How to Get Started with Environmentally-Friendly Landscaping
Updated: Feb 24
When you hear the words “environmentally friendly,” what comes to your mind?
For a lot of people, being environment friendly means living with limited options. The common assumption is that if something is eco-friendly, it must not be fun or easy to do. But this is untrue.
At least, it is untrue when it concerns environmentally friendly landscaping. That is because environmentally friendly landscaping is one of the best ways to make the area outside your home engaging and full of exciting surprises.
Environmentally-friendly landscaping expands your landscaping beyond a lawn. It offers ways to create stunning outdoor spaces that do not need a lot of time and money to maintain. What is eco-friendly landscaping, and why do you need it?
What is Environmentally Friendly Landscaping?
Two words that best define environmentally friendly landscaping are sustainability and harmony. When landscaping is sustainable, Blue Mountain Management explains, the plants can take care of themselves with minimal involvement by the homeowner.
Also, environmentally friendly landscaping does not exert negative effects on nature. Nature is not being harmed due to what you have to do to keep the yard in good condition. The landscaping can exist side by side with the environment; in harmony.
Why You Need Environmentally Friendly Landscaping
You need landscaping that is environmentally friendly because landscaping that is not eco-friendly hurts the environment. How?
Grasses are the most irrigated crop in the USA; it covers over 50 million acres of land. You need an unbelievable amount of resources every day to keep lawn grass short and green.
1. Water Waste:
One-third of domestic water usage goes to landscape irrigation. This is more than 7 billion gallons daily.
2. Use of Pesticides:
Over 70 million pounds of pesticides are used annually by lawns. These remain in the soil and atmosphere, where they keep harming the environment.
3. The Massive Use of Fertilizers:
90 million pounds of chemical fertilizers are applied annually to lawns in the USA, creating massive pollution of natural water sources.
4. Carbon Emissions:
200 million gallons of gas is used to power lawn mowers annually.
A few of the consequences of our actions are:
Environmentally Friendly Landscaping Increases Plant Biodiversity
It has an impact on nature’s system of ensuring the availability of resources for new food crops and medicine.
Destruction of Habitats
Lawns compete directly with the natural habitat of pollinators, like birds, bees, and other smaller animals.
Landscaping that hurts the environment also hurts people because people cannot exist apart from the environment. Investing in eco-friendly landscaping is investing in your own physical health, emotional wellbeing, and future generations. How can you do this?
How to Create Environmentally Friendly Landscaping
1. Use Native Plants
Plants that are indigenous to an area are adapted to the soil and weather conditions of that region. They are more resilient and often don’t need watering. They are resistant to pests and diseases. With native plants, your use of pesticides, fertilizers, and water will be extensively reduced.
2. Reduce Lawn Size
The amount of turf you have determines how much water you use. By limiting the lawn to functional areas in the yard, play areas, and around the front entryway, you reduce your water usage. That also lessens the lawn maintenance you need to do.
3. Employ Xeriscaping
This means using drought-resistant plants to reduce water usage. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to your region. Include flowering plants that add color to your yard.
4. Plant Ground Cover Crops
You can replace lawn grass with ground cover crops. They do not grow high, so they do not need a lot of cutting. Also, they will spread wide to cover any bare spots in the yard and prevent weeds.
5. Plant Flowering Shrubs and Small Trees
To add color to the yard and create focal points of interest, use flowering shrubs and small trees in place of flowerbeds. These do not need watering like flowerbeds but will do the same work as a flowerbed.
6. Layer Your Landscaping
To make the landscaping elegant, use a layered design. This means planting different categories in successive rows, creating the appearance of layers. For instance, you can layer shrubs, ground cover crops, vines, and small trees.
7. Use Hardscapes
Hardscaping is the non-living element of landscaping. They include retaining walls, arbors, stone gardens, walkways, boulder walls, etc.
8. Collect Rainwater
Rainwater collection systems are easy to build. They save you money, and you can use the water for other things beyond watering plants. An easy way to do this is with a rain-fed pond in the yard.
You can reduce or eliminate fertilizers by not bagging your lawn clippings. Leave them on the grass to decompose or if they are too long, compost them. Also, add chipped wood and food waste to the compost.
10. Efficient Irrigation
In place of sprinklers, which waste over 30% of their water, use drip irrigation. Also, group plants with similar water need together. It ensures that water goes to the necessary places only. To reduce water loss through evaporation, water the plants after 9 pm and before 9 am.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the landscaping options that are environmentally friendly, contact our residential landscaping team! Also, feel free to give us a call any time (970-488-1707). We are always happy to help!