Owning a home can be stressful, but with proper care and maintenance, it can be a worthwhile investment. While repainting shutters and cleaning your carpet are common ways to improve your home's appeal and value, updating your landscaping offers numerous benefits. Creating an eco-friendly landscape design not only improves your home's curb appeal and value, but it also improves the environment and lowers your monthly water and energy bills. Using this guide on green landscaping, you can increase your home's look and value while saving the planet and your bank account.

Water Conservation

Water is an imperative part of stimulating landscaping growth and protecting its health and beauty, but it can be costly. Considering every 10' by 10' of grass requires an estimated 62 gallons of water, watering your entire lawn and other plants, trees, and flowers can add up to an overwhelming expense. Use the following tips to conserve water while caring for your landscape:

  • Water Early – Your lawn is soft and moist in the early part of the morning, so watering at this time ensures a better soaking into the ground.
     
  • Choose Wisely – Opt for drought-resistant plants, which can better tolerate dry, hot climates. Hydrangea shrubs add color and dimension to your landscape, but do not require a great deal of moisture to thrive. Coneflowers and daylilies are also wise options for a drought-tolerant landscape, since they grow in most types of soil and moisture conditions. For your lawn, sod or grass seed that thrive in the full sun requires a reduced amount of water.
     
  • Collect Water – Purchase or make a rain barrel, which can collect up to 300 gallons of water for every inch of rain that falls on a 500 square foot roof.  By collecting rain water, you can reduce your monthly water bills while still maintaining your landscape.
     
  • Timing Irrigation – Using an irrigation system is smart for protecting your investment in landscaping, but it can become wasteful without proper planning and supervision. Set your irrigation system or standard sprinklers on a timer, allowing your landscape to be watered in an efficient, conservative manner.
     
  • Smart Mulching – After choosing which plants to install in your landscape design, you must also choose which mulching material to add around plants. Mulch not only provides decorative texture to your design, but it also helps trap in moisture around your plants during watering.  Shredded bark, straw, pine needles, wood chips, gravel, and pea pebbles are all great options for adding stylish color and texture around your plants and flowers. For an added layer of conservation, consider rubber mulch. Rubber mulch traps in moisture while remaining colorful and functional for a longer timeframe.

Energy Conservation

While surprising to hear, certain landscaping elements can conserve energy. This not only benefits the environment, but also reduces your monthly energy bills.

Since heating and cooling encompasses about half of your home's total energy usage, consider planting trees that increase the shade around your house. Deciduous trees such as a red oak, maple, white pine, alder, and the giant arborvitae increase the shade around your home. This shade acts as an extra layer of insulation, keeping cold air out in the winter and hot air out in the summer.

In many cases, adding these shade-inducing trees around your home can decrease your air conditioning costs by an estimated 35 percent. For the best shade and insulation, install these trees in the eastern, western, or northwestern sections of landscape around your home.

Going green in your landscape design is not only smart for your home's appeal and value, but it also benefits the environment and your finances. Using these simple tips, your landscape will be appealing, valuable, and eco-friendly. Contact professionals like Wagner Sod, Landscaping and Irrigation Co., Inc for assistance and price quotes.

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