Artificial Turf Minimizing Turf Native Vegetation Xeriscaping Planting Trees
Stormwater Planter Boxes Mulching Driveways
Rainwater Management Rainwater Harvesting Managing Rainwater & Green Roofs
Managing Rainwater with Surfaces Gutters and Downspouts Infiltration Basin for Trees
Asustainable residential landscape can be every bit as lush and beautiful as a traditional landscape, while still conserving soil, water, and energy and reducing or eliminating the use of toxic chemicals. It can also grow in harmony with the local ecosystem,
attracting native wildlife.
The basic principles of green landscaping are fairly simple. First, use native vegetation because it requires less water and fewer special fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemical treatments. Second, design the landscape so that it requires less maintenance and irrigation. This means minimizing turf, instituting alternate mowing schedules, and installing smart, efficient irrigation systems. Third, reduce the use of harsh fertilizers and pesticides, replacing them with
Obviously, it takes careful design and planning to apply these principles in ways that make your yard and gardens
What is it?
Native vegetation consists of plant species that are natural or indigenous to an area, including bushes, trees, flowers, and grasses. Native species evolved in their local environment over time. Thus, they are suited to local conditions of sun, rain, and wind. Also, you don’t have to compromise on beauty when mainstreaming native vegetation into landscaping, since it’s attractive and
Why do it?
✓Adapted to regional climate and soil conditions
✓Resistant to weather, insects, and drought
✓Preserve natural ecological balance by interacting harmoniously with other plant, insect, and animal species
✓Reduce need for using chemicals to control weeds and diseases
✓Eliminate use of landscaping materials, like
✓Able to resist ravages of common local insects
✓Promote biodiversity by attracting native birds, amphibians, and desirable insects like butterflies
✓Live longer than
✓Landscaping requires less maintenance once established
✓Cost less to maintain
✓Might attract undesirable insects or animals, like bees or deer
✓Limit the choice of plants and trees available for landscaping
✓Some might be unsuitable for family lifestyle (e.g. sharp- leaved or thorny plants are unsafe for children)
✓Might not blend well with
Native vegetation requires some of the same maintenance as
control are generally required, and once established, native vegetation will require less
Establishing a native vegetation perennial garden depends on size and current landscaping condition of the yard. Killing out an existing lawn, preparing the soil, and installing native plants might take up to
1.Research native plants by blooming season, identify the types of animals, birds, and insects you want to attract, and choose appropriate plants.
2.Research site to identify areas like shady and sunny spots, or locations with special drainage requirements, and develop a planting plan.
3.If removing existing lawn, employ machinery, garden fork, or shovel. If killing lawn, smother the sod by covering it with at least 10 sheets of newspaper and then layering
5.Once grass is dead or removed, add natural features to control stormwater runoff and add decorative style items like large rocks or boulders and natural pathways.
6.Plant desired native vegetation.
7.Mulch around all plantings with appropriate mulch materials.
8.Water all plants as necessary until established.
Estimates for landscaping vary from
It is not advisable to cut down trees, even if they are not native species. Trees offer many benefits, both to wildlife and the homeowner, including providing shade which can lower energy costs. Additionally, many communities have ordinances prohibiting felling of trees.
While sod is decaying it is a good time to determine which native plants will work best,
When covering sod with newspaper, ensure no grass is left exposed so it dies completely and does not return later.
Plantings may be containerized or sowed from seed.
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What is it?
Stormwater planter boxes are specially constructed planting beds, strategically located to receive runoff from roofs. Made of brick, stone, concrete, metal, or wood, they are generally located close to walls, under roof eaves, or near architectural features, such as downspouts, that direct stormwater from the roof to the ground. Properly developed, planter boxes are very
Naturally, planter boxes must be designed and plants selected to handle the expected amount of stormwater runoff during a storm. Ideally, the box will contain a soil and compost mix, blended to provide maximum nutrients and minerals for the plants while still providing permeability for good water absorption and drainage. Rainfall enters the planter box, passes through soil and roots, and eventually exits out the bottom at a slow pace, effectively recharging groundwater.
There are three basic types of stormwater planter boxes: infiltration,
Why do it?
