Spring has sprung here on the west coast and in the spirit of fresh air and budding flowers, we are excited to get our hands dirty in the garden.
We love all things eco-friendly so it would be only natural that we would want to create an outdoor oasis that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but kind to mother earth was well.
With Earth Day coming up tomorrow, April 22, we have compiled a list of eco-friendly gardening tips to celebrate the day we honor our precious planet. If you are trying to plant a garden this spring or spruce up your yard, check out these ideas to incorporate into your next landscape design.
Composting is Your Friend
End up with a lot of extra kitchen scraps that continuously make it down the garbage disposal, or worse, in the garbage can? Consider creating a composting system in your yard to utilize these scraps for nutritious soil and gardening gold. With the creation of your own vegetable scrap goodness, you can now have a more organic,nutrient rich alternative to help your plants grow in a more healthy and eco-friendly environment. You can purchase ready made compost bins on sites like Amazon with various sizes and styles to choose from. If you want to take your eco-friendly living a step further, you can build your own DIY compost bin. Consider using reclaimed wood and materials to create the perfect container to create your own, organic soil and plant food while recycling materials you already have.
Keep it Real Simple
With the increase of technology and education, knowledge and information on organic farming has increased the production and consumption of the organic food market. According to the National Gardening Association 5,000 of the 6,000 households reported to have grown food for the first time in 2015 were reportedly millennials. With this generation on the rise to live off of the land, organic gardening has become increasingly more popular. Keeping your garden simple without adding pesticides and harmful chemicals creates an eco-loving environment for you and your food. The LA Grown Initiative is made up of master gardener volunteers who teach classes on how to create the perfect, sustainable garden right here in Los Angeles. Students can learn how to plan a garden and the best produce to plant at different times of the year. Here is a guide on the best months to plant certain produce here in Southern California such as the month of April starting as a ripe month to plant staple favorites tomatoes and summer squash. Real and simple is our motto when it comes to creating a nutrient rich earth and fresh produce all year long.
When selecting plants and flowers for your backyard oasis, consider planting only species of plants native to your climate and area. Growing native plants allow for an environment that is fitting for native animals to have adequate shade, easy maintenance, more abundant and better tasting fruit, and stronger resistance against pests and disease. Here in California plant native, drought friendly plants that don’t need as much water to grow. This creates a more sustainable and water conscious space as well. Overall, growing native plants allows for a more eco-friendly and easier experience creating a more lush and prosperous garden this season.
Sow in Synthetic Turf in Place of Grass
Instead of planting grass, consider opting out of a water consuming lawn and create a more water conscious outdoor space. This alternative version of yard allows for less watering and upkeep. Artificial turf requires zero watering, no maintenance, and allows for your yard to look green all year. If you’re looking to reduce your water footprint and decrease emissions, then consider using synthetic turf as an option when you plan your environmentally friendly landscape design.
To create a more water economic garden, install a professional water system such as a drip system to make sure your plants are adequately hydrated without waste. According to some studies, by 2025 over half of the world’s population could face struggles and difficulties associated with a lack of available drinking water. That’s quite a scary projection! To make sure you are not aiding in the water overconsumption, install a drip system and add a weather sensor to detect when the best conditions are needed to water your plants. An easy daily routine to start is to water your plants in the morning so they get the adequate amount at a time of day where they do not lose water from evaporation and have plenty of time to dry off.
Strategic Tree Placement and Design
Planting trees, specifically more deciduous ones,native to your area can not only make your yard a prettier sight, but can create a more energy efficient environment for your home. You heard that right, not only can you create an energy efficient home from the inside, you can create one of the outside as well. Trees can reduce summertime cooling energy needs by 7-47% and wintertime heating needs by 2-8% if planted strategically, reports the EPA. That’s amazing! Creating a more energy efficient yard can not only save you money in the long term, but give you the satisfaction of creating an environmentally friendly space for nature.
Cut Down Size of Yard
One simple way to create an eco-friendly outdoor space, is simply to have less space overall. Cutting down on the size of your yard eliminates more maintenance, water usage, and energy emissions. A smaller yard doesn’t mean you have less space to enjoy the outdoors, just simply create less grass and plant space that needs maintenance or water. Create a small patio, or a natural, overgrown space with native and drought friendly plants.If you’re looking to renovate your backyard space or create an oasis to enjoy, Prime Five Homes is a great start! With a smaller yard you can have the best of both worlds while creating a space mother earth is proud of.
These are a few of the many ways to create a more eco-friendly and energy efficient landscape for your home. Put those green thumbs to good use and help make the outdoor environment you live in a little better for you, your family and the environment this Earth Day!
Written by: Jessica Paisant