Gardening: Make your landscape more eco-friendly

Simple techniques help you covert your landscape into an eco-friendly haven.

| May 2009

Want to know how to make your landscape design more eco-friendly? Check out these simple, straightforward tips for converting your landscape into a haven for clients, passersby, and wildlife.

Using organic landscaping techniques can save you money because your outdoor space is a prime location for showing off your commitment to developing a green building that is not only better for the environment, but is also healthier for humans and animals alike. Developing a stunning yet beautiful landscape will be more attractive, require less maintenance, and save you money from year to year.

Following are six easy-to-implement tips for you to apply in your next project.

Choose the right plants: 
Choosing plants for their beauty is one way to build a pleasing landscape design, but failing to also examine their maintenance requirements can cost you money and increase time spent caring for them. Drought tolerant plants are a good bet for any climate, but those that are considered native to your area are even better. Since they grow naturally without any human intervention, they will require little more than the rain that falls naturally, and they won’t need much, if anything, in the way of soil amendments.

Adding compost (a mix of decomposed organic matter) contributes beneficial nutrients, minerals and organisms, increases water retention, improves soil structure, and prevents soil erosion. Together, these benefits mean less watering, few (if any) fertilizer applications, and less work. If you make your own compost, you will have a ready supply that is local and inexpensive.

Composed of bark or wood chips, shredded leaves and branches, straw and hay, or rocks and gravel, mulch will help prevent weed growth, reduce evaporation and water loss, and add to a pleasing visual landscape. Again, the benefits include lower maintenance requirements, lower irrigation costs, and reduced need for pesticides.



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