10 Basic Practices for Sustainable Landscaping that Anyone Can Adopt

This has been published originally by ALCC and thought it was so good, we would include it for all to see:

10 Basic Practices for Sustainable Landscaping that Anyone Can Adopt 

How to bring reduce/reuse/recycle into the landscape:

  1. Use a mulching lawnmower.  The grass clippings left on top of the lawn reduce waste in the landfill. These clippings are reused in a productive way because as they break down, they provide added nutrients for the lawn.
  2. Prevention will always be the best cure – for plants as well as people. Keeping turf, trees, shrubs and perennials well maintained will sustain their vigor longer and require fewer treatments with fungicides or other products. Healthy grass, for example, is less prone to have weeds and properly pruned trees are less susceptible to storm damage, insects and disease.
  3. Re-use materials when renovating the landscape. Edging, pavers, bricks and other materials can be reused and repurposed on site during landscape renovations. Recycle unusable debris by chipping, composting or sending it to a firm that recycles the waste.
  4. Protect/preserve plants you already have during landscape renovations. If you are redoing all or part of your yard, be sure to protect existing trees and shrubs that are still in good condition during the construction process. Special steps need to be taken to protect tree roots, in particular. Relocate healthy shrubs and perennials to new locations in the yard.
  5. Design for sustainability. This “game plan” starts the sustainable process so it can stay on track – whether it’s for a new landscape or renewing areas in an existing yard. Protecting plants from damaging exposures and locating others where they shade buildings are just two reasons why having a sustainable landscape design is important.
  6. Water plants with a water-efficient irrigation system that incorporates the latest water-saving technology. For existing systems, upgrade inefficient sprinklers to drip lines and convert others to micro sprays based on plant needs. This reduces water use and cost. Rain shut-off devices and timers that use weather data are other must-haves.
  7. Place plants knowing that less is more in the long term. Spacing plants based on the area they will need when they are more mature avoids overcrowding that is also more expensive and can also be wasteful.
  8. Use local materials whenever possible. This reduces energy use, pollution and more.
  9. Make low-water plants the priority and group them according to their water needs to avoid over- or under-watering.

10. Test the soil and amend it accordingly. Remember that the life of the plant is in the roots and starts in the soil. Good soil grows good plants.

If you would like us to help you have a more sustainable landscape in Denver, please contact us at info@designscapes.org or 303-721-9003 x 110.

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