By: James Witts
When building a new home, it’s important to customize your backyard to your own personal needs. Many homeowners quickly settle into their home but then have trouble deciding what to do with the outdoor living spaces. Additionally, many of us value the outdoors and protecting the environment, and thus should consider ways to make our yards eco-friendly. Check out these seven tips to easily create an eco-friendly backyard for your new home.
Choose Native Plants
Adding native plants to your backyard is an eco-friendly way to garden. Native plants are those that are naturally found in your area and are adapted to the particular weather conditions. They don’t require extra watering which saves on water use as well. Native plants are also widely available making the process of purchasing and delivering the plants much less taxing on the environment. Incorporating native plants into your backyard also helps provide food and shelter for local pollinators like bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies in order to strengthen the surrounding plant life.
Xeriscaping is one of the newest landscaping techniques that adds a lot of beauty to a backyard. The focus of xeriscaping is to use rocks and drought tolerant plants instead of a traditional grass lawn, cutting down on the weekly water use and lawn maintenance. Xeriscaping is highly sought after in more modern homes with upscale styles. Many gardeners now specialize in xeriscaping and creating your own native oasis can be easily installed with the proper professional.
One of the easiest ways to cut down on your energy bill as well as support the environment is to invest in solar lighting for your outdoor living space. There are many solar lighting options available on the market that come in a wide range of styles. Place individual solar lights along a pathway for added safety as well as solar powered flood lights that turn on when motion is detected. Other ways to incorporate solar lighting into a backyard include featuring spotlights on certain plants within the garden that are unique or blooming. Solar lights can also be installed in the entertaining areas of the backyard with many string lights and permanent fixtures being solar powered.
Choosing to harvest rainwater is a great option for those homeowners who live in a dry or drought prone area. Rain barrels collect the fallen rain and provide an adequate water source when drought restrictions are in effect. The barrels are easy to install or make yourself and can go a long way in providing water right when you need it. Consider multiple spots within your backyard where harvesting rainwater can be done for easy access later on.
Many homeowners enjoy the benefits of having a lush lawn within their backyard. Consider choosing organic products to help feed the lawn as well as control pests and disease. Compost is a great way to naturally strengthen your lawn’s soil making the grass roots healthier. Another option is to find organic fertilizers that are available as well as other natural weed controls that will not harm the environment as well.
Use Pest Repelling Plants
Pests can not only annoy your backyard guests, but can also cause long term damage to your soil and your plants. Fortunately, there are a number of plants that repel insects that you can install in your backyard, reducing the need for pesticides and herbicides. These insect repelling plants include beautiful flowers such as Chrysanthemum and Petunias, as well as tasty herbs like Rosemary and Basil.
Cover with Mulch
Organic or inorganic mulching options can be used to cover the ground surrounding plants within the backyard. Many homeowners choose organic mulch options, like grass clippings or bark dust, in order to provide an essential nutrient to plants. Inorganic options, like pebbles or recycled rubber, can also be used but don’t provide nutrients to the soil. Both mulching options help prevent water run off and insulate the areas around plant roots. Mulch also helps keep plants cool which can lower the amount of water intake needed as well. Weeds also have trouble growing through mulch which saves you time and energy pulling them as well as supports the environment from the use of chemical weed control applications.
Creating an environmentally friendly backyard is easy with just a few steps. Homeowners can add instant beauty to the space by choosing to xeriscape or use native plants within the garden. Covering those plants with mulch helps retain moisture levels as well as harvesting rainwater for future use. Solar lighting is a great way to use the sun’s energy at night when needed. Consider all of these # tips to easily create an eco-friendly backyard to customize your home.
James Witts is an eco-conscious home improvement writer. He is constantly trying to find new ways to live off the grid while living in a tiny home with his wife, Andie.