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Transcript of Sustainable Landscaping
Soil & Water Conservation
Capturing Rain Water:
Use rain barrels to capture rain water so it doesn't become wasted runoff.
Xeriscape (water-wise landscaping)
: landscaping and gardening that reduces or eliminates the need for supplemental water from irrigation.
Drip or Soaker Hose for Irrigation
Limit Water Use
Employ ground covers and terraces to reduce erosion.
A rain garden is a planted depression or a hole that allows rainwater runoff from impervious urban areas, like roofs, driveways, walkways, parking lots, and compacted lawn areas, the opportunity to
be absorbed. This reduces rain runoff by allowing storm water to
soak into the ground (as opposed to flowing into storm
drains and surface waters.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
Integrated Pest Management is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with
the environment. This information is used to
manage pest damage by the most economical
means, and with the least possible hazard
to people, property, and the
Going organic is an important aspect
of sustainable landscaping. Eliminate
the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers to create an eco-friendly
yard and garden. Create and utilize
your own compost to organically
nourish your plants.
What Makes A Plant "Sustainable?"
The definition of a sustainable plant may be a plant that is drought tolerant (once established), does not have a known significant insect or disease problem, is not invasive, contributes to a wildlife habitat, and is long-lived. Many people also want to incorporate growing their own organic and chemical free produce into their sustainable landscaping plan.
Selecting plants with these qualities can contribute to developing sustainable landscapes that require
fewer pesticides, water, fertilizer, labor,
maintenance and replacement.
Native vs. Exotic
Native plants are better for the environment than exotic plants, generally requiring less fertilizer and other additives, less water, and less effort in pest control. They are especially important to native wildlife, such as pollinators. Pollinators often rely on a certain type of flower as a source of food, while the flower depends on the pollinator to transport its pollen to other flowers for reproduction.
When non-native plants are used, they often times upset the
delicate balance of a local ecosystem and sometimes even
out-compete native species to the point of extinction.
Wildlife benefit more when native plant communities
remain intact, or are restored to their
Site Evaluation Questions:
Ultimate height and width of the plant:
How big will the plant grow? Is there enough space or will it outgrow the location?
What does the plant require? Is there enough light to sustain the plant? Is there too much sunlight?
Is the soil well drained? Is it too well drained?
Is the plant prone to a particular or serious insect or disease problem that would require frequent pesticides to maintain it?
Is the plant drought tolerant once it is established?
Will the species survive the cold, winter temperatures in that location? What hardiness zone is it listed for?
Does the plant produce seed in a way that may cause it to become invasive? Is the plant known to be invasive?
Soil type/soil pH:
Is the soil type and pH conductive to good growth for that plant?
Is the plant a weak grower that will require frequent pruning, etc.
Is the plant species known to be long-lived?
There are many resources that can assist you with planning and creating a sustainable yard and landscape, including online resources and various websites, local nurseries, independent landscaping design companies or individuals, or local garden clubs or universities.
Mulch & Compost
Both compost and mulch are soil conditioners that can aid in
garden maintenance and production. Mulch protects your soil
and compost feeds you soil, and the use of both is important for
sustained organic gardening.
is a protective cover that is made of natural or synthetic substances such as crushed rock, old newspapers, bark, or straw. Mulch minimizes gardening chores by smothering weeds, conserving moisture, eliminating erosion, and aerating packed soils. It also protects plants from frost and
cold in winter, and from evaporation and heat stress in summer.
is a nutrient-rich material made of green kitchen scraps
and yard waste. With time, water, and mixing, these scraps
decay into a crumb-textured "black gold" - a greatly enhanced
growing medium. When used in the garden, compost
leaches into the earth and feeds countless
microorganisms that aid in
Grass lawns often require chemicals and
frequent maintenance. Gas-powered lawnmowers produce high amounts of greenhouse gases, which contribute to the air pollution that causes global warming. Replacing grass lawn with native wildflowers, bushes, and trees provides the food, shelter, and cover that help to maintain healthy, natural ecosystems and reduces your time
and labor working on the lawn.
Getting rid of all your grass (even in a small area)
and installing a new lawn medium can be a major undertaking, but in most cases the investment will pay
off within a season. Mosses, thymes, yarrow, chamomile
and other similar plants perform most of the functions that turf-grass does: you can mow them (although many don't need to be mowed), walk on them, barbeque on them, etc. Some are not quite as tough as turf-grass and won't stand
up to soccer games, but they can be perfect for lighter
traffic areas and require much less fertilizer and
water. Sedges, certain ornamental grasses,
ground covers, and perennials all make great
sustainable lawn alternatives.
The task of creating an eco-friendly yard or landscape may seem overwhelming at first, but with literally thousands of plants to choose from, it's very possible to develop sustainable landscapes that are dynamic, beautiful and rewarding. A key to selecting the right plant is to follow some basic guidelines; the most important being “right plant, right place.” In other words, conduct a
and determine what plants would do well in that location.
The following sustainable garden practices will help you create an
eco-friendly garden and landscape.
National Wildlife Federation:
Gardening in an Environmentally Friendly Way
Oregon State University Extension Service:
How to Choose Plants for Sustainable Landscapes
Sustainable Landscaping 101: Mulch and Compost
Ecological Landscaping Association:
Getting Started with Sustainable Landscaping - Tips from the Field
United States Environmental Protection Agency:
Greenacres - Landscaping with Native Plants
California Native Plant Society:
Sustainable Lawn Alternatives
Once your sustainable landscape has been established, it will require less maintenance and upkeep that a non-native plant garden or expansive lawn.
Slater Thomson Team
Intero Real Estate Services
Native Ornamental Grasses
Sustainability in landscape has many different meanings, but in general, sustainability means the creation of outdoor spaces that utilize the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Generally low-maintenance, a sustainable landscape creates a balanced relationship between the natural and man-made environment.
With major water shortages in the last few years, many people have chosen to forgo traditional lawns and gardens for more sustainable, water-wise landscaping. Here are the basics you need to know for creating and maintaining
a sustainable landscape in your home.
Pathways & Perennials
Water-Wise Succulent Gardens
Organic Vegetable Garden