Sustainable Landscape Management & Maintenance

Maintaining a Sustainable Landscape

Maintaining your yard is the best way to have a beautiful, thriving environmentally friendly landscape.  When we think of maintenance we typically think of plants, but your irrigation system, grass, and hardscape need to be properly cared for throughout the season.  A well maintained landscape will have less pests and diseases, stronger colors, and beautiful foliage.

Here are some ideas for Sustainable Landscape Maintenance practices:
-Water appropriately; never overwater.  Before you turn up your irrigation clock or pull out the hose check the soil moisture.  Plants that are getting overwatered typically have the same symptoms as drought-stressed plants.  Be sure to adjust your irrigation clock for the season, the type of zone (i.e. pop up zones don’t need to be run as long as rotor zones), and for the type of plants (high water verses low water usage plantings).
-Proper pruning:  Know the natural shape of your plants, prune to match their natural form.  Over pruning can cause stress to the plant, attracting pest and disease.  Pruning your plants at the proper time of year will also cut back on winter kill and increase blooms.
-Mowing:  Never cut more than 1/3 of the total grass height in a single cutting, as this causes stress (which attracts pest and disease).  Traditional grass height should be around 3 inches, this allows the blades to shade the root zone and retain more water.
*Did you know - Leaving the grass clippings on the lawn recycles nutrients back into the soil.
-Fertilizing: Properly fertilize your plants and grass based on the season and need of the plant.  Always follow the label, since over fertilizing can stress the plants.
-Pesticides and herbicides:  Before spraying, accurately diagnose the pest or disease.  When possible use mechanical or non-toxic methods before using a chemical.
-Lawn aeration:  Aerating opens up the soil to allow oxygen, water and nutrients into the root zone.
-Mulching:  Mulch, whether a rock or wood mulch, reduces evaporation from the soil and reduces weed growth. A natural mulch (not dyed or chemical treated) not only helps retain water in the soil and reduce weeds, but also acts as a soil conditioner as it breaks down.
-Irrigation Audit: Conducting an irrigation audit during the season is the best way to see if your system is running efficiently.  
Using these tips will be the best start to having a sustainable approach to maintaining your environmentally friendly landscaping.