Introduction to Sustainable Landscaping

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This article is an introduction to sustainable landscaping.
by Brent Wilson · All Zones · Design · 0 Comments · August 29, 2010 · 4,004 views

Making the biggest impact on our home, mother earth.

By: Richard Ludwig, EdD

What is Sustainable Landscaping?

There are varying definitions but sustainable landscaping should include an attractive environment that is in balance with the local climate and requires minimal resource inputs, such as fertilizer, pesticides and water. Sustainable landscaping begins with an appropriate design that includes functional, cost efficient, visually pleasing, environmentally friendly and maintainable areas. In short, a sustainable landscape is a landscape that requires less maintenance as time goes by and protects our natural environment.

Phases of Sustainable Landscaping

Sustainable landscaping has three distinct phases:

  • Design
  • Implemetation
  • Management

In general, it is easy to get everyone excited about the design and implementation phases. However, the real challenge to a sustainable approach...is to make sure it stays sustainable. Typically, where folks fall down is in the management segment. It is the routine day to day, week to week, year to year activities that get boring but are so critical in keeping the property looking great. Be vigilent. Constantly strive to make your management activities greener and more environmentally friendly. This is the place you can make the biggest and longest lasting impact on our home, mother earth.

Goals of Sustainable Landscaping

There are short-term as well as long-term goals for a sustainable landscape.

  • Short-term goals may include saving water or implementing and using a compost bin. Composting locally grown crops and kitchen waste and returning it back to the garden increases the organic matter in the garden while recycling nutrients within the landscape.
  • Long-term goals may be to create a more self-sustaining garden. This includes all aspects of total plant health care, proper plant selection, reduced inputs and maintainability.


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