Sustainability is one of the most important issues facing our world today. We need to find ways to live that do not sacrifice the well-being of future generations. One way that we can make a difference is by gardening sustainably. In this blog post, we will look at some of the basics of eco friendly gardening and how you can implement them in your own garden!
What is Green Landscaping?
Landscaping with sustainability in mind- commonly referred to as eco-landscaping or green landscaping- is a method of design, creation, and maintenance that preserves time, money, and energy. Not only does it provide a healthier environment for wildlife, but it also reduces air-, soil-, and water pollution while creating safe spaces for recreation. yards operate on a larger scale than we often give them credit for!
Green Landscaping: Plants and Hardscapes
It is essential to consider local plant life when planning what you want your green landscape to look like. By using native plants or cultivars, you are more likely to have a successful garden that doesn’t require as much water and maintenance. Remember to consider your specific location when making choices about plants. Just because a plant is native to your country in general doesn’t make it good for where you live specifically.
Find native plants for your region
Check with local authorities about natives that are invasive or combative. Purple loosestrife, a lovely plant formerly grown in many gardens, is now prohibited in numerous states because it spreads too readily to wild areas and suffocates other plants.
A living fence is not only a more aesthetically pleasing option, but it will also provide homes for local wildlife.
Plant deciduous trees (which shed their leaves in the winter) on the south and west sides of your property, allowing cooling shade in the summer and warming comfort in the months when it’s chilly.
Explore our favorite small trees
Hardscaping, too, may be environmentally friendly. Permeable pavers are a more environmentally conscious driveway paving alternative than concrete since they allow water to flow into the ground rather than run off into storm sewers, lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water.
Landscaping with reused or recycled materials, like glass, bricks, stones, and concrete blocks is a more environmentally-friendly option than using new materials. Using recycled plastics or other sustainable resources for fencing and decking is also a good way to be eco-conscious.
Green Landscaping: Water Responsibly
If you do not water your lawn during the summer, it will go dormant instead of staying green. Your grass is naturally programmed to enter a dormancy state. When you do choose to water your lawn, make sure that it is a deep soaking; shallow watering only results in shallower root growth which makes your grass more susceptible to drought and insect problems.
To conserve soil moisture and prevent weeds, use organic mulch in garden beds and around trees. Consider xeriscaping, which is also known as drought-tolerant landscaping. Using the correct design and plants in dry areas where water is limited can give a lovely show without requiring too much additional water.
Collecting rainwater runoff from your roof in rain barrels is an easy approach to getting environmentally friendly with water. Use the free, naturally soft water for your garden’s needs.
By installing a rain garden, you can help combat stormwater pollution. Rain gardens are landscaped gardens placed in shallow depressions that act as sieves for runoff from your home’s roof or hardscaping. According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), nearly 70 percent of water pollution is caused by stormwater runoff, and half of that damage originates from chemicals used in our yards and homes—so creating a rain garden helps stop polluted run-off at its source.
Green Landscaping: Reduce or Avoid Chemicals
A cornerstone of natural green landscaping is the prevention of pollution through your gardening activities. This can be achieved by reducing or avoiding chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides- thereby benefiting water, air, and wildlife.
Testing your soil is a crucial first step. You may not need to use any chemicals! If your soil needs nutrients, consider adding compost and other organic materials to increase the quality of your lawn and garden soils. Healthy dirt promotes healthy plant growth.
Overfertilization with chemical nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers contributes to water pollution concerns by running off into groundwater sources. Never leave your grass clippings or leaves on the street; they’re a major source of water pollution. Using a blower, return the chopped grass and leaves to the lawn where they will decompose and add nutrients.
Only use the nitrogen-base fertilizer sparsely; an excessive amount can scorch lawns.
In the fall and spring, when it is most beneficial to the grass, fertilize lawns only. Because a fast-release fertilizer was used in the fall rather than in the spring, it helps grass develop stockpiles for growth in the spring.
Green Landscaping: Reduce or Stop Fuel Emissions
According to the EPA, emissions from outdoor power equipment like lawnmowers and snow blowers are a major cause of pollution. One way to reduce these fuel emissions is by practicing green landscaping in your garden.
Consider transitioning from gas-powered vehicles to electric ones. Even though it may not seem like it, charging an electric car battery still causes some pollution.
Consider using manual tools like push reel mowers and hand-held equipment. Not only are they environmentally friendly, but you’ll get a great workout, too!
Reduce the frequency of your lawn mowing. Your grass will flourish as a result of it. Remove no more than one-third of the length of each leaf blade at any one time. There are several benefits to keeping your grass longer in the summer months. A few inches of growth will help protect the soil, retain moisture, and improve the health of your lawn. Additionally, studies have shown that taller grass is less likely to harbor weeds. The extra height blocks out sunlight and competing plants, making it difficult for weed seeds to take root.
Reduce gas emissions and save time using a smaller lawn. Create gardens with low-maintenance, easy-care shrubs and native plants that are part of your lawn.
Green Landscaping: Waste Not
You don’t have to go through the hassle of fully revamping your landscape to make it greener. Sometimes, small changes like composting your lawn waste can make a big difference. When the yard waste has decomposed, add the finished product to your lawn and gardens to increase fertility.
In addition to the options above, other green landscaping ideas include:
If your lawn clippings are short, leave them be; they’ll decompose and add nutrients to the soil. If they’re too long, bag them up so that they don’t smother the grass.
To reduce waste, buy mulch in bulk instead of using plastic bags.
Please recycle your plastic garden pots and flats.
Sharing is caring, especially when it comes to bulky tools that you may not use often. Why not lend a helping hand – and free up some storage space in your garage – by loaning out your saw or drill to one of your neighbors?
As you can see, there are many ways to make your landscaping more eco-friendly. By making small changes in the way you garden, you can have a big impact on the environment. So get out there and start gardening sustainably!