We often hear sustainable landscaping used synonymously with “low maintenance landscaping.” While both are meant to achieve easier to manage, less intensive landscapes, there are some key differences. Landscaping with the intent of sustainability is the attempt to create a landscape that leaves little environmental footprint, and even contributes to the local environment. It means using your resources with conservation in mind, and being aware of your impact on the nature around you. Achieving a sustainable landscape is no easy task, and requires intent when you design your landscape. However, if this is something that appeals to you, there are many simpler ways to make your landscape more sustainable, simply by altering your current practices. Today we will discuss landscape sustainability on your property, and how you can make it a priority.
The most simple and obvious of sustainability practices, you should avoid overwatering your property. You can also take the time to utilize rainwater for water purposes, rather than leave it to waste, and use your own water. Not only is this more sustainable, but it is more cost effective and saves you money. Capturing rainwater, using rain gardens, barrels, or tanks, are all ways you can use this natural water to grow your landscape. Doing this can also assist in managing damage from storm water, decreasing runoff and soil erosion.
Speaking of soil, it is another key part of your landscape’s health that deeply affects the world around it. When your soil becomes compacted, whether due to general foot traffic, or other means, it causes a myriad of problems for your landscape. Erosion, due to water runoff, becomes increasingly prevalent, as does restricted water flow to the roots of your plant material and turf. Aerating your lawn bi-annually is a great way to rid of this problem, allowing your soil to breathe freely. Additionally, managing the pH of your soil, and using lime if it gets too acidic, will keep your soil primed for growth. This will increase the sustainability of your landscape and keep your property looking beautiful.
Now, while hardscapes have little to no impact on your environment, that is what makes them so sustainable. Installing a new patio or walkway, not only looks fantastic, but requires virtually zero maintenance. This lack of green material means no water usage, no chemicals, and less gas in your landscaper’s mowers, with less lawn to be taken care of. You can even install more sustainable hardscapes, like retaining walls, or stone edges, that have functional use on your property.
Use Native Plant Material
Hands down the most sustainable thing you can do on your landscape, is to use plant material native to your area. These plants are built for the climate, and interact with local wildlife in an already established way. It will be more affordable, and these plants will require less maintenance in their natural habitat. When you use this material, you will inevitably attract natural wildlife, like birds, bees, and butterflies. While your landscape will feel more alive, you will also contribute to the local ecosystem.
Dream Greener Lawn & Landscape is led by a staff of service experts, each with ten years or more of professional experience, focused exclusively on lawn care & maintenance, landscaping and snow & ice management. Locally owned and operated, we are proud to serve the greater Pittsburgh area.