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Simply Sustainable: Sustainable Landscaping

How to have an environmentally friendly yard or garden!

Residential greenery not only looks nice but can help promote both mental and physical health. Many people have a yard or an area that can support some kind of green space, but the upkeep and care can be time consuming and costly.

Gardens and plants require sufficient watering and care, even if you are not growing edible plants, upkeep is still necessary to ensure the space looks good and stays healthy. But with threatening climate change issues like drought becoming longer and more frequent, maintenance and upkeep of residential and even urban landscapes and green spaces will become more difficult. 

What is sustainable landscaping?

Sustainable landscaping is a great solution to this problem. Sustainable landscaping is basically creating a green space that is both environmentally friendly and climate appropriate. This means taking several factors like drought resistant plants, native plants, composting, up cycling, etc. into consideration when planning a residential or urban green space. 

Keep reading for some sustainable landscaping tips!

1. Decorate your space with potted plants

If you are lacking the space or just don't have the time and money to support a fully landscaped yard, keep your plants in pots. Easy to move around and no serious landscaping necessary. This can also help reduce excess water run off.

2. Choose appropriate plants 

Choose plants that are appropriate for your location. This takes several factors into consideration like climate and access to water. 

Native plants: Use plants that are native to your area, this not only supports local wildlife but it also ensures the plant will flourish because it already does naturally. It is also helps avoid invasive species, planting non-native plants can be totally fine but it can also cause a shift in the local-ecosystem and harm native species. 

Drought tolerant plants: If you live in a drier climate and don't want to be burdened with a expensive water bill, use drought tolerant plants. Succulents are definitely what comes to mind but they are not the only drought tolerant plants! Some others include artemisia, beardtongue, fountain grass, geranium, lavender, wild lilac, corn, mustard greens, and different types of pole beans.

Also reach for plants that will attract pollinators. This will help support healthy ecosystems and habitats as pollinators work to spread seeds! 

4. Use recycled materials / composting 

If you are creating a garden or some sort of green space, try to source materials responsibly and avoid natural resources when you can. Use recycled materials like old glass pieces and containers for pots or decor, or use old plastic bottles and egg cartons for seedlings and plant clippings. 

Composting! Not everyone is able to support a compost at their home, but if you can, consider starting one so you can feed your garden. You can also save your compostable materials and take them to a composting facility. Read more about composting here in another blog.

5. Beware of fertilizer and pesticides

If you use them, do so sparingly. Fertilizers can be helpful but they can cause a lot of harm too, they are full of chemicals that can harm you and the environment. They can be carried into the water system via run off and end up in natural environments where they can cause damage. 

There are plenty of options for natural fertilizers and pesticides as well!

6. Ditch the grass 

Yes grass can look nice to get the clean-cut yard, but it really does not offer any advantages to wildlife and can be very costly. You can replace it with artificial grass which requires almost zero upkeep. 

It uses a ton of water and toxic chemicals to keep it that perfect green color, why not feature something else that still looks nice and requires less attention. 

Overall, sustainable landscaping can help to save money, improve resource management, reduce maintenance and just be more environmentally beneficial! 

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