The practice of greenscaping allows you to put nature to work in your lawn and garden. With smart practices and plantings, you can eliminate some of the chemical usages around your home. This will help lower your impact on the environment. So here are a few changes that you can make to start improving your yard while saving time and money!
The first thing you need to do is develop healthy soil to reduce your dependency on fertilizers. The practice of composting will help you with this. It is easy to build a composter at home with just a plastic garbage can and a drill. The practice of composting breaks down both kitchen and garden waste into nutrient-rich plant food. Each spring as you plant, you can mix in your compost into the soil to feed your plants. While this may not completely eliminate the need for all fertilizers, it will reduce it.
You should also pick plants that are suited for your yard. Knowing how much sun your yard gets and soil type will help with this. Many nurseries clearly label their plants with what environments they will thrive in. It is preferable that you pick native plant species to help protect the wildlife. Also, you can choose plants that invite birds and butterflies into your yard.
You can conserve water if you learn how to efficiently water your garden. The biggest tip is to water early in the morning. Watering in the middle of the day is ineffective. While watering at night encourages the growth of mold. If you don’t want to wake up early, you can use timers and soaker/drip hoses to cut down on water usage. Sprinklers are not the most effective tools for watering. Lastly, using ground cover plants or mulch helps hold the water in through the day so it doesn’t evaporate.
Finally, leave your grass between two to three inches tall. Then mow your yard regularly and leave the grass clippings. Organisms will break them down and turn them into fertilizer for your lawn. Another reason to not trim your lawn too short is that shorter grass is less resistant to weeds. You can save time and money on weed-killing chemicals as your lawn begins to protect itself.
It is important to know that all of this takes time. Your lawn probably won’t become perfect overnight, but with some careful management, you will save time and money down the line. There are many resources for on how to improve your lawn and garden in the Durham area. Check out the Durham Master Gardeners, the North Carolina Native Plant Society, or the North Carolina State University lawn and garden resources.