Five easy steps to a low maintenance eco-friendly landscape
Thursday, March 21st, 2013
Issue 12, Volume 17.
"All it takes is a bit of planning and a few low maintenance strategies," said gardening expert and author Melinda Myers.
Myers recommends these five strategies to create a low maintenance eco-friendly landscape this season.
Save money on the water bill, time spent watering, and this precious resource, water. Start by growing drought-tolerant plants suited to your growing environment. Once established, they will only need watering during extended dry spells. Mulch with shredded leaves, evergreen needles, woodchips, or other organic matter to conserve moisture, reduce weeds, and improve the soil as they decompose.
Fertilize with a low nitrogen fertilizer that promotes slow, steady growth instead of excessive greenery that requires more water. Plus, it wonít burn even during drought.
Put rainwater to work all season long by using rain barrels to capture rainwater off the roof or directly from the sky.
Recycle yard waste in the landscape
Minimize the amount of yard waste produced, reuse what can be in other areas of the landscape and recycle the rest as compost. These are just a few strategies that will save time bagging, hauling, and disposing of yard debris. And better yet, implementing this strategy will save money and time spent buying and transporting soil amendments, since it will be created right in the backyard.
Start by leaving grass clippings on the lawn. The short clippings break down quickly, adding organic matter, nutrients and moisture to the soil. Grow trees suited to the growing conditions and available space. That means less pruning and fewer trimmings that will need to be managed.
Make compost at home
Recycle yard waste into compost. Putplant waste into a heap and let it rot. Yes, it really is that simple. The more effort put into the process, the quicker the results.
Do not add insect-infested or diseased plant material or perennial weeds like quack grass, annual weeds gone to seed, or invasive plants. Most compost piles are not hot enough to kill these pests. And do not add meat, dairy, or bones that can attract rodents.
Manage pests in harmony with nature
A healthy plant is the best defense against insects and disease. Select the most pest-resistant plants suited to the growing conditions and provide proper care.
Check plants regularly throughout the growing season. It is easier to control a few insects than the hundreds that can develop in a week or two. And when problems arise, look for the most eco-friendly control. Start by removing small infestations by hand. Consider traps, barriers, and natural products if further control is needed. And as always be sure to read and follow label directions carefully.
Energy-wise landscape design
Landscape plantings can be used to keep homes warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Homes will have a more comfortable temperature throughout the seasons and energy costs will be reduced. Plant trees on the east and west side of a house to shade windows in the summer and let the sun shine in and warm it up through the south-facing windows in winter.
Shade air conditioners, so they run more efficiently and be sure to collect and use any water they produce for container gardens.
Incorporate these changes into gardening routines and habits over time. Soon these and many more strategies that help save time and money while being kind to the environment will seem to occur automatically.
The Fallbrook Village News has tightened its' policy regarding comments.
While we invite you to contribute your opinions and thoughts, we request that you refrain from using vulgar or obscene words and post only comments that directly pertain to the specific topic of the story or article.
Comments that are derogatory in nature have a high likelihood for editing or non-approval if they carry the possibility of being libelous.
The comment system is not intended as a forum for individuals or groups to air personal grievances against other individuals or groups.
Please, no advertising or trolling.
In posting a comment for consideration, users understand that their posts may be edited as necessary to meet system parameters, or the post may not be approved at all. By submitting a comment, you agree to all the rules and guidelines described here.
Most comments are approved or disregarded within one business day.
Valley NewsAnza Valley OutlookFallbrook.orgSourcebookPDF VersionCoupon CornerSign up for iNewsEarthquake Info
357 Medical marijuan...
264 Arrests now numb...
246 13-year-old Fall...
211 Vote Ďyesí on Pr...
205 Arrests now tota...
170 UPDATE: Authorit...
168 Man hit, killed ...
166 Marine commits s...
153 13-year-old Fall...
149 Little Mexico in...
148 EXCLUSIVE UPDATE...
145 Increased Noise ...
137 Fallbrook reside...
133 Methamphetamine ...
125 Mother-in-law ar...