Green landscaping is not only eco-friendly, it can also add beauty to your property. Some of these greening strategies include using compost, mulch and organic fertilizers to keep your plants healthy. Avoid invasive plant species as they often degrade the natural environment and crowd out native plants.
Another greening practice is replacing your lawn with native plants that are adapted to your local climate. Mulching your yard also reduces weeds, moderates soil temperatures and prevents erosion.
1. Repair Damaged Plants
When choosing plants for green landscaping, it is important to choose those that are native to your region. This helps reduce the number of chemicals used, as well as conserves water and soil. In addition, it is also a good idea to avoid invasive species of plant that can take over natural habitats and compete with local vegetation for resources.
Many green landscapes have been damaged by extreme heatwaves, especially those accompanied by hot winds and low humidity. To prevent additional damage, keep lawns mowed and shrubs pruned to the ground level (not above) to stimulate new growth. In addition, shade cloth or cardboard can be laid over areas that are reflecting intense sunlight to protect plants from damage. Alternatively, plants can be protected with anti-transpirant sprays such as Yates Drought Shield.
The use of organic mulch also helps to promote green landscaping, as it acts as a natural weed barrier and reduces moisture loss. It also improves soil structure and moderates soil temperatures. In addition, it can help reduce the need for chemical fertilizers and weed killers.
If using organic mulch, it is best to apply a thick layer (2 to 3 inches) to reduce weeds and maintain proper soil moisture levels. It is also a good idea to aerate the lawn to reduce soil compaction, and to amend the soil with organic compost or garden gypsum to increase nutrient availability and to promote beneficial microorganisms.
It is a good idea to plant during spring or fall when weather conditions are mild and plants can get established without the risk of frost. Soil that is too acidic or too alkaline can limit the availability of nutrients to plants, causing them to turn yellow. Soil tests can identify nutrient issues and provide recommendations for amending the soil to restore the optimum pH balance needed by plants to produce green leaves.
2. Remove Weeds
Weeds steal valuable space and nutrients that grass and other desirable plants need to grow. They also attract lawn damaging insects, which may require insecticides to control. Regular weeding is the first step in creating an eco-friendly landscape. When done correctly, it can keep weeds from growing out of control and prevent them from producing seeds.
Avoid using chemicals and instead, use a combination of techniques to fight the weeds. Tilling the soil can help break up existing weeds and remove their roots. Mulching is another good option. The organic material helps keep the soil cool, retains water and encourages worms and microbes that are beneficial to plants.
The best way to reduce annual weeds in the garden is by layering an organic, biodegradable mulch over the top of the soil. A 3-inch layer of straw, wood chips or bark mulch will suppress weeds by blocking sunlight and breaking down over time to amend the soil. Alternatively, you can lay down landscape fabric to stop weeds from sprouting in the ground or on the surface. The fabric is breathable, meaning it allows water, air and some nutrients to pass through the barrier to the soil beneath.
Another great technique is to create a compost pile with yard waste and leaf litter. The resulting mulch can be used to cover the soil around shrubs, flowers, trees and other perennials, and it will break down over time, adding rich organic material to the ground. Avoid bagging grass clippings unless they’re so long that they will smother the lawn and use them to make compost instead. This will help reduce landfill waste and encourage the creation of an eco-friendly green landscape.
3. Repair Water Damage
Water damage from green landscaping can occur in a few ways. Generally, it happens when there is an excess of surface water on your property and the surrounding soil can’t absorb it quickly enough. This excess water can damage trees, shrubs, grass, and other plants. It can also cause clogged gutters and lead to flooding in certain areas of the yard. In addition, stagnant water can create an unpleasant odor.
One way to avoid this problem is by choosing native plants for your yard that are adapted to your climate and soil conditions. This will reduce your need for watering and fertilizers. It is also a good idea to get your soil tested before you begin planting, so you can select the correct plants for your environment.
Adding mulch to your garden beds and around plants will help inhibit weeds and conserve water. It will also prevent soil erosion and moderate soil temperatures. You can find a variety of mulches at local stores or online. Another great way to save on your water usage is by installing rain barrels and using them to collect and harvest the rainwater from your roof for landscape use.
When you are ready to start your green landscaping project, it is important to hire a home inspection team and horticultural landscaper that will work together to come up with a design that fits your needs and environment. You may also want to consider having your sewer lines inspected, as tree and plant roots can make their way into damaged or clogged sewer pipes and create flooding problems. It is also important to have your sewer lines cleaned on a regular basis to keep them from getting damaged.
Greens can be one of the most difficult colors to get right on a painting. In fact, it can be so tricky that some landscape painters avoid them altogether. Fortunately, there are some steps that can help you overcome this problem and create a beautiful landscape painting.
One of the most important things to do before beginning an exterior painting project is to cover any areas that won’t be painted with tarps, plastic bags, or other sturdy coverings. This will protect your plants, flowers, trees, and shrubs from paint splatters that could ruin their appearance or cause harm to the surrounding area.
During the painting process, you should also take steps to reduce your use of gas-powered tools. These machines produce a lot of pollution that can harm the environment and your health, so it’s always worth looking into replacing them with emissions-free alternatives.
Another way to protect your green landscape is to use mulch and other ground cover that prevents water from evaporating. This can save you money on your energy bill and help the environment by reducing the amount of water that evaporates from your property.
Landscape fabric is a spun synthetic-fiber material that blocks sunlight, but allows water and air to pass through. Once you’ve prepared the ground, roll out the fabric and secure it with landscape fabric staples (you’ll need a hammer for this). If necessary, rake the area over the top of the landscape fabric to eliminate any creases or bumps.
Before you start painting, it’s a good idea to test the color of your paint in an out-of-the-way part of your green landscape. This way, you’ll know whether or not it’s the right shade before you begin to paint your house and other outdoor structures.
5. Replace Grass
One of the best ways to green up your landscape is to replace your grass with plants. Lawns are a major drain on the environment and require a lot of water to maintain. Instead, replace your lawn with a garden of shrubs, ground covers and flowers. The good news is that gardening takes about the same amount of time as lawn maintenance and requires far fewer resources.
First take a big picture look at your landscape to determine where the sun and shade are throughout the yard, what type of soil you have and whether or not it is sloping. This will help you select the right plants for your area. Native plants are usually the best choice as they are already tailored to your climate and soil conditions. They also have natural defenses against local pests and bacteria.
If you are going to plant, scalp the existing lawn to get a light scattering of seeds and encourage seed-to-soil contact before overseeding. Cover the seeds with a light layer of mulch such as shredded leaves or compost to conserve moisture and protect from drying sunlight.
To keep your new plantings healthy, use organic fertilizers and skip the chemical varieties. Organic options are easy to find and won’t be absorbed into the environment where they can harm or kill wildlife, contaminate the water supply or enter groundwater sources.
If you do choose to use chemicals, make sure they are the lowest toxicity varieties available. Also, be sure to water wisely by capturing and using rainwater for your garden. Rain gardens are a great way to do this and can save you up to 30 percent of your annual water usage.