Centre for Continuing Education

Sustainable Gardening Course

Horticulture & Gardening. Open to everyone.

Learn Horticulture & Gardening the smart way with Horticulture & Gardening courses at CCE, the University of Sydney.

Make a difference! Sustainable gardening is not only good for you but also good for the planet.


Discover how to create a garden that you can enjoy and reduce your environmental footprint. Find out how to conserve our natural resources, implement organic gardening principles and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Learn how to recycle waste, reduce the incidence of weeds and eliminate the use of chemicals. By taking some simple steps, you can make the world a better place. Recycle, Reduce, Re-use, Re-design.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • analyse conditions of a site, including climate, soil, aspect and topography
  • select appropriate methods of soil remediation
  • conserve energy by cultivating appropriate plants
  • store, monitor and conserve water usage judiciously
  • become self-sufficient by cultivating crops to reduce food miles
  • identify the various organisations employing sustainable principles.


This course covers the following topics:

  • define a sustainable garden area
  • analyse the existing garden environment – climate, aspect, topography, soil
  • soil amelioration
  • methods of recycling waste – composting/worm farms, etc.
  • discuss strategies to modify the existing conditions to establish a sustainable garden
  • water conservation practices – water storage systems, mulches, watering techniques, watering systems, etc.
  • process to select appropriate plant material to conserve energy, attract beneficial insects, etc.
  • organic cultivation principles – crop rotation, companion planting, moon planting, etc.
  • define the term “weed” and discuss categories as determined by DPI
  • organic controls for combating pests and diseases
  • discuss benefits of sustainable gardening for the planet – gardening materials, equipment, “food miles”, etc.
  • discuss the benefits of sustainable gardening for the individual – good health, better-tasting produce, satisfaction in cultivation, etc.
  • community-based sustainability programs – landcare, bush regeneration, community gardens, school gardening programs, etc.
  • review.

Intended Audience

Suitable for anyone interested in living sustainably by conserving energy and water, to benefit both themselves and the environment and to potentially become self-sufficient.


Comprehensive course notes are provided in class.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Student materials – yours to keep
  • Statement of completion

What others say.

  • The tutor was very knowledgeable, friendly and informative. Great course for people who want to learn enough to start their journey into sustainable gardening with the basics and to be able to put what they have learnt into practice.

What others say.

  • An amazing teacher who was full of knowledge and was able to answer all questions in depth.
  • Presenter was passionate about the subject. Very knowledgeable. Well prepared with visuals, handouts, etc. Courteous and respectful to all students, making all feel welcome and included. Answered all questions.
  • The tutor was great - very knowledgeable and also engaging. Really enjoyed the day. I thought that I would be bored at some point (being inside on a lovely Saturday is hard!) but I was really engaged throughout the entire day and I learnt so much.