Lifestyle

Tips for Maintaining an Eco-Friendly Landscape

An attractive landscape is an important part of maintaining a valuable and appealing property. It’s an environmentally friendly act because so many of our urban areas lack sufficient shade and green space, which contributes to heat islands and global warming. Green plants produce oxygen and help scrub our air environment by absorbing and processing carbon dioxide.

Landscaping prevents erosion and helps clean water runoff. It also helps keep your energy costs in check by naturally cooling your home. Creating a lush and healthy green yardscape benefits you and the environment as well. If you need some ideas on how to make your lawn and garden more eco-friendly, read on for some tips.

Work with a Landscaper

Many people find that in order to create a more environmentally friendly landscape that it’s highly beneficial to work with a professional landscaper to design a more sustainable garden and yard. A professional landscaper will take your budget, climate and aesthetics into consideration, and they’ll be able to help you create the perfect oasis that brings beauty to your home’s exterior without cramping your bank account. To find reliable landscaping professionals in your area, you can plug “landscaper near me” into a search engine or visit Angi where you can find reviews and detailed feedback on local contractors.

If you’re making major changes to your outdoor space, make sure to research which types of projects will boost the value of your home. And always keep receipts and take before-and-after photos of the work.

Make the Space Work

If you’re more of a DIY greenthumb, and If you live in a home with limited outside square footage, you can still create a pleasing green space by using pots or plastic containers to grow things in. You don’t need a big lawn and lots of room to garden in order to create an environmentally friendly space.

Plant flowers that attract bees so that you’re contributing to the pollination cycle, and don’t forget the vegetables and herbs, many of which can be grown in pots or containers. (It should be noted that “green” landscaping does not include turf or plants like hostas, which are often transplants from other areas and do not support wildlife or absorb much of the rain.)

Composting

Do you hate having to rake up the grass clippings left behind when you mow the lawn? Here’s some green-friendly advice: don’t. Leave them behind and allow them to decay naturally. which reintroduces nutrients into the lawn. The EPA explains that composting is an environmentally responsible practice that greatly mitigates the need to apply chemical fertilizers. The same theory applies if you have a lot of leaves every year. You can mulch a light covering into your grass, and use denser leaf coverings for mulching around plants, bushes and shrubs. This approach alleviates the need to dump piles of mown grass and lawn debris into a corner of your lawn.

You can even compost indoors by investing in a kitchen-friendly compost bin. Instead of throwing organic material (e.g., banana peels, vegetable scraps, coffee grounds) into the trash, just add them to the bin. When researching indoor composters, look for easy-to-use models with a filter to trap odors.

Watch Your Water Use

You don’t automatically have to extend the garden hose to give your lawn and garden a good watering. If you use an irrigation system, a far more green-friendly approach would be to collect water runoff from your roof in a barrel, and use that water to keep your landscape nice and green. Today’s Homeowner suggests conserving water by using a soaker hose, which has puncture holes along its length, in your garden. Simply extend it along the base of your plants, turn it on and allow water to slowly seep down into the soil, where it will directly nourish root systems.

Limit Chemical Usage

Fertilizers and pesticides are very effective in helping you maintain an attractive green space. However, an overreliance on chemicals can be harmful to your lawn and to the environment. Many homeowners assume that since they see good results from a measured use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, using even more will produce even better results. The safest approach is to closely follow the directions in terms of when and how much to use rather than trying to customize it according to your own “recipe.”

Cull When Necessary

If you find that a part of your garden or lawn is a chronic problem, consider replacing it with plants or grass species that are more robust and do better in variations of weather and light. One good way to conserve water and energy is to remove part of your lawn that proves difficult to keep healthy, replacing it with mulch or a hardy ground covering. This will reduce the amount of grass you have to mow, limit your water usage, and help limit the gas you need to put in the lawn mower.

Xeriscaping

If you live in a region that’s prone to drought, xeriscaping is probably a more sustainable option. Xeriscaping means eliminating your lawn altogether and replacing it with plants that thrive in arid conditions. One of the great benefits of xeriscaping is the need for only minimal watering or maintenance, though pruning, aeration and fertilizing are necessary periodically.

Green landscaping is a commitment to maintain a conservation-based home environment. Think of it as part of a sustainable lifestyle that will help feed your family, conserve natural resources and save money.

This article is brought to you by the Borough of Victory Gardens, New Jersey. For more information, please contact us today!

Sumati Pavagi

A late bloomer but an early learner, Sumati likes to be honestly biased. Though fascinated by the far-flung corners of the galaxy, She doesn’t fancy the idea of humans moving to Mars. Sumati is a Contributing Author for Buzzfeed. e-mail: [email protected]
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