Spring is just around the corner and you’re probably thinking of ways to make your yard stand out in your neighborhood. A lot of traditional landscaping practices are not exactly great for the environment, though. They cause harmful chemicals to get into the soil, use too much water, or aren’t healthy for the local wildlife. If you’d like to be more intentional while you’re landscaping this spring and summer, check out these tips for going green.
Use the Right Tools
Lawnmowers, weed eaters, and other gardening equipment often use a lot of fuel and release a lot of toxins that are harmful to the environment when they’re used. Luckily, you have other options. Greenworks is just one example of companies that provide innovative and environmentally friendly lawn tools. The company’s products are battery-operated and put zero emissions into the air as you use them. If you’re interested in learning more, you can find a Greenworks location.
Plant a Few Trees
If your yard is lacking in the tree department, there’s no better time to plant some than now. Trees purify the air to create a healthier environment, not to mention create places for wildlife to call home. Even better, once they’re a few years old, they’ll provide plenty of shade for you to enjoy your yard during the warmer months. Look for trees that are native to your area to ensure they’re doing the most for the environment that they can.
Learn What You Already Have in Your Yard
Knowing the intricacies of your own yard is essential for finding the right plans and ensuring they thrive. First, consider what plants you already have in your yard and whether their water, sun, and air circulation needs are being met. Then, understand what type(s) of soil you have in your yard. Testing the soil’s pH levels and moisture retention abilities will help you when choosing your new plans and tests are easy to find at most home improvement stores.
Consider your yard’s microclimates as well. Which areas get the most sun and which ones get the most shade? What are the average high and low temperatures in your area? What types of animals and insects live in your yard? Understanding the microclimates of your yard will help you choose plants that will thrive and help the other living things in your environment thrive as well.
Make Your Own Mulch and Compost
You’ll need mulch and compost to help your new plants thrive, but the stuff you buy at the store often has unhealthy chemicals in it that could harm local wildlife and contaminate your soil. Creating your own compost is a better option. It’s made of organic matter that’s been broken down by oxygen and microorganisms. You can make your own mulch by saving newspapers, banana peels, discarded vegetable peels, coffee grounds, leaves, wood chips, grass clippings, and more.
Creating your own organic compost has several benefits. First, you’re recycling things that you’d usually throw away, which cuts down on what goes into your local landfill. Your compost will also insulate the soil, which helps it to retain moisture, as well as act like a natural fertilizer. Finally, your compost will protect your plants from pests and diseases without the need for harmful pesticides.
Use Plants Native to Your Region
When choosing which plants you’ll add to your yard or garden this year, focus on the ones that already grow in your area naturally. They are better for the local environment because they provide the food and shelter that local plants and insects need to survive and thrive. Avoid planting anything that doesn’t already grow in your area. Not only will you be making it harder for the plant and local wildlife to thrive on their own, you’ll make more work for yourself since you’ll need to do more to maintain the non-native plants and keep them alive. Additionally, some plants, such as purple loosestrife, are known for being a problem because they spread quickly, overtaking and choking out native wild plants.
Creating a beautiful oasis in your yard provides you the benefit of having a comfortable place to relax, enjoy a drink, and read a book or chat with family and friends. The added benefit is that your oasis will also become a healthy living environment for plants, insects, and animals. Green landscaping ensures you’re doing your part to maintain your local ecosystems and protect the planet. The best time to start doing it is now.