I am anything but an environmental zealot, far from it. I have grown weary of the “green movement” which has raised numerous suspicions while questioning the intent and increasing power of the EPA.  Their ever-changing, over reaching legislation has created a lucrative business on the backs of business owners and consumers alike through fear mongering.  Money is being made hand over fist while the concern for our planet has waned over the all mighty dollar.  The “green movement” is big business, no doubt about it, and they have replaced common sense, economical approaches with convoluted, cumbersome, and expensive alternatives.  My point being, if they truly cared for the environment, changes would be easy, accessible, heralded, and affordable, but this simply isn’t the case, but I digress.  I care about the environment, and I believe through common sense and a little care, we can all make a difference and feel good about it without losing our sanity or life savings.  Here are a few tips for keeping your landscape “green”, er, environmentally sound:

Utilize Mulch

Mulch helps maintain moisture, capitalizes on rainfall while moderating soil temps and keeping weeds at bay.  Mulch also gives landscapes a unified, manicured look.

Choose Plants Wisely

This goes without saying whether you give a hoot or not about the environment.  Choose and site plants correctly to match their preferred growing conditions.  For example, if a plant requires full sun and well-drained soil, don’t plant it under the shaded canopy of a tree.  Likewise, look to plants that are drought tolerant and disease and pest resistant.  You’ll spend less time and money maintaining them while ensuring their health and success.

Water Wisely

Water early in the morning to mitigate water loss to evaporation from afternoon sun and winds.  Deep, infrequent watering helps develop stronger root systems, so forgo sprinklers, and opt for soaker hoses, drip irrigation, or hand watering.  These methods help direct water to the roots where it is needed, without waste, while keeping the foliage dry.

Site Plants & Trees for Efficiencies

Trees provide much-needed shade, and when properly sited can help keep the house cool and reduce costs associated with air conditioning.  Trees can also act as wind blocks, helping keep the house warm in the winter while reducing heating costs.

Soil Care & Compost

Keep your soil healthy by amending it with compost.  Start your own compost bin where kitchen waste and yard debris are recycled into black gold.

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”

-Native American Proverb

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney