Most of us are interested in improving the physical health of ourselves and our families, but how many of you have considered the health of your own landscape? Being eco-friendly and concerned about Minnesota’s natural resources and our beautiful environment starts with what each of us does in our own homes.
Many of the traditional Minnesota yards are less than healthy. They require large amounts of water as well as chemical fertilizers and pesticides. With a few changes, you can improve the health of your own landscape. Here are some ideas you can use to produce a healthier yard:
Reduce Your Water Consumption
– Turn some of your lawn into prairie by use of natural grasses and native wildflowers
– Add a rain garden in a low-lying spot to make use of rainfall as well as to filter any run-off
– Install a rain barrel and make use of that for garden and lawn watering
– Convert part of your lawn into hardscapes such as patios, pathways, and rock gardens
– Plant succulents: these thrive in low-moisture conditions.
– Choose plant varieties native to this area; they often require less care and watering than non-native species
– Reuse gray water; if it’s permitted in your municipality, intercept the water from your shower to use for garden and grass watering
Switch to Natural Maintenance Solutions
– Keep a compost pile for yard debris and household produce scraps – it’s a good soil enhancer (check with your local community for any restrictions)
– Use natural fertilizers instead of chemicals
– Seek alternatives to chemical pest control; beneficial insects and “companion plants” are good choices (for example, marigolds planted near vegetable gardens keep many pests away)
– Use an eco-friendly mower ; better yet, reduce your lawn to the point that you can manage it with the old traditional rotary push mower
– Use citronella candles for mosquito control rather than yard foggers and sprays
Make Your Landscape More Wildlife-Friendly
– Choose flowers which attract butterflies and hummingbirds
– Provide water sources for birds and other wildlife; a variety is good, as well as having them at varying levels
– Incorporate a number of “sheltering” shrubs in your yard nearby bird feeders; having a place of refuge makes a feeding spot more attractive
With the right plantts and features, it’s possible to have a beautiful and healthy landscape design; it’s all in choosing the right plantings. If you’re interested in making some changes to improve the health of your yard but aren’t sure where to start, please give us a call.