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Landscaping Sustainably and Naturally

There are ways to cultivate your outdoor space without destroying the land’s natural aesthetic or overusing chemicals.

Outside areas that are lackluster or have issues that need addressed can be renovated into a fresher space just by adding compatible foliage to the landscaping.

To start a planting project off right, buy plants that are sustainably collected. Plant nurseries or legitimate suppliers should be able to tell you the origin of what you are buying.

Eco-friendly nurseries are becoming more available that only purchase fairly gathered selections. Also, maintaining outdoor areas with non-toxic products and fertilizers allows them to develop safely so they can be enjoyed without worry of exposure.

To be successful in creating an outdoor area it is best to consider the already existing elements of your space.

Decide where to add plants into a landscape according to needs like sunlight, watering or shade requirements. Plants or trees can be put in to help with specific issues. Look at the land features and plan for things like low lying areas that gather water or spots that tend to get dry. Proper plantings integrated throughout problem areas can help with drainage and can aid in keeping standing water away from homes or structures.

Selecting native plants will benefit yards, too. They work with the soil, helping to sift out pollutants. They tend to require less maintenance than imported varieties since they are naturally occurring in the environment.

Native plants are also more resistant to disease and can be incorporated into many designs to deter pests without chemical substances. For instance, marigolds, or other similar local selections planted near seating areas or doorways will help keep insects away. Plants that encourage pollination, like lavender and heather, attract bees, butterflies and certain birds.

Make sure to choose plants, trees, shrubs and bushes that are correct for your particular soil type. A soil’s pH balance, or measurement of the hydrogen ion concentration, is an important though sometimes overlooked factor. Plantings will not flourish if rooted in improper soil.

For a list of common trees, shrubs, flowers and their recommended pH balance, check the Almanac.

Greener landscapes are possible with a bit of effort and a proper start. The turnout will lend to an outdoor space that is ready to be appreciated.

Source:  Natural Landscaping: Go Native! The Old Farmer’s Almanac Book of Garden Wisdom. Retrieved on March 5, 2013 from: the Almanac

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