Tips for Successful Landscaping Projects

5 Sustainable Landscaping Design Ideas

A sustainable landscape should still be attractive, but it must require less inputs like water and fertilizer. A landscape designer can help you incorporate sustainable ideas like the following into your design.

1. Choose Native Plants

Native plants are already evolved to thrive in your local climate, so they often require less water and fertilizer inputs while also being less prone to the local pests and diseases. Native plants are also more likely to tolerate droughts and natural weather patterns. Overall this makes them more sustainable since the plants need fewer outside inputs to thrive. Your designer will examine the exposure and microclimates in your yard to determine which native plants will best grow in your landscape while still meeting your design needs. 

2. Build the Soil

Your landscaping is only as healthy and sustainable as the bottom layer -- the soil. Your landscaper should focus on building up soil a bit before implementing the full landscape plan, since good and rich soil results in healthier plants that need fewer fertilizer applications. A lower need for synthetic fertilizer means less chemical leaching into the soil and water table. Your landscaper will likely perform soil tests, then use amendments like compost to help improve soil quality before planting. 

3. Permeable Paving Options

In some parts of the country, water conservation is the main concern when it comes to creating a sustainable landscape. Your design will likely need things like pathways, driveways, and patio areas. Opt for a permeable paving option instead of solid asphalt or concrete, otherwise water will runoff your property into storm drains instead of soaking into the soil. Permeable paving like dry fit paving stone or specially made permeable paving products allow water to seep through and into the soil. 

4. Incorporate Edible Plants

Growing some of your own food is a sustainable option because your home garden likely produces a lot less pollution compared to factory farming and transporting fruits and vegetables long distance. You can use edible ornamentals, such as ornamental edible greens or a pretty flowering fruit tree. You may also prefer to set aside some of the landscaping for an annual vegetable garden or perennial edible plants that are also ornamental, like rhubarb and asparagus.

5. Layer Planting Levels

Creating a landscaping with different levels encourages greater wildlife diversity, from birds and small mammals to insects. Not only is diversity good for the environment, it is also good for your landscaping because diverse populations keep each other in check. More birds may mean fewer of a certain type of plant pest, for example, while more pollinating insects means better productivity. Layer shrubs and trees of different heights with lower growing plants to create a layering effect.

Contact a landscaping designer service in your area like Estate Landscape to learn more about sustainable ways to design your yard.