Eco Friendly Landscaping Tips and Ideas
There are excellent reasons why eco-friendly landscaping continues to grow in popularity- it limits your family's exposure to toxins, saves natural resources, and can keep homeowners money in maintenance costs. Planning landscaping without the use of pesticides, insecticides, and other chemically based "helpers" can take a little bit of creativity. However, environmentally friendly design can be affordable and aesthetically pleasing.
Survey Your Site
This step is significant to the success of your landscaping design. You will need to see where the sun hits different areas of your yard, how water drains, wind patterns, and the size of your space. You will also want to take into consideration what space will be used for. For example, if space will be an area for young children or pets will play, you may not want to plant succulents or cacti- ouch!
Planning Your Design
At this point, you will either work with a landscape designer or create your plan of how to lay out the pieces of your design. You will want to consider what you already have in place and your budget. There may be plants that will work with your design, or you may have to start from scratch. An expert can help you come up with creative touches that will work with your budget. You will want to use this information to prioritize your goals. Remember to keep in mind water usage, soil types, insect population, and maintenance concerns. The planning stage is a little more involved for an eco-friendly yard, but it will be worth it to know you are doing your part.
The next step involves shopping for the plants and other materials that you will incorporate into your landscape design. Using native plants will reduce the need for pest control and will work great with the climate of your area. Another important thing to consider is the size of the tree or bush at full maturity- not just the size when you purchase it! To prepare for plants, plan to use a drip system for irrigation. This will take water directly to the roots and reduce wasted water. It can be set on a timer to further conserve resources. A rock garden or hardscape based design can also be a very low maintenance choice that still produces a beautiful look.
When you are ready to plant, dig holes 12-15 inches to promote optimum growth. Add a 2-4 inch layer of organic mulch to help conserve water use. Set your timer to drip after 9 pm and before 9 am to prevent evaporation. Use compost as fertilizer and mulch for weed prevention.
Less waste, water conservation, and keeping toxins away from your family are just a few reasons why more people than ever are choosing eco-friendly landscaping. With some careful planning and design, your landscape will be beautiful as well as healthy for our environment.