Even with the amount of rain we have experienced this winter, landscapes still need to be watered thoroughly. The cost of water has increased 15% in San Diego city and is expected to increase even more in the future. Budgets for commercial and residential properties typically see the cost of water at the top of the list in regards to maintaining a healthy budget. Pacific Green Landscape is an advocate for sustainable landscaping to address proper water management. This will help maintain a balanced budget. Sustainable landscaping is doing what’s best for the environment while creating a visually pleasing landscape.
There are five factors of sustainable landscaping:
1. Integrated Pest Management
Pest management keeps your plants healthy. Using plant material that is not as susceptible to pests and disease as well as using controls allows for thorough pest management. This keeps the costs of plant replacement and pest control at a budget friendly low.
2. Energy Efficient Design
Energy efficient landscape design takes into consideration the sun exposure at various times throughout the year. For example, in a south or west facing building, trees can be planted near windows that don’t have leaves in the winter months to allow for more sunlight to come in. Likewise, planting trees that do have leaves in the summer months should be planted strategically to allow for shade when the weather is hot. Energy efficient design contributes to cutting the costs of heating and air conditioning.
3. Irrigation and Rainwater Retention
It is important to prevent water runoff. Using permeable pavers on sites that are porous with no grout joints allow water to soak through. The use of swales, which keeps water pushed to the side, soaks water in rather than creating run off. This is being seen in more landscape designs.
4. Recycled Landscape Products
Using recycled products in the landscape such as mulch, bender board/landscape timber, rubber, and using recycled mowers are all good practices to help reduce material and equipment costs.
5. Soil Management
Adding mulch to planter beds is extremely beneficial. Not only does mulch have aesthetic benefits, but practical benefits as well. Mulch helps to reduce water loss, reduce weed growth, keeps soil cool, and increases organic material in the soil as it decomposes. Using a drip irrigation system is also good for soil management. Keep in mind, it is critical to keep ultra violet rays off the drip irrigation tubing. Drip irrigation reduces weed growth around the property due to soil not being over watered. Drip irrigation uses the correct amount of water for the existing plant material.
These factors of sustainable landscaping are excellent ways to maintain a budget when it comes to allocating funds for landscape management. Pacific Green Landscape enjoys a partnership driven by conservation.