✓Reduce stormwater runoff volume and flow rate
✓Use stormwater for watering vegetation
✓Filters stormwater runoff through mulch, soil, and plant roots
✓Adds wildlife habitat
✓Reduces potential ground erosion from heavy stormwater runoff
✓Attractive means of controlling roof stormwater runoff
✓Can function as a buffer around buildings, patios, decks, and walkways
✓Enhances landscaping aesthetics
✓Can be constructed wherever desired, on flat or sloped land
✓Can be designed in any configuration
✓Successful water infiltration into soil depends on soil type and permeability
✓Can be high maintenance
Planter boxes require regular maintenance. The vegetation needs the same care as other landscape features, including pruning, fertilizing, mulching, weeding, watering during dry seasons, and replacement of plants lost. Cold climates require winterizing. Wood construction boxes require periodic painting or sealing, while stone or masonry boxes will need periodic cleaning. Flow pipes or weep holes must be cleared of dead vegetation, insect habitats, and other blockages.
One planter box can usually be built and planted in a single weekend, depending on the size and complexity of the box.
1.Develop a plan for planter box location.
2.Choose the planter box style: contained, infiltration, or flow- through box with overflow pipe (for large storms).
3.Prefabricate the box and then install, or construct in place (add weep holes for drainage).
4.If you build a contained planter box, place filter fabric in bottom of box or lay several inches of clean, uniformly graded stone in infiltration bed.
6.Plant flowers, small shrubs, or other vegetation.
✓✓Planter box must be constructed and located so that it captures enough runoff to water vegetation. ✓✓Downspouts should not send runoff directly to planter boxes if they are small or if area experiences very heavy rainfall on a regular basis.
✓✓Water vegetation every 3 days for first 2 months until plants are established and then only as needed depending on rainfall,
✓✓Keep planter box free of dead vegetation,
✓✓Always keep overflow devices clear of debris.
The cost to construct a planter box with underdrain can range from $8 to $42.60 per sq. ft., depending on materials and box size. Maintenance cost can range from $400 to $500 annually for a
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What is it?
Xeriscapingreferstolandscapingdesignedtoconserve water by creating a
Why do it?
✓Takes full advantage of rainfall by preventing runoff
✓Is in harmony with local
✓Greatly reduces need for watering
✓Promotes growth of native vegetation
✓Provides habitat for local wildlife and insects
✓Significantly reduces runoff of chemicals used for fertilizing and weed control into the stormwater drainage systems
✓Fewer grass clippings containing chemicals are sent to the landfill
✓If done properly, lowers utility bills
✓Less maintenance required due to lower water requirements
✓Saves money spent on plantings, seed, and maintenance labor
✓Requires more planning and
✓Limits plant selection
✓Less use of traditional weed control chemicals might increase need for more manual weed removal
✓Must be maintained, including weeding, pruning, and mowing (if lawn is planted)
Like any landscaped area, xeriscapes require periodic maintenance, including pruning, raking, mowing, and removing of dead vegetation. If following environmentally sound maintenance practices, meaning little or no chemical use, weeding will be routinely required. Mulching is important to xeriscaping because it helps plants and soil retain water, so mulch needs to be refreshed occasionally.
The xeriscape can be installed over a
1.Plan the xeriscape project by identifying site contours, runoff patterns, seasonal shaded and sunny areas, and location of desired patios and walkways.
2.Analyze soil to determine texture, drainage qualities, and nutrient content.
3.Reduce existing turf area and install landscape features like patios, decks, or paths.
4.Select native plants that require little water and are adaptable to the site.
5.When planting, group plants based on water requirements to create efficient
6.Install a drip irrigation system or retrofit an existing spray sprinkler system to be more
7.Plant grass first, then shrubs and trees. Generously mulch trees and shrubs using organic material like compost or straw.
8.Develop a routine maintenance plan.
Project cost will vary based on regional native vegetation and climate as well as complexity. Professional xeriscape installation is comparable to traditional landscape installation. The average cost is
✓✓Apply adequate organic material to sandy or clay soil to improve water retention and drainage.
✓✓Where needed, add decorative troughs of stone to slow down water runoff during heavy rainfalls. ✓✓Any turf left intact or planted should be drought- tolerant.
✓✓Ensure the irrigation system does not waste water on hardscapes (impervious surfaces).
✓✓Select native plants that are
✓✓When mulching, leave the base of vegetation (e.g. tree trunk, stems) bare. Do not pile mulch up against base, as this will damage vegetation.
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