Rental Properties – Sustainable Gardening on a Budget

Making the move from home ownership to renting can be very liberating.

In a lot of cases, renting is cheaper than a mortgage, which frees up time and money for other more exciting opportunities.

Downsizing reaps the extra reward of less lawn to mow and not as many garden beds to weed. Liberating it may be, but it’s someone else’s taste and may not feel like home without making a few changes.

So, keeping the environment in mind, how can the outdoor space be changed without changing the property and without spending all those newly found riches from not having a mortgage?

Portable GardeningIdeas


  • Container gardens — A beautiful bohemian collection of colourful pots in different shapes and sizes is both useful and has character. They’re portable, easy to maintain and easy to change with the seasons. Keep an eye on yard sales for cheapies, and some of the local plant nurseries often have sales on pots and containers.
  • Raised garden beds — Keen gardeners might not like the idea of hauling a big collection of pots from one rental property to the next so the Yum eYard might be just the right thing. The Yum eYard Is a great idea for those who are limited to creating their gardens on concrete or pavers. It’s a collection of plastic planks made from recycled print cartridges that can be easily assembled, filled with soil and plants, and then dismantled when ready to move on. Bag up the soil and hose off the ground. It’s as simple as that.

Adding Personality to the Garden

Injecting some personality into a rental property garden doesn’t have to be permanent or expensive. Thrift shops, yard sales and found items can be rescued and re-purposed to hold plants or become features of the landscape. Old benches, pots, outdoor tables, timber doors, bathtubs, porcelain sinks and bicycles are great things to use for adding some eclectic charm.

Sustainable Gardening with Worm Farms

Living sustainably isn’t just about reusing stuff, though. Consider the waste produced in a domestic kitchen. Worm farms and compost systems are capable of reducing household waste by around 60 per cent. That’s an impressive figure and some councils offer rebates or supply worm farm kits for a reasonable fee. The worms are portable, don’t take up much space and are busy little workers; not only reducing household output, but also turning it into liquid fertiliser and soil conditioner for the plants.

Garden Lighting

Lighting the garden is another quick way to add atmosphere and can make a small suburban block seem much more inviting. Solar lights come in a wide range of colours and shapes so it’s easy to find something that suits whatever the style and purpose may be.

String lights and lanterns are inexpensive and great for entertaining by. Solar garden lights can help light the way down steps or the drive way and as long as they’re not wired to a switch, they’re removable. For an extra thrifty idea, make lanterns with candles and empty glass jars. Throw a bit of sand in the bottom of the jar, add a candle, and dot them around the garden or entertaining area.

Propose Any Changes to a Rental Property in Writing

These small and thrifty ideas work for nomads and stayers alike but long-term tenants may have grander visions. Before moving on, check for any damage done to the landscape by any changes introduced. Most rental contracts will have a “make good” clause so re-seed any bare patches of grass or lay turf where any bigger areas of soil are exposed.

Ideas on ways to improve the property can be put in writing to the landlord or real estate agent. Any shrewd landlord will realise they stand to benefit and will consider any proposals. If those plans fit the character of the home and the area, the landlord may even meet those costs half-way.