As you improve your efforts to go green, it can help to think about your landscaping situation, and take steps to ensure that your are following sustainable principles.
Here are 5 tips that can help you improve the sustainability of your landscaping:
1. Start with a Plan
Think about the purpose of your landscaping efforts. Are you trying to create beauty? Do you want a safe place for your kids to play? Are you planning on growing food? Perhaps you have a number of uses in mind for your landscaping.
If you have a good idea of what you want to accomplish with your yard, you will be able to make decisions that help you accomplish your purpose, as well as improve your home’s overall sustainability.
2. Use Native Plants
One of the best things you can do for sustainable landscaping is to use native plants. Also, pay attention to the sun and shade on your property, and the types of plants that are more likely to thrive in the natural conditions surrounding your house.
Native plants are best suited to your area, and they will need less intensive care. You won’t need to worry as much about watering them, or about using special fertilizers and pesticides to encourage them to grow properly.
3. Select Grass with Care
While xeriscaping your yard so that you don’t have to use much water can be a great idea, it doesn’t leave much room for the kids to play. It’s true that a lawn can be a huge drain on your resources — especially water. So, if you want some type of lawn, consider choosing grasses that are less thirsty. There are drought tolerant grasses that can be a little more sustainable than others.
You can also consider using sedges instead of more traditional grass. There are also some ground covers that provide an attractive look for a yard while still being appropriate for play.
4. Go Organic
When possible, use organic options for fertilization and pesticides. There are natural ways to control pests, including making your yard inviting for birds, as well as using ladybugs to keep down aphids. You can also use methods of preparing the soil that are a little more natural, including introducing earthworms to help build the soil, and engaging in composting and mulching.
Organic solutions reduce pollution, and can result in a healthier yard altogether.
5. Be Smart about Watering
At some point, you will probably have to water your plants. The best time to water is in the morning, before 10 am, and in the evening, after 4 pm. These times prevent much of your water being lost to evaporation. Additionally, avoid watering during times of high winds.
Understand how much water your plants really need. You can accomplish more with a deep soak that encourages roots to grow deep and strong so that you need less water over time. A drip system can be a great alternative. Make sure to check for leaks and problems with your lines so that you don’t waste water that way.
With a little planning and preparation, it’s possible to make your landscape more sustainable.