When it comes to landscaping design, Oregonians take things seriously. Perhaps it’s our abundant rainfall or the lush, green temperate climate of the Willamette Valley – either way, Oregon’s environment is ripe for professional and HOA landscaping using eco-friendly yard and organic lawn care methods. Following are five landscaping design and maintenance methods to keep your landscape healthy and green – in more ways than one.
Plant and Soil Health
The substances you use you take care of your plants, lawn and soil are symbiotically connected. Chemically laced fertilizers, soil enhancers and pesticides not only result in polluted water runoff, but they can also indirectly damage your plants and even your pets or children! Imagine your yard as a miniature eco-system, in which feedback loops connect, relate and regulate all forms of life. Thus, avoid using synthetic plant and soil supplements or products, and instead maintain your landscaping design using organic fish or chicken based fertilizers or organic compost and the like to enhance your soil health and stimulate plant growth.
When it comes to your lawn care and the upkeep of your yard or garden, try to use tools and control methods that are energy efficient and natural – your local HOA association will thank you, and so will your vivacious garden. First, use mowers, edgers and blowers that are low energy or use a rechargeable battery power rather than gas. For weeding consider hand pulling the weeds or mow the lawn with a classic push mower.
For pest control, pit nature against nature by attracting natural predators (i.e. Pray Mantis, Ladybugs, etc.) of the pests you are trying to kill off. Finally, when replanting, take the opportunity to use indigenous plants that are native to the area and climate, which are always more efficient.
Many professional landscaping companies suggest incorporating eco-friendly lighting options, such as solar and LED lights, into your landscaping design. Consider lighting your garden or yard walkway with LED lights, as they last longer and require less energy than traditional incandescent or fluorescent lights. Additionally, LED lighting is easy to install and quick to replace. For the most efficient setup, it is best to have a professional landscaping company install your lights.
Rainwater harvesting is a popular trend that is gaining momentum with homeowners and sustainability-minded HOA landscaping providers. If you build water traps and/or a rainwater collector on your roof, you can use the collected water for your lawn care and irrigation needs. This is a great way to help the environment and keep your water bill down. Many traditional landscaping design companies have yet to utilize the full effect of sustainable water practices. Make sure you do your research and choose a professional landscaping firm that is on board efficient and eco-friendly water management.
When it comes to dealing with landscaping design leftovers – materials remaining from the installation of your yard or garden – recycling is the key to good sustainable landscaping practices. You can recycle practically all lawn debris; this includes lawn, shrub and tree clippings as well as old soil and small plant and tree debris.
Start by setting up a healthy compost system. Composts have been popular for some time, but not many homeowners realize that unhealthy compost is detrimental to your yard and the environment. There are many techniques for building a sustainable and healthy compost pile.
Do some research online and contact your local landscaping design company for advice. Most importantly, remember that the chemicals you use for lawn care and garden maintenance trickle down into your compost pile. Traditionally, compost was simply a place to recycle all of your organic leftovers from gardening, but today we know more – that using chemicals on your lawn or garden also means unnatural chemicals are seeping into your compost and the ground below.
When in doubt, don’t be afraid to call on a professional. Landscaping requires time, patience and know-how. Sustainable landscaping, likewise, requires all this and much more: It requires experience with sustainable landscaping practices. Do your research, contact your local landscaping design gurus, and once you have covered your bases, you’ll be ready to make the right choices.