Now that summer’s here, you’re probably paying closer attention to your outdoor space. although homeowners spend anywhere from 1% to 4% of their home’s value each year on maintenance and repairs, there are likely to be plenty of improvements you can make around the exterior of your property this year. And if your main focus is to be more eco-conscious, you can improve your yard while supporting environmental endeavors. To that end, here are some tips that will make your lawn and other landscaping look lovely and protect the planet at the same time.
Opt For Natural Pest Control
For the 27% of Americans who rented their homes in 2016, they might not have as much of a say over the pest control methods used by the actual property owners. But if you own your home, you get to choose how you want to protect your yard from pest invasions — and there are a number of ways to do that safely. You can make your own pest control spray with ingredients like garlic, use copper rings to keep slugs away, or unleash some ladybugs to get rid of aphids and mites. By reducing or eliminating the use of harmful chemicals in your landscaping, you can support local wildlife while still allowing your lawn and garden to look their best.
Support Your Local Pollinators
Pollinators like bees and butterflies play an essential role in our eco-system. Unfortunately, the widespread use of pesticides and other human activity has had adverse effects on many populations of these helpful creatures. Incorporating native plants into your landscaping, providing some shelter, and offering some fresh water to drink can entice pollinators to come to your yard and bolster their numbers.
Develop an Irrigation System
Your plants need water to survive, but your watering methods could end up wasting a lot of H2O. Be sure to use mulch to keep plants hydrated between waterings and consider installing an irrigation system that reduces waste instead of relying on sprinklers. You might also consider using drought-tolerant plants, creating a rain garden, or collecting rainwater in barrels to stretch your “watering budget” even further.
Put Your Compost to Good Use
Many people who lead green lifestyles participate in composting — but you don’t necessarily have to drop off your bucket to a compost program. Instead, you can build a compost pile in your yard and use it to keep your garden looking gorgeous. Your compost pile will turn into incredible fertilizer and you’ll be doing your part to reduce your household waste — a true win/win.
Rethink Your Mowing Habits and Lawn Size
Having a big green lawn is something many of us dream about — but keeping your grass looking lush can actually take an environmental toll. Reducing the size of your lawn can help you use less water and be less dependent on mowers that guzzle gas. And whatever grass you do keep should be kept a little longer than you might think. Although one of the most common code violations involves having weeds taller than 12 inches on a property’s lawn, you don’t have to let your grass grow wild. Instead, adjust the mower’s settings to cut the grass to around three inches high. This will keep your lawn from getting stressed, which makes for a healthier yard overall.
By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to create a luscious lawn and landscape that adds to your home’s curb appeal and supports environmental causes you care about.