It’s no secret that homeowners often dread the yard work. Just by thinking about everything that it entails is overwhelming to many. However, maintaining a clean, weed-free, spotless outdoor space doesn’t have to be as difficult as it is often perceived. You can still have a beautiful, nature-friendly backyard without really investing too much time and effort. By applying eco-conscious methods and incorporating clever, practical solutions into your landscape design, you can help protect the ecosystem, reduce your carbon footprint, and turn your backyard into a low-maintenance, pleasant space that is perfect for relaxing. Here are some steps to help get you started.
Plant low-maintenance perennials and pollinator gardens
Other than being a powerful landscaping tool, plants also play an important role in the preservation of pollination species. Plants that produce nectar and pollen attract wildlife to your garden, and other than making it beautiful, they are vital elements in the food and flower cycle. Enriching your garden with plants that bloom earlier or later than the majority of plants will ensure insects and animals have something to pollinate during those cooler months when their options are scarce. Go for plants that are native to your region because they’re already adapted to that certain climate, rainfall amounts, and the condition of the soil, which means they are relatively easy to care for. Some of the low-maintenance pollinator-friendly perennials you should incorporate are coneflower, coreopsis, milkweed, and wild bergamot.
Plants trees for natural air-conditioning
One of the most eco-friendly ways to spruce up your backyard and improve your home’s curb appeal, planting trees comes with a wide range of benefits for your home as well as your community. When the levels of A/C energy use escalate during warm summer days, our monthly utilities grow, and so does our carbon footprint. One way to cut costs of air conditioning and be more environmentally conscious is to plant multiple trees in your backyard and position them strategically.
Just like they act as natural air-conditioning units during summer months, trees can also reduce the cooling effects of cold winters. Deciduous trees planted on the west and south side of your home will provide shade during summer, but they’ll also shed their leafy coats once the temperatures plummet, allowing the sun’s rays to pass through and warm up your home. By planting trees, you’ll also provide home for local wildlife such as birds, insects, and small mammals, which is yet another way to preserve Mother Nature and her creations.
Consider using compost as a free, natural way of fertilising your garden
Wondering what to do with your kitchen leftovers? Instead of tossing them in the bin like the majority of people do, you can put your food scraps and leftovers to good use. Other than reducing the amount of waste you create, composting is a great way to fertilise your garden – and for free! It gives you a chance to nourish your soil naturally, thus eliminating the need for chemicals that pollute the environment. To start composting, choose a designated area of your backyard and install a compost bin which you will use to dispose of food waste such as eggshells, scraps from fruits and vegetables, weeds, and coffee grounds. After a while, the organic waste will decompose, creating a nutrient-rich soil.
Make sure to keep your lawn in tip-top shape
To make your lawn appear healthier, let the grass grow a couple of inches before you mow it. The roots will go deeper, helping your lawn to cope better with the drought during warm months. Mowing high will also make your lawn thicker, which will result in fewer garden pests and weeds, thus reducing the need for chemical treatments. Whether you choose bluegrass, Buffalo grass, or Bermuda grass, select the variety that is best for your location, and be sure to mow regularly (every ten days on average).
When it comes to gardening tools, your lawnmower is one of the more expensive items you’ll invest in, so you need to make sure it’s in working condition. Usually, all the mower needs is changing spark plugs or oil. However, sometimes there might be some mechanical issues that require repairs.
Of course if you have some serious acreage to mow and keep breaking your mower and your back too then you may decide to purchase a ride on mower, some models such as John Deer are of such good quality that you won't be getting parts for them very often, then again these quality machines cost a fair bit and you may be better off just hiring a professional lawn mowing service.
Collect rainwater and install smart irrigation systems
Water preservation is another step toward a more sustainable future, and it’s one of the easiest ways you can maintain your landscape. The rainwater you collect can be used to water the plants, the lawn, and vegetable gardens without using the outdoor household water. Perfect for reducing your monthly water bills, rainwater harvesting is done with the help of rain barrels or cisterns, and it’s a big step in reducing your water footprint. Installing smart irrigation systems is a more high-tech fix that will help decrease your water use. By using smart controllers to remotely monitor and adjust irrigation so that it suits the weather and soil conditions, you can create an automatic watering schedule that will fit the needs of your lawn and garden.
Avoid toxic pesticides and use good bugs to eliminate pests naturally
Not only are pesticides very harmful to our health, but they are also detrimental to the environment. Even though they are effective in killing pests, pesticides also rid your garden of good bugs, not to mention how the harmful chemicals they’re packed with end up in our water systems and pollute precious natural resources. Forego the toxic chemicals and let nature take care of pests. Mites, scale insects, and aphids can easily become a meal for our cute and helpful friends – ladybugs, while cabbage worm, caterpillar and beetle infestations can easily be fixed with the help of parasitic wasps.
Backyards and gardens don’t always require a lot of work. With these helpful tips in mind, you can ensure your outdoor space is beautiful, eco-friendly, and easy to care for!