Homesteaders and regenerative gardens are closely connected through their shared focus on self-sufficiency, sustainability, and resilience. As a homesteader, you typically aim to live a more self-reliant lifestyle, producing your own food, energy, and other resources to reduce dependence on external systems.

Regenerative gardening aligns well with these goals by offering techniques and principles that support sustainable land management and food production.

What is a Regenerative Garden?

Many different factors are destroying nature, but the good news is that we can play an important role in improving the environment through regenerative gardening. Regenerative gardening works with nature to revitalize and restore the plants, soil, and ecosystem. It focuses on creating a healthy garden by starting from scratch. You can compare it to a holistic approach where all your positive actions contribute to a healthy garden.

You are basically letting nature know that you are willing to work with it to make things better.

How to Start a Regenerative Garden

When you think about the extensive damage that has been done to the planet, it’s easy to throw your hands up in despair and give up believing that there is nothing you can do to change things. But the reality is that even the smallest contribution is helpful.

Additionally, knowing where to start can be overwhelming, but don’t worry, I have provided some helpful tips you can start implementing today.

Build Healthy SoilHow To Start A Regenerative Garden

Healthy soil equals healthy plants. Here are a few things you can do to build healthy soil:

  • No Liquid Fertilizer: Liquid fertilizers, even the organic kind, cause plants to rely on artificial nutrients instead of on the nutrients from the soil.
  • Avoid Digging: Too much digging will destroy the soil structure and expose it to excess air. So how do you get around this problem? By using the no-dig method. It avoids lifting, breaking up, or turning the soil. Instead, the soil is prepared by layering it with organic matter and seeds are sown directly into the organic matter.
  • Use Organic Matter: Organic matter has not been contaminated with chemicals. You will find organic matter in your kitchen, garden, or in your local area. It can include things like food scraps, seedless weeds, pruned branches, manure, and coffee grinds from your local coffee shop.

Stop Using Chemicals

Persistent weed and pest problems will tempt you to use chemicals to get rid of them. However, while they might eliminate the irritants in your garden, they wreak havoc on the environment and destroy the natural life forces. In fact, the evidence suggests that pesticides encourage weed growth which is very difficult to get rid of. Instead of using chemicals, do this:

  • Natural Predators: Natural predators will reduce the number of plant-destroying pests you have in your garden. For example, hedgehogs love caterpillars and beetles. Attract hedgehogs to your garden with food, shelter, and highways. Ladybirds are aphid predators; encourage them to make their home in your garden by planting nettles. Also, frogs eat aphids, so provide them with a welcome invite by building a small pond in your backyard.
  • Companion Planting: Companion planting is a great way to limit the use of chemicals because depending on what you plant they will repel pests or attract beneficial insects. Garlic, onions, and chives are known to repel a variety of insects. Garden pests react to scent, planting strong-smelling herbs and plants such as catnip, mint, marigold, and tansy will repel them. Additionally, planting lettuce around the perimeter of your vegetable patch will keep the slugs away.
  • Physical Barriers: Mesh or horticultural fleece will help prevent craven birds and invertebrates from destroying your plants. Give young seedlings the chance to grow by protecting them with a cloche. Cloche is tougher than regular barriers and can be made out of a plastic bottle. Many gardeners get rid of slugs by scattering coffee grounds or crushed eggshells around plants. This method is most effective during dry weather. Copper also repels slugs, gardeners use this mineral in the form of copper tape, stripped electrical wire, or coins.

Encourage BiodiversityHow To Start A Regenerative Garden

A biodiverse garden is full of life; it has a wide variety of plant species and because it has so many natural benefits, it attracts wildlife that improve the health of your garden. You can improve the health of your garden by making it more biodiverse, here are a few tips to get you started:

  • A Range of Plants: Biodiversity is about diversity. A garden becomes more biodiverse when it has a wider variety of plants. The greater the variety of plants, the more wildlife and insects your garden will attract. Choose plants that flower and fruit throughout the year, as well as a range of species, sizes, colors, and fragrances.
  • Fragrant Flowers: Humans are not the only species who enjoy the aroma of fresh flowers. Pollinators such as butterflies, bees, and moths use smell to find their food plants. They will travel from garden to garden in search of the right flowers. Pollinators are essential for fruit and seed production and biodiversity.
  • Wildlife Friendly: Attract wildlife by leaving a pile of rotting wood in your garden. Keep the wood out of the sunlight so that it stays moist. Rotting wood makes the perfect home for different species of fungi and insects. Provide shelter for animals such as snakes, lizards, toads, and newts by laying a sheet of corrugated iron in a shaded area. Also, Piles of grass clippings and compost heaps make the ideal home for slow worms.


Waste infiltrates the natural habitats of wildlife causing damage and death. Therefore, recycling plays an important role in biodiversity. Recycling helps manage waste and reduces the amount of trash that ends up in rivers, oceans, forests, and other natural environments populated by animals. Homesteaders can increase the amount they recycle by doing the following:

  • Water Reuse: Collect rainwater and reuse it for irrigation purposes. Also, water from the laundry and dishwashing can be treated and reused to water plants, and livestock watering, washing the car, and other cleaning tasks.
  • Composting: Turn yard waste, kitchen scraps, and manure into nutrient-rich compost to fertilize your garden and nourish the soil.
  • Energy Recycling: Minimize energy consumption and waste by looking into renewable energy options such as micro-hydro systems, wind turbines, or solar panels to generate clean energy on your homestead. Also, apply energy-efficient practices such as maximizing cooling and passive heating strategies, using energy-saving appliances, and insulating buildings.

What To Plant In A Regenerative GardenHow To Start A Regenerative Garden

When planning a regenerative garden on your homestead, consider a diverse mix of plants to promote soil health, biodiversity, and resilience. Start with a selection of vegetables suited to your climate and soil conditions, such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and beans. These staples provide nutritious harvests and contribute to a balanced diet.

Additionally, herbs like basil, parsley, and rosemary not only enhance your culinary creations but also attract beneficial insects to the garden, supporting overall ecosystem health.

Incorporating fruit-bearing plants like apples, berries, and stone fruits adds variety and sweetness to your harvest. Choose varieties well-suited to your region and space constraints, considering dwarf or espaliered forms for smaller gardens.

Perennials such as asparagus and rhubarb offer long-term yields with minimal maintenance, while cover crops like clover and rye protect and enrich the soil during periods of rest.

Native plants play a crucial role in supporting local pollinators and wildlife while enhancing the garden’s resilience to pests and diseases. Integrate wildflowers, grasses, and shrubs native to your area to create a habitat that thrives alongside your food crops. Employ companion planting techniques with plants like marigolds and garlic to naturally deter pests and boost plant health.

A well-kept regenerative garden grows lots of fresh food consistently. It doesn’t rely on faraway places for supplies, making it less affected by crises.

These gardens have many different plants and don’t need lots of extra stuff like chemicals. They’re good at dealing with tough situations, like bad weather or shortages. By rotating crops, making soil healthy, and saving seeds, regenerative gardens give people a way to grow their own food, even when things get hard.

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