4 tips to be­come cleaner and greener

Outdoor Lifestyle Magazine - - Contents - By MICAH BRADLEy & HERB BOSJNAK | OWN­ERS, BRADBOSH LAND­SCAP­ING – CALGARy, AB

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.

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