So you’ve got a green thumb and want to learn more about how you can make your landscape greener or sustainable, but what does that really mean?
Sustainable landscaping creates and maintains a landscape that is regenerative, follows practices that offset any negative environmental impact, and has the ability to contribute to the health of its communities. In addition, it involves landscape design that requires minimal resources and generates the least waste and chemical pollutants.
Converting to an eco-friendly garden has significant benefits for you and the environment. It goes beyond simply growing native plants. You can incorporate proven techniques to reduce water usage, pollution and waste. Besides promoting a healthier environment, it can also help you save money. The experienced team at Lyngso explains the meaning of sustainable landscaping and how to practice it.
What Is Sustainable Landscaping?
Sustainable landscaping is an approach that focuses on creating and maintaining outdoor spaces in an environmentally conscious and resource-efficient manner, and it involves practices such as water conservation, minimizing chemical usage, and promoting biodiversity. By harmonizing nature and human needs, sustainable landscaping seeks to create resilient and ecologically friendly landscapes.
What Are the Benefits of a Sustainable Landscape?
The benefits of a sustainable landscape are numerous. By incorporating eco-friendly practices, a sustainable landscape creates a healthier living environment for humans and wildlife alike. More specifically it helps with:
- Water conservation
- Providing a habitat for wildlife
- Minimizing the amount of maintenance
- Reducing the need for fertilizers or pesticides
- Minimizing rainwater runoff and pollution
Fundamental Principles of a Sustainable Garden
Over the years, various gardening practices have evolved in response to growing environmental concerns. The concept of sustainability involves rethinking our landscapes to minimize the use of resources such as water, fertilizer, and pesticides and reduce negative output in the form of runoff, chemical pollutants, and waste.
Essential Factors of Organic Gardening:
1. Water Conservation
Studies show that wasteful irrigation accounts for more than 30% of household water usage. Using rainwater and greywater will reduce the burden on the municipal system and lower your water bills.
2. Soil Health
Soil quality is critical to sustaining a healthy landscape. Whether it’s soil for flowers or for vegetables, reducing soil compaction and using organic nutrients helps growth and prevents runoff. Adding organic mulch makes flower beds look more attractive while keeping the soil cool and deterring weeds. Mulching also improves soil quality as it decomposes. We recommend doing a soil test to determine what your soil requires before administering any treatments. At Lyngso, we offer custom soil mixes and compost for vegetable gardens and flower patches which can be customized to your specifications.
3. Plant Selection
Why waste water and money on high-maintenance turf grass? Choosing native plants and evergreen, drought-resistant ground cover will help reduce water use significantly while preserving curb appeal. Try a combination of decorative aggregates and colorful succulents to create and maintain an eye-catching, low water use landscape. Try Xeriscaping!
4. Waste Management
The typical Bay Area landscape generates a lot of yard waste. Many homeowners get rid of all their plants to start over. That is a waste of time and money! Instead, you can minimize wastage and landscaping expenses by eliminating non-native and high-maintenance plants. Use grass clippings as organic food for your lawn, cutting them smaller with a mulching mower so that they decompose faster. Spread shredded leaves and flower compost in your vegetable patch and flower beds instead of synthetic fertilizer.
Get Inspired by These Three Sustainable Landscape Design Ideas
1. Erosion Control
The Earth’s soil is a valuable resource and plays an essential role in its ecosystem, which means it’s critical to preserve it. When you envision the role erosion control plays in your yard, you might be thinking of unattractive aggregates that will decrease your landscape’s curb appeal, such as sandbags or rip rap. However, when it comes to sustainability, there are many natural ways to control erosion without sacrificing charm and beauty.
Here are some creative ideas for erosion control:
- Terrace gardens
- Retaining walls
- French drains
- Ground covers
- Rain Gardens
2. Permeable Hardscaping
Even though lawns are green, it doesn’t mean they are sustainable or eco-friendly. Most turf grasses are grown with synthetic fertilizers and copious amounts of water. We also don’t recommend concrete or other impervious surfaces since the water contributes to runoff.
Enter – permeable hardscapes or paving which significantly eliminates stormwater runoff due to its porous nature thus protecting our bays and creeks. A permeable surface allows water to infiltrate into the soil underneath while keeping the soil non-hydrophobic, this way the water is not rolling off the soil surface and is contributing to polluted runoff. Additionally, they reduce the reliance on other expensive, higher-maintenance forms of stormwater control.
Permeable hardscape ideas:
- Pea gravel
- Permeable interlocking concrete pavers
- Crushed Rock
- River rock
- Decomposed granite
3. Energy-Efficient Landscaping
There are a number of ways you can design your landscape to increase the energy efficiency of your home while lowering your energy costs. Here are several ideas for helping the planet and your wallet:
- Insulate your house by growing vines on wood trellises or masonry walls
- Shade your AC units with bushes and shrubs. If the unit is in direct sunlight it will have to work much harder
- In the winter block the winter chill by planting evergreen trees around the north and west sides of your house
- Reduce summer heat by planting deciduous or shedding trees in an arc around your home on the east, southeast, south, southwest, and west sides
Quality Sustainable Landscaping Materials at Lyngso Garden Supplies
With sustainable materials, you can reduce water usage, mitigate pollution and prevent waste in landfills. At Lyngso, we offer a range of quality products, tools, and services to meet the needs of homeowners and landscaping contractors. From organic fertilizers, compost and mulch, to decorative rock, aggregates, and water features, we have a variety of gardening supplies to help you create and maintain the perfect sustainable oasis at your home.
For more than 60 years, customers in Los Altos, Mountain View, Foster City, Palo Alto, San Bruno, Sunnyvale, and South San Francisco, CA have depended on us for their landscaping needs. Shop for quality organic landscaping materials at competitive prices and consult our team about how to create and maintain an attractive organic garden.