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Is your yard in need of a makeover? You can give it a much-needed update while at the same time using eco-friendly landscaping to reduce your carbon footprint and adding value to your home.
There are simple, cost-saving methods to spruce up your yard that save you time, money and protect the environment. Here are five ways you can "GreenScape" your lawn, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:
Make Your Soil Healthy
Use compost to feed the soil by digging one to three inches of compost into 6 to 12 inches of topsoil when making new beds or laying new grass. Fertilize existing lawns with about a half-inch of compost every spring or fall. Also, use about three inches of mulch in your landscaping beds around plants to keep weeds away, save water and feed the soil.
Choose the Right Plants
Whenever possible, go with native plants and trees to ensure viability. Pay attention to the layout of your yard, shady spots, soil pH and water sources. Choose plants that are resistant to pests and disease, as well as plant varieties that require little watering. This saves you both time and money. Also, take into account the mature size of a plant or tree and its proximity to your house, power lines and your driveway to avoid potential safety hazards.
Don't overdo it when you're watering plants, but don't forget that some varieties will need more water than others. Low-water plants, composted soil and mulch and soaker hoses can help reduce water usage and the costs associated with it. Also, aim drainage spouts so rainwater runoff can irrigate lawns and rain gardens. The best time to water is in the early morning.
Control Pests Naturally
Using pesticides can help control problem insects and vegetation, but they're not always the best choice. Prevention is the key to avoiding pest issues. Composting and using mulch, as well as planting pest-resistant varieties of plants, will help limit potential problems. Also, routine weeding will go a long way in cutting down the spread of pests. Allowing some pests may mean a little damage, but it might be better than spraying your yard with a pesticide to control the problem. Consider using traps, barriers or fabric covers as alternatives to pesticides.
Rethink Lawn Care
Mow your yard more regularly to ensure you're cutting less than one-third of the grass height. Leave your grass clippings to make your lawn healthier (this is called "grasscycling"). Using natural organic or slow-release fertilizers reduces run-off, saving you money and limiting water pollution. Be careful not to over seed, and aerate each fall to help roots grow and the soil absorb water better.
Get more GreenScaping tips from the Environmental Protection Agency.
For more information on how to add value to your home, Find a RE/MAX agent
Information courtesy of remax.com