Reduce, reuse, recycle is a popular mantra
Some people wash out their sandwich baggie every day for a week.
Others find that too tedious, but recycle trash. Most of us do what we can, when we can, and know that we're doing something good for the environment.
For our landscapes, the same principle holds true. In fact you may already be following sustainable practices that come naturally, but you haven't thought of them as sustainable - like composting or using a mulching lawn mower.
With a more serious drought looming over this growing season, the health of our plants may be more at risk. So now is a good time to think about the environment we can control, namely, our own back yards.
This is why we've made such a big deal this year about winter watering. Giving plants the water they really need now maintains their stamina so they can emerge in the spring growing season in a healthier state.
What are other strategies to sustain our landscapes?
- If you need a new lawn mower this year, get a mulching mower. They chew up grass clippings and spread them on top of the lawn. The clippings act like natural mulch over the soil and help retain moisture (important in a drought year!). Clippings will also decompose to provide nutrients so you need less fertilizer.
- If you live in a compact neighborhood with small lawn areas, consider a battery operated mower. They reduce noise pollution. You can probably mow at 7 am and your neighbor won't even notice.
- Get the sprinkler system evaluated early. We should never waste even a drop of water and this year, there will be no drops to spare. Get a professional sprinkler system audit and do the most cost-effective fixes to make your watering efficient. Be sure to check out rebates that may be available from our water provider or city. We expect to see a lot of them this year.
- Downsize your water needs in ways that work for you. Are you watering parts of your yard you never even see or use? Maybe there's a better use for the space. Would you like to expand your outdoor living area, which might eliminate some landscape watering in the process? This would be a good year to make that happen.
If you wash out your baggies or recycle newspapers, good for you! This year, look for ways to do the same for your landscape.
Need help with a water-saving plan? Find a Pro
from the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado with members in six chapters statewide.