Here are some tips and tricks to have a flourishing garden by using eco-conscious gardening methods like composting, water conservation, and natural pest control.

1. Ajay Sharma Ajay Sharma from Rajasthan, who grows over 100 organic vegetables, offers a cost-effective solution — by sourcing free cow dung and discarded coconut husks for compost and cocopeat from temples.

For zero-budget farming, he advises reusing a cooler tray, thermocol, oil bottle, and the lid of a water tank to sow seeds, instead of purchasing a pot from the market.

2. Manjushree Ladiya Concerned about buying manure and compost for your plants? Manjushree Ladiya, a terrace gardener from Ghaziabad, has been composting all her kitchen waste for the past four years. She breaks down her process into a few simple steps.

Take a container and make a layer of leaves. Add a layer of cocopeat. Then add kitchen waste like veggies. And finally, add some more cocopeat and jaggery water to enhance the quality of the compost produced.

3. Vasuki Iyengar Vasuki Iyengar, an IT-professional-turned-compost consultant shares how you can use waste curd dabbas (containers) to make compost. “Composting in curd buckets is so easy that you’ll wonder why you didn’t start this earlier," he says.

You will need about 20–30 curd dabbas with lids. Poke holes on the lid and the box. Add a layer of brown material (dry leaves, wood chips, and branches) and kitchen waste, and top it with cocopeat. After two days, your organic homemade and zero-cost compost will be ready.

4. Greeshma Reddy Nurturing plants comes with its fair share of pesky insects that attack your plant. Before you know it, these insects will render your plant dead. Greeshma Reddy, a “plant doctor” offers an economical and eco-friendly solution for insects.

“About 10 to 15 ml of neem oil can be mixed with a few drops of liquid soap and some warm water and then sprayed onto the plants. With its strong bitter taste and pungent smell, organic neem oil extract repels the harmful bugs, while being completely pet-friendly,” she says.

5. Sunita Prasad Another innovative way of using waste around you comes from Sunita Prasad, a passionate gardener from Bihar. She uses the technique of vertical farming to save space and is growing 5 kg of organic veggies every week.

She used two 5-foot PVC pipes, bought from a scrap dealer, and bamboo worth Rs 1,000 to create her garden. It only cost her Rs 60 to install the bamboo pipes. She claims that you can grow a variety of produce in these pipes, including leafy vegetables like brinjal, cabbage and more.