4 tips to become cleaner and greener
Sustainable landscaping uses environmentally responsible methods to offset potentially destructive effects on our natural surroundings. Of course, these practices vary depending on the climate you’re living in, but here are some key ways to develop and maintain your property’s landscape sustainably.
It might seem overwhelming to change your routine and adopt more sustainable practices, but even little steps can make a big impact. Whether you’re responsible for maintaining a small garden or a large outdoor area, acting on these ideas can help you achieve a cleaner, greener, and enduring landscape. MAKE THE LITTLE THINGS COUNT There are many day-to-day ways to reduce your environmental impact in your yard. Here are a few simple suggestions:
• Use local materials
• Grow things that give back, like shady trees and plants that attract pollinators
• Start a vegetable garden
• Choose environmentally friendly fertilizers
• Use alternatives to power equipment. Try a push mower instead of a gas-powered mower; hand sheers, scythe or hoe instead of a weed trimmer, or a rake or broom instead of a power blower.
UTILIZE REUSABLE/RECYCLED MATERIALS We understand that you want to add something new during your garden makeover. However, a mix of the old and new can still create a vibrant outdoor space: • Reusing old materials from your property or recycled materials from somewhere else is a great way to reduce your garden’s impact on your environment – and your wallet
• Mulch your clippings instead of bagging them. If they’re not too long to be unsightly, leave your grass clippings on the lawn and let them fertilize your grass naturally, injecting nitrogen and other necessary nutrients
• Mulch all dead mature trees and reuse the wood chips in gardens
• If your clippings are too big to mulch, throw them in the compost rather than a black garbage bag.
CONSIDER XERISCAPING Xeriscaping (from the Greek “Xeros” meaning dry) is a landscaping practice designed for drought-afflicted climates that need to conserve water. Xeriscaping also incorporates the philosophy of using plants native to your area and climate, as opposed to high-maintenance foreign plants. You might also eliminate your lawn completely, or install a rock garden instead of a traditional flower bed.
BE CONSCIOUS OF WATER USAGE Reducing water usage is very important, and will benefit the entire planet. Using water is necessary to maintain a healthy, aesthetically pleasing landscape. But be smart about it:
• Don’t leave your sprinklers on all day. Try watering less frequently, but for longer periods of time – every couple of days rather than daily. When you water for longer, the water sinks further into the ground, forcing your lawn’s roots to reach down to get it
• Choose water conscious irrigation systems. Most irrigation systems have rain sensors so they won’t waste water on your lawn when it’s raining outside
• Let your grass grow a little bit longer. The shade will protect the roots and help keep moisture in the ground rather than being evaporated by the hot sun
• Use a bark or rock mulch in your flower beds. The extra layer above the soil helps protect it and keeps the ground cool. The bark will also hold water and keep more moisture in your garden.