5 Eco-Friendly Landscaping Design Tips

Posted on: 9 January 2023

When designing your landscape, planning for an eco-friendly yard is necessary if your goal is to minimize environmental damage. A well-planned design will actually benefit the local ecosystems instead of causing harm.

1. Choose Native Plants

One of the most environmentally friendly landscaping choices is to opt for plants that thrive in your area. Native plants have adapted to your local climate and soil conditions, so they can often survive without a lot of irrigation or fertilizers. Native plants also tend to be hardier against common local diseases and pests, so fewer chemical treatments are necessary to keep them healthy. Having fewer inputs like water, fertilizer, and pesticides is better for the environment. 

2. Use Permeable Paving

Paving is part of the landscaping, particularly when it comes to paths and patios, but pooling water on paved areas after rain or irrigation can cause problems. Further, this water is often lost to evaporation when it would be better for it to soak into the soil so it can re-enter the water table. Permeable paving options, such as sand-jointed paver stones, allow moisture to still infuse the soil while providing durable landscape paving options.

3. Plant for Wildlife

Healthy urban and suburban ecosystems must still provide for some wildlife. Planting nectar-rich flowering plants, for example, attracts bees, butterflies, and other insect pollinators. A water feature looks great and provides drinking water for small mammals and birds. Layer plants so there are low-growing, mid-height, and tall plants, as this provides cover and nesting sites for birds. Your landscaper can help you choose plants that suit the animals native in your area.

4. Mulch Bare Areas

Bare soil tends to dry out quickly due to rapid evaporation from exposure. Further, these spots in the landscaping tend to attract weedy growth. Natural mulches, like wood chips, are an eco-friendly solution. Spread mulch over any bare soil, such as around plants in the garden bed or in areas where you aren't planning to plant or pave. The mulch slows evaporation, suppresses weeds, helps modulate soil temperatures, and feeds the soil as it decomposes. 

5. Water More Efficiently 

Water conservation is important in many areas where drinking water supplies are low year-round or seasonally. Planning an irrigation system to complement your new landscaping can help conserve water. Drip irrigation leads to minimal evaporative water loss, and it's suitable for flower beds and around trees or shrubs. For the lawn, install a zoned and timed system to reduce overwatering. Adding a moisture meter ensures the sprinklers don't go off if natural precipitation provides adequate soil moisture. 

Contact a landscaping design service for more help.