6 Ways to Achieve a More Sustainable Landscape Design in Hershey, PA
Following sustainable living practices is not just a passing trend; it is a lifestyle choice that may affect future generations. Sustainable landscape design tends to minimize the use of non-renewable resources and optimize the use of products that are environmentally friendly. Ideally, a landscape should be able to withstand the climate and natural weather cycles of its native environment. Here are some ways to achieve a more sustainable landscape design in Hershey, PA:
When it rains, collect the roof runoff in a container, and you can use it to water your flower beds and potted plants. If you have an irrigation system, it should be inspected on a regular basis to ensure that the heads are actually irrigating your landscape and valves are working well.
You can also have your irrigation system’s timing adjusted to match the plant needs and season’s rainfall. Consider investing in a rainfall sensor—it usually shuts off an irrigation system when it rains. You may also want to look into whether your irrigation system is consistent. Upgrade to a smart control system that irrigates your plants whenever they need water.
Opt for Local Plants
Whether you choose to plant shrubs or flowers, greenery can play an important role in sustainable landscape design. Local plants are considered more natural to the environment and are more likely to thrive when properly installed. Plants generally bring a myriad of positive benefits to the environment, as well; they clean up the air by taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Plants also provide shade, reduce dust, and prevent soil erosion.
You can minimize your lawn’s needs by having it regularly maintained and looking into mixing grass with hardy garden beds and groundcover plants. It may also be worth considering the use of drought-tolerant native grass that allows you to retain the look of a conventional lawn.
Whenever the lawn is mowed, you could choose to use the grass clippings for composting—a practice known as grasscycling. These clippings usually decompose at a fast rate and release nutrients that your lawn can reuse. Additionally, you can use the clippings as mulch around your plants.
Choose Carefully with Lighting
When it comes to landscape lighting for fountains and pools, you could make the decision to only use solar-powered lamps or LED lighting. LED lights use 90% less power than incandescent bulbs, which makes them energy efficient. Solar-powered lamps are sometimes an even better choice because they reduce energy bills. With more sustainable sources of light, it is possible to reduce your carbon footprint and reduce your overall power use.
Consider Permeable Pavers
For your hardscape features, such as your patio or walkway, you could make a point of choosing permeable pavers, which are designed to send rainfall back into the natural ecosystem rather than stormwater systems. Made with an extra space between each one and constructed of special materials, these pavers encourage the natural water cycle and eliminate standing water.
Avoid or Reduce Chemicals
One of the essential parts of sustainable landscape design is to reduce pollution that might result from your gardening activities. Testing your soil is generally the best way to figure out whether it needs more chemicals. If you find that it needs additional nutrients, you may add organic materials such as compost to increase the quality of your garden soils. To avoid the overuse of fertilizers, you could get on a regular schedule with your landscape contractor and have fertilizer applied only in the spring and fall, when it is usually most beneficial.