Photo via Pixabay by PublicDomainPictures
Most Americans are very aware of how important it is to be Earth-conscious; reducing your carbon footprint and making eco-friendly changes to your home and lifestyle are widely practiced these days. Yet it’s not always easy to figure out the best ways to go about getting started, especially if you work long hours and don’t have much time for landscaping or updating the interior of your home.
Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to “go green” where your lawn is concerned, which is important in the warmer months since grass, trees, and flowers need water to thrive. Conserving is the name of the game, as is finding landscaping ideas that will look beautiful but not use gallons of water at a time. One option is to reduce the amount of grass in your yard by placing mulch, rocks, or paving stones around the landscaping, or you can consider using hardy plants that don’t need much to survive. These are just a few ideas to help you get started. Keep reading for more tips on how to make your lawn “green”... in more ways than one.
Create a plan
Your landscape plan should start early in the year. Not only will this give you plenty of time to figure out what you want to do, it will also keep you from working outdoors in the summer heat and will conserve water, since plants need less of it when they’re first starting out. Check out a farmer’s almanac to see when the best planting times are in your region. In some states, spring is unpredictable and may include some frosty mornings for a while.
Use compost and mulch
Using compost when planting will ensure that water stays around the roots; adding mulch on top of it will keep the roots moist and prevent evaporation. Plan out your plantings and keep them neat, perhaps with a little border or fencing -- especially if you have pets or if wild animals are a menace to your lawn. Try keeping a small bucket or lidded pail in the kitchen to hold compostable material you can add on a daily basis (think coffee grounds or apple cores). Those little extras can help give your compost a boost.
Reduce the amount of lawn you have
When many homeowners think of a lawn, they imagine a green expanse that is well-kept and evenly mown. However, you don’t have to have a ton of grass to have a nice lawn. Consider replacing some of it with ground covering like decorative rocks, sand, or even a new patio or walk, which will cut down on how much you have to water and mow every week. A little DIY effort can do numbers for your lawn and cost you less in the long run. Also, when you plan to dig in, remember to use the right tools to get the job done, like sturdy gloves and proper implements.
Utilize drip irrigation
Drip irrigation can be hugely beneficial for gardens, especially if you live in a dry, hot climate. Not only does it conserve water, it helps keep your plants nice and moist because it prevents evaporation and runoff by delivering water right to the source. This method takes a little work to install, but with the right materials you can have it done in no time.
Hire some help
If you have a very large area to take care of, it might be in your best interest to hire a landscaper to come in and help you plan and execute your idea. This often works best for homeowners in areas like Arizona and New Mexico, where xeriscaping is common because it requires less water. Keep in mind that most homeowners spend between $1,766 to $3,227 nationally to hire landscaping help. Research landscaping in your area to help determine costs.
Making your landscape more eco-friendly is a great way to be a more Earth-conscious homeowner, and you can get the whole family involved as a way to bond and have fun together. Start planning early in the year for the best results, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Before too long, you’ll have a beautiful, eco-friendly yard that helps you do your part to keeping the planet green.