Something miraculous happened for me one day in my backyard: I suddenly got tired, ceased working, made some popcorn and sat on a chair staring in the garden for over one hour. As I sat, I went through all of the things I believed I had to perform — that commercials told me I had to do — to have a lovely landscape that was healthful and easy to maintain. I was tired of carrying bags of soil amendment and fertilizer, watching for another pest moving hoses and generally feeling as though my escape could as well have been a 9-to-5 cubicle job. After I stopped “landscaping,” I discovered that both I and the backyard were happier, healthier and wiser.
Below are some gardening tips you may use outside to make your very own outdoor life easier and more rewarding.
Johnston Design Group
1. Add a rain barrel. Setting up a rain barrel can be quite easy, and you’ll save money on your water bill — I mean, it is free water. The rain barrel utilizes a decorative rain chain to collect water, but any aluminum downspout may be trimmed and angled to break atop a rain barrel.
Make certain the barrel includes a screen cover to filter out debris and prevent any wildlife from dropping in. As you’re out there, check to ensure none of your garden hoses are leaking — just like a dripping faucet, you would be amazed how much could be wasted in a quick moment.
Time to set up: 20 minutes
Debora carl landscape layout
2. Add a water feature. Any water feature will support wildlife, and if you’ve got a fountain or bubbler, the calming sound will temper road noise. You may simply fill up a birdbath or any basin, or purchase a premade fountain and plug it — or go solar and avoid electricity entirely.
Time to set up: 10 to 20 minutes
Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting
Construct the Soil
3. Start a compost pile. Making your personal supersoil is easy if you’ve got a compost pile. Obviously, you’ll have to turn a pile like the one shown here once in a while, but you may also purchase compost tumblers which you are able to crank whenever you walk by. Compost has all of the nutrients your plants and soil will probably ever want — even a 1/4-inch top-dressing in your yard each year will work wonders. So stop driving to the shop to purchase bags of fertilizer. Some municipalities even offer free compost — here in my town it is rich-smelling black gold.
Time to put up: 10 to 40 minutes
Field Outdoor Spaces
4. Add mulch. Mulch 2-3 inches of your garden, whether ornamental or vegetable, to lock soil moisture and prevent weeds. (Who wants to water than necessary or pull weeds? Not me!) Again, some towns give free mulch, but if you purchase the bagged stuff, be cautious. Avoid dyed mulches, which may leach bad compounds into your own soil. Do not purchase cypress mulch, either; it is often the product of straightforward young forests which are never replenished.
Time to spread it about: 20 minutes
Time saved: 20 to 30 minutes of watering and weeding
Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens
Feed the Birds
5. Plant berry manufacturers. Bringing in winged creatures may give you much satisfaction, since you can see the fruits of your labour paying off — particularly if you garden organically. Speaking of fruits, plant berry-producing footprints such as this southern arrowwood (Viburnum dentatum, sets 2 to 2) or others, such as dogwood, serviceberry, chokecherry and elderberry. These crops are bird magnets, and since songbird populations are on the decline nationally due to pesticide use and habitat loss, even one brand new tree may make a world of difference.
Time to plant 1 shrub: 10 moments
Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens
6. Plant insect-drawing perennials. As you’re choosing berry-producing plants, don’t forget about perennial blossoms that attract insects (that are also the number-one food source for birds). Out here in the southern Plains and Midwest, a variety of adapted indigenous choices work best: liatris, Joe Pye Weed, coneflower, sunflower, mountain mint, aster, coreopsis and milkweed.
Time to plant three perennials: 10 moments
Colors Of Green Landscape Architecture
Rethink the Lawn
7. Mow less and ditch the compounds. Fire your lawnmower, landscape pool or service support. Loud lawn-care equipment leads to hearing loss, limits blood flow (that could lead to hypertension), pollutes the atmosphere at several times the speed of driving a vehicle, and leads to countless spilled gallons of gas each year — not forgetting that the 23 million tons of yard clippings which enter landfills that may be turned into mulch.
Mow twice a month (less in the heat of summer) and let the grass grow a bit longer — if you do, the roots will grow deeper, and the height will shade the earth, increasing soil moisture. Think about lessening your effect by utilizing an electric mower or even a chainsaw (the latter has come a long way since the fantastic old times).
Chemical fertilizers and pesticides are poisonous to pets, wildlife, children and adults, and might cause autoimmune diseases, birth defects and learning disabilities. Avoid them.
Time saved: 1 hour
Blue Spruce Landscaping Inc
Assessing my sundial, and if I did my math correctly, you might be under a hour’s worth of eco-friendly work out — particularly if you maintain that mower inside and mulch your beds. I really don’t know about you, but a lemonade sure sounds good right about now, though I hardly worked up a sweat.
Tell us Which are your ecofriendly gardening hints?
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