Knowledge and care are keys to beautiful plants and trees. Green landscaping can mean using gentle methods to get rid of those snails and slugs that make big holes in your beautiful hostas, for instance.
Try leaving bowls that contain beer around those plants that snails and slugs favor. They will be attracted by the beer, make their way into the bowls and beer, and die a painless death. Or sprinkle cold, used coffee grounds on your plants. It will provide nitrogen as well as repel your slimy foes.
Pest control the natural way requires more knowledge, but it’s worth it because it’s a win-win solution, since you get positive results without negative ones. Note that no solution, natural or chemical, is 100% effective and harmless all the time. Anyone who promises that is just plain lying. Now, let’s see how you can do things right so you can have a beautiful and healthy garden.
Green landscaping means different things
Things to consider while designing a garden or landscape:
- Water use: Various types of grasses are available nowadays. Some require less pesticides and water. But do bear in mind that a lawn will never be as drought resistant as plants that have long roots. So, if you really want to conserve water, consider a lawn replacement option. Many ideas can be viewed in the landscaping pictures section.
- Fertilizers: Some plants will grow and bear lots of flowers without any help, while others, will require constant fertilizing. Making the right choices when selecting plants may help you greatly reduce the use of fertilizers. And if you want plants that need fertilizers to thrive, such as roses, there are many organic options. When planting new things in the ground, consider compost or manure instead of powders that come in plastic containers. Horse manure is particularly good. And natural bone meal and Mycorrhizae (a beneficial fungus) are also very good. And don`t forget about peat moss.
- Pesticides: Once again, the best way to attain your green landscaping goals is simply to choose the right plants. Some varieties of roses, for instance, always seem to be under attack by some new disease, while others are much more resistant. Some grasses, bushes and trees are more resistant to pests that others. And if you do have pests, there are a variety of options ranging from homemade green pesticides to bugs that will leave your plants alone but feast on other bugs. Natural pest control is really a question of knowledge. Did you know, for instance, that ants take care of lice eggs and help them develop, while lady bugs eat those same eggs. So, if you have a plant lice problem, consider controlling your ant population and bringing in some lady bugs. It may be even more effective than spraying liquid soap solutions or even harsh pesticides.
Green just makes sense
- When you choose drought resistant plants, you not only save resources by reducing your water consumption, but you also run much better chances of saving your landscaping in case of a drought. When it gets hot and dry and you are either away or simply don’t have time to water your plants, or if your city forbids watering, the chances that your plants will make it through the drought are much better.
- Natural fertilizers make the soil richer by feeding your plants, but they also feed the organisms that make the soil alive. These organisms keep the soil healthy and that’s good for all plants. That’s always the best green landscaping solution: help nature and, in return, nature will help you and your plants. Chemical fertilizers, on the other hand, don’t feed the soil and the organisms that live in it. In fact, they may be detrimental to them. And with chemical fertilizers, the likelihood that you will actually hurt your plants rather than help them is there. They must be used exactly as prescribed and in specific weather conditions. Natural fertilizers are almost always fool proof. They will almost never hurt your lawn and plants. Plus, chemical fertilizers tend to dissipate faster in the ground. This means that you will always have to apply more and more fertilizers to keep your landscaping looking its best.
- Natural pesticides are less harsh and therefore less harmful to the plants themselves as well as to other beneficial organisms that live in the soil or around your plants. Like chemical fertilizers, chemical pesticides are more likely to harm your lawn and plants and they can wipe entire populations of beneficial organisms that live in the soil. And you know what happens when you have killed your soil? Well of course you have to use more chemical fertilizers. It feeds the wheel that makes the chemical companies richer and the earth as a whole less sustainable.
- A garden should showcase the beauty of nature. A beautiful fountain or water garden may make your garden look even more beautiful, but those plastic chairs or that wall made of plastic lattice panels are insults to a well designed landscape. There are natural solutions. Wood and bamboo are your best bets for furniture as well as fencing.
- Your yard and garden are small habitats visited by animals, insects and various organisms. Some of these may be detrimental, but most are actually quite useful. Green solutions are created to control unwanted visitors, but to be gentle to those that you do want to keep in your garden. Chemical solutions, on the other hand, will often kill the good with the bad. So you may get rid of the lice, but you may also get rid of the lady bugs and the bees, and gone will be your lice eaters and your flower pollinators. This will make your garden’s environment more artificial and even more dependent on chemical solutions.
The number of organic solutions and the array of green landscaping and gardening products now available on the market are really impressive. All over the world, young and old entrepreneurs who believe in nature and who think that it is more intelligent to work with nature rather than against her are developing and marketing natural solutions. In the twenty-first century, the rich knowledge of the experienced minds mixed with the fertile and innovative minds of the young can work miracles and develop natural solutions that are a million times better than the chemical solutions developed in the twentieth century.
You have to be careful though, because a rapidly growing number of financiers and venture capitalists are smelling the sweet scent of money in green landscaping and they are developing and marketing solutions that are neither green nor effective.
You will probably start your search for green landscaping solutions by surfing the Internet. It’s not a bad idea, as it will give you a general idea of all that is out there. You may make interesting finds, such as TeraGanix, who market and sell natural ingredients and soil organisms for gardening and agriculture, and Better-Lawn-Care.com, who provide green lawn solutions and services.
I suggest that you visit a good nursery, one where you can find knowledgeable people, and ask about green landscaping solutions. Chances are you will be impressed by the array of green products available. While there, you should ask questions and ask for fliers. Then get in touch with a botanical garden and ask about the solutions you were offered. They most likely have staff that will be more than happy to answer your questions and suggest even more green solutions.
Maybe you are not convinced. Maybe you think going green is just another fad. If so, then please think again. Don’t limit your thoughts to your own yard, your own neighborhood. Consider all the yards in the nation, in the world and think of the impact that we all have. Then I hope that you will understand that Green is the way to go.