Achieving a sustainable landscape involves a combination of planning and maintenance practices to achieve low-waste, and low-environmental impact. Practicing green living is something that has become more top-of-mind for many in recent years. If you already practice “green living” and/or you’re looking for more ways to help our environment, building a sustainable landscape is something you can add to your eco-friendly to-do list!
Here are a few easy ways to create and foster a sustainable landscape –
- First, plant!
- Trees, shrubs, flowers, lawns, etc. – They are all critical to our community as they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, prevent erosion, reduce dust, filter water, reduce noise pollution, and can provide shade.
- Second, choose the right plant!
- Native plants are naturally adopted to the regional environment.
- Be sure to avoid invasive or aggressive species.
- Plant deciduous trees on the south and west sides of your home to provide cooling shade in summer and foster warmth in winter.
- Water responsibly.
- Be sure not to overwater, especially if your landscaping is established.
- Consider an irrigation system, which benefits plants by delivering water straight to their roots on a slow drip. This also saves water.
- Rain water harvesting is a great way to conserve and reuse water to foster a sustainable landscape. Collect roof runoff in a rain barrel to use to water plants.
- Protect water runoff.
- Leaves, grass clippings, and fertilizers contain nutrients that can damage streams and ponds if they are not managed properly. After fertilizing, or mowing, clean walks, streets, and paved surfaces.
- Fertilize and control pests carefully.
- Using the right products, at the right rates, during the proper time of year is very important.
- At Red Cedar, we use an integrated pest management approach, which offers solutions for managing insects, weeds and pests in natural ways (eliminating pest habitats, encouraging natural enemies, hand-weeding, mulching, etc.).
- When pest control applications are needed, Red Cedar makes sure to use the most non-toxic and organic applications possible. We only apply on your property what we would feel comfortable applying on our own property, around our own families.
- Use recycled materials.
- Hardscaping is low maintenance, aesthetically pleasing, and provides purpose (like providing structure for vertical grading changes, preventing down slope movement, preventing sinkholes, preventing flooding etc.), but they are also economically friendly. By using natural or recycled materials for your hardscaping project, you’re reducing waste and helping to create a sustainable landscape.
- Choose recycled plastics and sustainably harvested materials for fencing and/or decks.
- Did you know you could reuse your Christmas Tree after the holidays?! Find out how HERE.
- You can also use trees as firewood!
- Invite wildlife.
- Your sustainable landscape should provide a balanced ecosystem for a variety of plants and wildlife. Provide access to food, water, and shelter for birds, butterflies, and other important wildlife.
- Did you know that the Rusty Patch Bumble Bee, a vital pollinator, is endangered? Incorporate bee-friendly plants in your landscape plan to attract bees and help protect them.
- Conserve Energy.
- Consider using hand tools for landscape maintenance instead of power tools.
- Install light-emitting diodes (LED) lights that use less energy to operate and last longer.
- Plant shade trees to help reduce energy usage in your house by keeping your home cooler during the hot summer months.
Sustainability is extremely important in preserving and increasing environmental quality and healthy communities. Because of this, creating a landscape with sustainability practices in mind is a great way to help protect and improve our environment. A sustainable landscape can be achieved beautifully, and easily. When planning your landscape project, consider the above green landscaping suggestions.
Red Cedar Arborist & Landscapers can help you plan, maintain, and manage your landscape with sustainability and the safety of your family in mind. Contact us today for your free consultation, and trust in our years of knowledge and economically-friendly methods.