Jan 30, 2014 Home Improvement
The trend is clear-more and more homeowners are transitioning to a greener, more eco-friendly way of creating and maintaining beautiful landscapes. The benefits of making your landscape greener than ever this spring reach far beyond the positive environmental impact alone. In fact, going organic in your landscaping and lawn can even save money while providing a better looking outdoor space than ever before. Here are 10 remarkably easy and effective ways to make your landscape greener than ever this spring.
One: Make sure your soil is perfectly balanced.
Having your yard’s soil tested for its organic composition-both positives and negatives-is a fantastic way to start with a healthy and supportive palette. Simply take a representative sample of your soil, send it for analysis, and follow the recommended steps to bringing the soil back to it’s maximum organic potential. Here’s a helpful article explaining exactly how to have your soil analyzed. The ultimate benefit? Landscapes with the right blend of rich soil to support growth and water absorption means that the use of additional chemicals and water to keep the vegetation healthy will be reduced by a remarkable amount.
Two: Scale back too much lawn.
By its very nature, grass lawns are very durable and easy to maintain. But with the perfecting standards we’ve come to expect today, lawn care perfection has practically become an intramural neighborhood competition. Having a green and luscious lawn is certainly desirable, but why not scale the proportions back a bit to reduce the need for all of that extra fertilizer, pesticide, and water use?
Three: Eliminate strong chemical products.
Believe it or not, one of the best possible ways to achieve a healthy, thick lawn is to wean it off of all of the complex and harsh non-organic fertilizers and pesticides. Traditional organic substances like manure and lime can help your yard find a perfect balance-effectively creating a stronger root system and a significantly higher resistance to weeds and other common turf problems than a chemically-supported “surface only” lawn will ever develop. Plus, with an all organic lawn, there’s no need to worry about letting the little tikes play in the grass to their hearts’ content!
Four: Manage your landscape’s watershed.
Landscaping designs with lots of concrete and other unnatural “hardscapes” all to often have the unfortunate effect of directing a great deal of rainwater into the storm sewer system-along with all of the chemicals and non-organic materials it mixes with along the way. Eventually, all of these non-organic substances end up polluting the clean water sources we rely on. By allowing much of the runoff water to be naturally absorbed by the organic landscape, you’re home’s landscaping will actively be taking a load off of an already over-stressed water system.
Five: Landscape greener by planning more sustainable plantings.
Are you familiar with the concept of xeriscaping? If not, this spring is the perfect time to learn more about how to plan a xeriscape. Basically, the concept involves designing and maintaining a landscape plan that requires minimal irrigation-reducing the usage and pollution of our precious resources. Learn more with this quick and easy guide to xeriscaping.
Six: Add a solar powered water feature.
Water, the refreshing and renewing resource that we all so vitally depend on, is naturally the perfect way to create a soothing and reflective landscape centerpiece. What’s the perfect green solution? It’s simple-creating a lovely fountain or waterfall powered by the abundant energy of the sun itself. Creating a solar powered water feature will be a true highlight in any backyard paradise!
Seven: Remember that compost is your landscape’s best organic friend.
The rich and natural nutrients provided by compost should be a part of every organic gardener’s portfolio of gardening and landscaping essentials. Creating a composting system is easy enough to do for just about any home. And, the wonderful “black gold” fertilizer that composting provides would only end up in the trash bin if it wasn’t used to create the most effective organic fertilizer that money just cannot buy!
Eight: Eliminate weeds by growing healthier lawns.
Again, achieving the right balance in your outdoor landscaping design is always essential, but one thing is certain for those looking to reduce the growth of weeds in a grass lawn organically. By making sure the soil is full of the right nutrients and ensuring that the lawn is properly watered (but not over-watered), the resulting deep-rooted lawn means that less weeds will be able to penetrate the grass. Another reliable organic method of encouraging a strong root system is having periodic aeration done as necessary.
Nine: Set up a rainwater collection system.
What better way to provide plenty of water to your landscape’s ever-thirsty vegetation than to collect, store, and distribute plenty of clean water right from the clouds for free? Harvesting rainwater to provide or supplement your landscape’s watering needs is easier than you might imagine. Plus, using this water has a double benefit effect-not only does it reduce your consumption of processed water, but it also helps reduce some of the pollutant laden runoff water that clean rain water so often turns into as it works its way through the chemical rich landscapes and dirty streets back to its source.
Ten: Use internal combustion fueled power tools less.
Agreed, the gasoline powered lawn and garden tools we’ve become accustomed to over the years sure do make caring for landscaping a breeze. But the thing is, they also pump great quantities of harmful pollutants into the air we breathe. Many folks are finding that going back to manual or electric lawn and garden tools is a refreshing change of pace from all of the noise, racket, and smelly exhaust that emanates from gasoline powered tools. Plus, in addition to the green factor, using simple manual tools is also a great way to work in a little bit extra exercise-something we can all use indeed.
Hopefully, these ten tips will help you make your landscaping greener than ever. Just one more thing-once your organic landscape beings to really shine, don’t forget to take plenty of time to be outside and enjoy it!
Author: Home Improvement Advisors