant that provides habitat or food to local creatures. A garden rich in biodiversity helps manage pests naturally by supporting small pest-eating wildlife animals.

Take a walk instead of driving, to have a chance to observe local plants. Pick up any garbage as you go and note the plants you see around you. Look them up in a local guidebook if you don’t know their names.

Earth day 2021

9. Bring nature indoors

Houseplants, smart gardens, micro greens, and even cat grass can bring a little bit of nature indoors. This can be a huge boost if you work indoors at a computer or are otherwise separated from nature on the regular.

Plan out your living area layout so you can look out at natural spaces if possible. A windowsill or windowbox garden can add some nature to your view if there’s not much else to look at. A visible birdhouse or hummingbird feeder that you can see from indoors is also wonderful!

While you’re bringing a bit of nature indoors, save air miles on cut flowers by growing flowers in your own garden rather than imported flowers from a florist. Easy flowers to grow at home include tulips, peonies, allium, daffodils, sweet peas, sunflowers, nigella, and dahlias.

Terra cotta planter pots

10. Re-use your gardening supplies year after year

Reduce waste in the garden by re-using your growing supplies year after year. Opt for terra cotta pots instead of buying plastic growing trays or nursery plant pots. Repurpose metal tubs for growing larger plants by adding a few drainage holes at the bottom. You can even grow a fantastic garden in a wooden barrel!

Invest in high-quality hand garden tools, make your own consumables like newspaper seedling pots, and try your hand at seed-saving and composting. You’ll save a ton of money and headaches carting supplies home from the garden center.

More Earth Day gardening ideas:

Happy earth day
Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a quintessential Canadian gardener. An engineer by trade, she tends to an ever-expanding collection of plants. In her world, laughter blooms as freely as her flowers, and every plant is raised with a dash of Canadian grit.

Mary Jane is a certified Master Gardener and also holds a Permaculture Design Certificate. She's also a proud mom of three, teaching her little sprouts the crucial difference between a garden friend and foe.

When she's not playing in the dirt, Mary Jane revels in her love for Taylor Swift, Gilmore Girls, ice hockey, and the surprisingly soothing sounds of bluegrass covers of classic hip-hop songs. She invites you to join her garden party, a place where you can share in the joy of growing and where every day is a new opportunity to find the perfect spot for yet another plant.

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