As a homeowner, you want your yard to look pristine and managed at all times. You spend the majority of Spring and Fall cleaning, building, tilling, and planting to make your yard the best-looking place on the block. But, have you ever thought about sustainable landscaping?
If you don’t even know what sustainable landscaping is, then you’re in for a treat. There are ways to maintain your yard and help preserve the environment at the same time. And, we’re here to tell you how.
If you love your gardens and other landscaping and you want to know how to do your part to keep the green earth green, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’re discussing exactly how you can. Keep reading to learn more.
What is Sustainable Landscaping?
Keeping a sustainable yard involves using strategic methods to offset negative impacts on the environment. You can do this by selecting native plants, improving water quality, and avoiding products like pesticides and fertilizers that damage the soil. You may also consider composting and organic gardening.
The main idea is to create a landscape design that works for itself such as nature intended. Not only will this help you reduce your carbon footprint but your plants will be healthier, therefore, releasing more pure oxygen back into the environment.
Basic Sustainable Landscaping Practices
Eco-friendly landscaping isn’t that difficult. All you have to do is make yourself aware of the best practices for both installation and maintenance throughout the year. And, that’s why you’re here.
Here are some basic practices to live by in order to create a sustainable landscape that will last for years to come.
Value Your Soil
One of the first and most important things you can do for your landscape is tilling your soil to prevent compaction. Compacted soil leads to severe problems such as water runoff, restricted plant growth, and flooding. Runoff and flooding caused by compacted soil are two of the main culprits for water pollution.
Treat Water as a Resource
Water is an invaluable resource for your landscape but it’s important not to waste it. Over one-third of residential water use in the United States can be attributed to wasteful irrigation practices.
The easiest way to prevent this waste is by harvesting, recycling, and reclaiming rainwater. You can find rain barrels at your local hardware store and select retailers online.
Preserve Existing Plants
Especially if you’re moving into a new home, you may want to dig out the current landscape so you can start with a clean slate. This is not recommended if you prefer sustainable practices as it disrupts the natural processes occurring in the soil. An alternative method would be to remove non-native and invasive species and replacing them with locally grown, native plants.
Conserve Material Resources
Building materials for your landscape should be locally sourced and recycled when possible to eliminate waste. Also, choosing appropriately sized plants reduces the need to manipulate your designs later, saving time, money, and waste.
6 Tips for a Sustainable Landscape Design in Your Yard
Having a landscape is more than just a pretty facade for your home. Using trees, shrubs, flowers, and lawns around your home help to absorb carbon dioxide from the air and release it as oxygen. Not to mention preventing erosion, reducing dust, and filtering water as it moves through the soil.
Here are some more sustainable landscaping ideas for you try starting next season.
If you have an irrigation system, it’s critical to inspect it regularly for leaks and other malfunctions that may be causing water waste. Also, adjust the timer to match your plant’s needs according to the seasonal rainfall. Consider using an automatic sprayer nozzle on your hose to prevent water from running in between tasks.
Grow in Pots
One of the easiest sustainable landscape design ideas is to grow some of your plants in pots. This is especially beneficial to homeowners with small yards. You can use the potted plants for privacy and grow flowers that attract wildlife like bees and hummingbirds, which are natural pollinators that help your plants grow and thrive.
Leave your clippings on the lawn when you mow. This is a practice called grasscycling which is an excellent way to naturally fertilize your yard. The clippings will decay rapidly as they release essential nutrients back into your lush lawn.
Grasscycling can reduce the need for fertilizer by up to one third.
Additionally, you can mulch fallen leaves and spread them throughout your yard and around plants instead of bagging them up and sending them to the refuse center.
Fertilizers and Pest Control
Follow label instructions carefully when using fertilizers and pest control sprays for your landscape. Never use more than the recommended amount and always use them at the proper time of year. Ask your local garden store representative if you have questions or concerns about how to use these items correctly.
If you’re noticing plants that are difficult to maintain in your landscape, it may be time to replace them. Problem plants can cause you to use more water or pest control than should be necessary. Replace them with hardier, more durable plants that will last several seasons.
Create a Habitat for Wildlife
If you want to have the greenest landscape on the block, craft a design that caters to wildlife. Birds and other small animals will benefit from trees and shrubs while other pollinators like butterflies will relish at the sight of a garden full of flowers.
Sustainable landscaping is all about preserving the environment. You can do your part by following these guidelines and using sustainable, locally sourced materials for your garden or landscape. And, don’t forget to create a runoff for rainwater so that you can use it to water your plants when they need it most.
If you have more questions or you’d like to get a quote for landscaping services, feel free to contact us. We are a family owned business on a mission to contribute to the healing of Mother Earth.