Your lawn and garden design may seem green, but if you're constantly irrigating plants and using chemical fertilizers to help it grow, your lawn and garden might be an energy and resource consuming monster. By going green with your landscape design, you can cut irrigation down to a minimum, reduce groundwater contamination from over-fertilization and most importantly save money (and the planet).
Test your Soil
Before you add any soil amendments to your yard and garden, you should first find out what it really needs. A soil test kit can be purchased from most garden supply stores. This will give you a head start and a point in the right direction when it comes to fertilizing your plants preventing environmentally unsound over-fertilization.
Chemical fertilizers may be necessary in your yards soil. Always fertilize according to directions and never over fertilize. Over fertilizing plants can lead to water contamination like algae blooms, red tide and oxygen-free dead zones; all caused by fertilizer runoff. When possible use natural fertilizers like compost, cow manure and yard clippings to prevent fertilizer water runoff.
Protect your Soil
Eliminating the need for chemical fertilizers is just the first step to turning your landscape green. Using natural conditions to irrigate plants, preventing storm water runoff and eliminating water hungry plants is the second step. A green landscaping design can only work when water is conserved and used properly.
Besides gutters and eaves that shed water away from the home, ditches and slopes shed water away from your home and yard too. Planting dense rooting shrubs in heavy water runoff zones can eliminate erosion that destroys soil and erodes your lawn and yard. Storm water runoff can also be collected in cisterns and redistributed throughout the yard for the ultimate in green irrigation.
Aerate your Soil
If you constantly need to add fertilizer and water to your lawn and it still doesn't look as good as it should, you may need to aerate your soil. The soil under your grass in continually being compressed. This prevents grass roots from growing and spreading outward, quickly diminishing the local supply of oxygen in the soil. When this happens, the best cure is to oxygenate the soil manually.
Many landscaping services offer soil aerating servies and often have heavy equipment which can make quick work of soil aeration and get you on your way to having a green lawn. DIY soil aerators are simply a spade with several small metal plugs that remove just enough soil to penetrate roots for maximum oxygen soil aeration. Once the holes are pressed into your lawn, new topsoil and grass seed is raked over the holes to promote root growth and new grass shoots.
Plant your Soil
Many DIY landscapers that buy plants from landscaping stores and chain warehouses often impulse shop by purchasing plants that look good instead of plants that are long lasting and ecofriendly. This can be the worst way to find desirable and long lasting ecofriendly landscaping.
Before you do any shopping for plants, always draw a sketch or a blueprint of your planned landscape complete with the plants you plan on using in your yard. This is where a professional landscape designer comes in handy. They know which plants best suit your locale and soil conditions, allowing you to plant drought tolerant plants and native vegetation that not only looks great, but can last for years to come with little to no maintenance. This will help you to get the most out of your ecofriendly landscape design.Posted by: TrustedPros