Sustainable Gardening Basics
One would naturally believe you can dig a hole, plop in a plant and as long as it has some dirt around it and lots of water... voila! Instant garden. Ohhh young grasshopper, so much to learn, so much to do before that is the case. There are five basics every gardener needs to know about:
1. Sun: you can have the softest, most-fertile loamiest soil with oodles of fresh, clean water, but if you don't provide the specific sunlight needed (anything from full sun to full shade) your plant will struggle,
2. Water: generally, you can be safe in treating every single plant you have by watering them, whether inside or out, only when said plant has soaked up the previous amount of water provided, what I'm trying to say is, water only when the plant needs it. Sometimes its okay to be mean to keep them keen.
3. Soil: no matter what type of soil you have nor what type of soil your plants need, the easiest way to start is by sheet mulching; layering different types of green, Nitrogen-high (grass clippings, vegetable peelings, newly-pulled weeds) and brown, Carbon-rich (dried leaves, dead plants, cardboard) plant-based materials onto the garden,
4. pH: if you can imagine a forest floor with deep shade, constant moisture and thick mulch floor has acidic, damp soil - perfect for blueberries, rhododendrons and azaleas - and think of Mediterranean-like hot spots with fast-draining, sandy loam has alkaline dirt - good for everything from peach trees to lavender and then have a good look at your own garden and think accordingly,
5. Be and Bees: Take time to just 'be' in your garden. Watch the sun rise and set, where water pools and where it doesn't reach. Get to know the wind on your face to know the direction it will affect your landscape. And most importantly, take care of your bees!
Of course you can plant any plant in any spot, but instead of forcing these plants to grow in areas that they are not well-adapted for, either choose a different plant for the spot, or a different spot for the plant.
If you want to move away from frequent watering and dependence upon chemical fertilizers, then we cannot recommend enough a focus on plant-inspired design.