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A 12-Step Program for Sustainable Landscaping

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SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPING:  Having the least negative impact possible on the land and its resources while contributing the greatest amount to the environment.

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1.  Reduce water use with climate-appropriate, drought-tolerant plants such as California natives and Mediterranean plants.

2.  Install an efficient drip irrigation system in place of sprinklers.

3.  Reduce the size of the lawn or eliminate it altogether to save water, energy resources, greenhouse emissions, and the use of chemical fertilizers and weed control products. Replace with a climate appropriate garden landscape.

4.  Lower maintenance by planting the right plants in the right place. Allow enough room for the mature size of each plant and pay attention to your garden’s microclimates.

5.  Create a balanced garden ecosystem to promote healthy soil, avoid pest and disease problems, and support our local wildlife.

6.  Provide a healthy habitat for birds, butterflies, beneficial insects, and others with natural plant foods, a clean source of water, and safe environment to raise their young.

7.  Compost for healthy soil and healthy plants. Encourage beneficial organisms and earth worms to obtain a loamy, aerated soil.

8.  Mulch to retain moisture, suppress weeds, and keep soil cool.

9.  Be ocean-friendly by preventing water run-off that pollutes our rivers and ocean. Avoid non-permeable materials for patios, pathways, and other hardscape surfaces to retain water on the property and replenish the water table.

10.  Utilize local materials that have a low impact on the environment. Avoid using exotic woods such as that from rain forests and stone that is quarried from great distances or damage the land.

11.  Practice Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Attract beneficial insects and use the least toxic methods for pest and disease control when necessary including plain water, soaps and horticulture oil.

12.  Save time, money and effort with an eco-friendly, low maintenance garden designed and installed by Nature by Design.

© Lisa Burton • Nature by Design 2016