4 Tips to Create an Eco-Friendly Garden in Your Small Backyard

4 Tips to Create an Eco-Friendly Garden in Your Small Backyard

Gardening is no longer only a hobby or pastime for American homeowners. It is a commitment to a sustainable lifestyle, with aesthetics, clean air, and a positive environmental impact. You can go a step ahead with sustainability by growing your own food. While everything about creating a thriving green space sounds great, space constraints can be a real challenge for growers.

Statistics show that 55% of American households have gardens in 2023, totaling around 71.5 million green spaces and 185 million active growers. However, the median garden size in the country is only 96 square feet. Not surprisingly, container gardens and small space design are the most researched topics on Google Trends each season. 

Besides growing in small spaces, Americans are keen on eco-friendly gardening. An eco-friendly mindset is a lot of work, from minimizing the wastage of resources to using sustainable products. For newbies, adopting these practices may sound challenging and small-space gardening makes it even trickier.

Here are a few tips to help you overcome these challenges and create a thriving green space in your small backyard. 

Maximize Your Space

Over the years, the lot size in the U.S. has witnessed a significant decrease, dropping from 18,760 square feet in 1978 to much lower than 13,896 square feet in 2020. Apartment dwellers may have even smaller spaces. As the home size shrinks, backyards become smaller too. But you can maximize your space with some clever gardening ideas.

You can create a vertical garden by installing shelves on the walls, raising the garden beds for extra layering, or hanging plants for extra space. The aim is to grow more plants, even with a small square footage. Fortunately, you can find plenty of space-saving ideas on the internet. The best part is that you can implement them without spending a fortune.

Conserve Water

Growing a garden in a small backyard is inherently eco-friendly when it comes to water savings. Once you find ways to maximize your space, you can reap the benefits of irrigating your plants without using gallons of water. The drip irrigation system is the best option to automate watering because it gets the water directly to the roots.

You can also try eco-friendly practices like rainwater harvesting to conserve water for a sustainable small-space garden. Choosing native plants and perennials is a wise move as they do not require extra water once established. Native plants adapt to the local weather, so they hardly struggle to thrive during dry spells. 

Use Eco-Friendly Products 

Another best practice to tend to an eco-friendly backyard garden is to avoid chemical products and stick with natural ones. Besides being good for the environment, these products are safe for human health. Roundup is an example of harmful chemicals used in gardening. According to TorHoerman Law, the herbicide contains the toxic cancer-causing active ingredient, glyphosate. Manufacturers face numerous lawsuits from victims suffering harm due to the product.

The gravity of the situation is evident from the fact that Roundup lawsuit payout and settlement amounts are valued at a whopping $10 billion. Average settlement amounts for 2020 were over $150,000. The compensation covers the cost of medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages for victims.

While Roundup victims can expect justice, it is better to steer clear of chemicals in the first place. You can opt for natural fertilizers with composting, use vinegar and salt to kill weeds, and grow pest-repellant plants to ditch chemical products.

Recycle and Reuse

Using recycled materials is another effective measure for eco-friendly gardening in your small backyard. You can install old materials for creating structures and walls for vertical gardening in your small space. Junk shops and reclamation yards are the best places to find recyclable materials. You can even use old stuff like pots and pans in your home and create something new with your DIY skills.

Composting is another popular practice, with surveys showing that 67% of Americans want to do it instead of disposing of food waste. With this process, you can recycle green waste such as veg peelings, tea bags, egg boxes, shed leaves, lawn clippings, and hedge trimmings. Homemade compost has zero cost but reduces the carbon footprint of your home. It also makes your garden soil healthy without using chemicals. 


Small-space gardening has emerged as a popular trend in the US, with more and more homeowners refurbishing their roofs, balconies, and backyards to create thriving green spaces. While small gardens are sustainable by design, you can go the extra mile with eco-friendliness by following these best practices.