We all want a beautiful yard— but what does it really cost us? According to research done at Michigan State University, water prices will have to increase by 41 percent over the next five years in order to cover the costs of adapting to climate change and replacing aging infrastructure. This hike in prices will mean that nearly 41 million households— that’s one-third of all US households— may not be able to afford water for necessities including drinking, bathing, and cooking by the year 2020.
Using up valuable water maintaining a lush, green yard is simply not the responsible, eco-conscious thing to do— especially if you live in a drought-prone area such as California or Utah. However, there are ways to have a beautiful landscaped yard without putting too much strain on your local water resources. Check out the tips we’ve highlighted below and prepare your trowel and gardening gloves for your next big yard and garden project.
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Saying No to Lawns
Lawns are a European invention, deliberately cultivated by the rich in both France and England as a way to flaunt their wealth. Lawns require a great deal of upkeep, fertilizer, and— of course— water. They aren’t natural and, let’s be honest, they look pretty boring. Furthermore, lawns cost a lot of money— and it’s more than just the price for watering. From aerating your soil to buying fertilizer and seed to paying for maintenance and mowing, you can end up spending thousands of dollars a year on lawn upkeep.
Going for native landscaping and xeriscaping isn’t just environmentally friendly, it’s also a great way to make your home stand apart in a world overwrought with rolling green lawns. So go ahead and tear up that sod and start tilling your soil to plan for a vibrant, colorful yard full of flowers and plants that don’t need much water to thrive. Your wallet— as well as Mother Earth— will thank you for it.
Native Landscaping and Xeriscaping
Native landscaping is a term used to describe the development of your yard using local plants that already thrive in your particular environment. Native plants do not require fertilizer or pesticides that leak into the soil and your neighborhood’s water supply, so it is a safer option for your local ecosystem. Furthermore, using native plants also supports local wildlife including pollinators such as bees and butterflies. The big difference between native and traditional landscaping is you typically won’t have a big lawn to care for when you plant native.
Xeriscaping is a type of landscaping that helps save water and money by encouraging the use of drought-resistant plants. Combining native landscaping with xeriscaping is your best bet for saving the most water possible while still maintaining an attractive yard. Xeriscaping doesn’t just involve choosing plants that need little water— you also have to plan and organize the plants you choose to make watering more efficient. For instance, plants that have similar watering needs should be grouped together.
One problem people have with xeriscaping is adjusting their habits to avoid overwatering certain plants such as succulents and cacti. By designing your garden to separate low maintenance flora from the plants that need a bit more aqua, you can prevent overwatering and the need to replace dead plants you drowned.
Water is an essential resource, but Americans are quickly running out of it. One way to help with water conservation efforts is to get rid of your traditional lawn and replace it using natural landscaping and xeriscaping. By using native and drought-resistant plants, you can create a unique first impression that is also low maintenance an ecologically friendly.
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