2 Super-Green Landscaping Ideas
For many, their landscape is a great source of pride. A nicely manicured lawn or a garden full of beautiful flowers can really make your outdoor area pop.
Unfortunately, the conventional methods of maintaining an attractive landscape are not very eco-friendly—inefficient use of water and harmful chemicals that pollute the air and the ground are just a couple of the issues.
If you are among the many people with a growing interest in green living, here are some tips that will help you be a better friend to the environment while still maintaining a beautiful landscape.
When you have plants that are not native to your local area, they often require greater care to keep them healthy and thriving. ‘’Exotic’’ plants usually need more water; they are more vulnerable to local insects and pests so may turn to harmful chemicals like pesticides and insecticides to protect them. If you want to create a ‘’greener’’ landscape, one good strategy is to focus on plants that are native to your area.
They are adapted to the rainfall patterns and other elements of the local clime and are naturally better equipped to fight off damage from the pests and insects in your area. They also serve as a natural source of food and shelter for local wildlife. Another bonus is that since they require less maintenance, you will not need to spend as much time tending to them.
Compost has been called ‘’gardener’s gold’’ for many good reasons. Organic materials break down to form a substance that is rich in beneficial bacteria and other substances that nourish the plants and soil. Its eco-friendliness stems from many fronts.
It helps soil retain moisture which translates to reduced water use. Its rich store of plant-supporting substances eliminates the need for chemical-laden fertilizers. Even organic materials can take a long time to break down in the landfill, and certain ones, such as leaves and yard trimmings, can emit harmful gases as they degrade.
I cannot cover the whole of composting here, but here are some basics to get you started. Acceptable items for compost include yard trimmings, leaves, fruits, vegetables, wool rags, newspaper, uncolored paper, dryer lint, hair, manure, egg shells and coffee grounds. Items to leave out of the pile include meat, fish, dairy products, fatty foods, oily foods, greasy foods, diseased plants and yard trimmings or plants that have been chemically treated.
You ideally want to create a mix that is 3 parts carbon (or browns) and 1 part nitrogen (or greens) Examples of ‘’browns’’ include leaves dead plants and twigs. Examples of ‘’greens’’ include grass, weeds and food scraps. The pile should always be moist but not wet; regularly turn the pile to make sure you get air to the center and avoid foul odors.
We can no longer ignore the damage we have been doing to our planet and true change will come when everyone begins doing their part. You may not feel like you alone can make a difference by using less water or composting for your landscape, but when lots of people make these small changes, the results can be huge. How we tend to our landscaping is a huge factor in water waste and other environmental problems and it presents us with a good opportunity to be more eco-friendly.