18 Eco-Friendly Landscaping Ideas
Eco-Friendly Landscaping or gardening is a great way to connect with nature while beautifying our outdoor living space or growing food crops in an environment that’s safe for humans, pets, wildlife, and beneficial insects as we seek to achieve our gardening goals while bringing balance to our ec0-system. What I also love about this garden method is saving money while operating on a small budget yet achieving great results.
Eco-friendly landscaping ideas are being used in many home gardens because of the benefits one can achieve, this is a great way of helping to give mother nature a helping hand as we do our part in seeking to create an environment that is free of contamination. Eco-friendly landscaping also increases the presence of and the activity of pollinators that plays an important part in helping trees and garden plants with an increase in food production. So whether you’re growing a flower garden, herb, fruit trees or vegetable garden here are 18 eco-friendly landscaping ideas that will help you accomplish the desired end that’s a win-win for humans, pets, beneficial insects, plant life, wildlife, and pollinators.
Eco-friendly landscaping ideas
- Plant a garden
- Use what you have
- Soil matters
- Soil improvements
- Recycling kitchen waste/Green waste products
- Composting Vs Synthetic fertilizer
- Reusing materials
- Native plants a gold mine
- Companion planting
- Take advantage of mulches
- Water management and conservation
- Adding a water feature or two
- Ditch the pesticides
- say no to herbicides
- Integrated pests management
- The benefits of beneficial insects
- Encouraging beneficial insects
- Growing your own foods
1. Plant a garden
Installing a garden has so many advantages taking action can bring so many benefits, despite which garden methods you decide on you will be making a major contribution to the ecosystem as you provide a home for wildlife, pollinators, and beneficial insects.
2. Use what you have
Using what you have is a great way to go this method of gardening can help you in saving a few bucks, for example, if you don’t have to then why cut down that tree that is providing both shade and shelter for wildlife or is helping to prevent soil erosion instead why not leave that tree/trees and just construct your garden around it. This will save you time and money along with contributing to the health of the environment. What about that boulder or those rocks that may be an eyesore. Well save those rocks and arrange them ins such a way that they look natural then install some plants around them. Large stones make a great garden feature and will add to the overall aesthetics.
3. Soil matters
At the root of garden plant life is the soil they are growing in, soil does matter therefore it’s important that careful consideration be taken before making plant choices. All plants are not the same when it comes to soil choice, garden plants have their preferences therefore we must choose the right plant for the right soil type to have success. The wrong soil choice will produce a plant that’s weak and is prone to diseases and garden insect pests.
4. Soil improvements
This brings me to my next point of soil improvements, now there are few garden soils that need improvement and even though this may seem unfair many homeowners can boast about the soil type in which plants are growing but for those who don’t have the ideal or almost perfect soil you can make those improvements and all it calls for is your time which we will be discussing a bit later.
5. Recycling kitchen waste/Green waste products
Don’t trash the goal use it, this discarded junk can become your treasure saving you a lot of money, those leftover kitchen scraps (vegetables/fruits) can be reused to make soil improvements, green waste such as grass clippings can also be recycled back into your lawn, added to your compost bin or use as mulch to suppress weeds and retain moisture. The fall season is approaching and there will be a lot of leaves that will have to rake. These leaves can be used as mulch or added to the compost bin, make sure however that recycled grass clippings and leaves are not diseases or insect-infested.
6. Composting Vs Synthetic fertilizer
Composting is a mixture of kitchen scraps (vegetables, fruits, eggshell, coffee ground), leaves, grass clippings, and other green material which is combined through a process that is broken down or decomposes with the aid of soil microbes which produces a fine texture substance that can be added to the soil for improvements or as nutrients for garden plants. For more on composting refer to this link.
The advantage of composting is that it’s all-natural which means no need to concern yourself with soil contamination nor plant injury because unlike compost synthetic or man-made fertilizer can cause contamination if applied incorrectly along with causing plant injury. Although synthetic is fast-acting when it comes to absorption or nutrient uptake I prefer to take the safe all-natural route which is composting.
7. Reusing materials
Recycled used materials such as sanitary cups and egg cartons can be used as seed starter trays, for more on recycled materials refer to this link. Garden ideas recycle material.
8. Native plants a gold mine
Going native is a great way to save a ton of money because when you go native your nurture plants that are used to that type of zone or environment. With native plants, there is no need of working tirelessly vs working with plants that are non-native nor the need to spend unnecessary funds that can be saved or go towards something else. For more on how this is done refer to this link. Benefits of native plants.
9. Companion planting
Companion planting is the practice of grouping and growing different plants together, certain types of plants when installed or grown together complement each other as far as growth habitats, their nutrient and water requirements, pests-repelling abilities, weed-suppressing, attracting beneficial insects, for shade, etc… for more on companion planting refer to the link that has been provided.
10. Take advantage of mulches
Mulches serve so many purposes from beautifying, weed suppression, water conservation to making the soil more nutrient-rich and helping to adjust the Ph of the soil. The use of mulches in the landscape and garden areas can save a ton of money, this all-natural organic is a gold mine that’s worth the investment. For more on mulches and their benefits refer to these links. Mulches, grass clippings, leaves.
11. Water management and conservation
It’s estimated that 71% of the earth is covered with water, the ocean holds about 95.5% of the earth’s water, water can also be found in lakes, rivers, icecaps, ponds, glaciers and as water vapor in the air and clouds. Water is one of our most precious resources and without it, we cannot survive.
Every living thing depends upon water even down to the tiniest microbe, it is estimated that 1. 65 trillion water is wasted each year and part of that water wastage is attributed to water mismanagement when it comes to gardening. By putting a plan in place can help to curve this water wastage no matter how small.
Many garden plants including interior grown plants have suffered at the hands of water mismanagement causing homeowners to face a hefty bill. (Water management within the landscape and garden). Will reveal a few tips on saving water when it comes to gardening that will help in $avings. For more on how to water garden plants refer to the category section.
12. Adding a water feature or two
Adding a water feature or two not only gives a pleasant aesthetics but will encourage birds to your garden for a bath and to quench their thirst. Their presence will also help to suppress insect garden pests. This is the smart way to bring garden pests under control without having to apply pesticides that can be harmful to humans, wildlife, pets, beneficial insects, and pollinators.
13. Ditch the pesticides
Pesticides have their place but these chemicals should be the last resort, because of the negative impact they can have on humans, pets, wildlife, beneficial insects, and pollinators. If you must use pesticides then go for those that are organic, but before applying read and follow the manufacture’s direction also when applying, apply during even hours to avoid spray from coming into contact with pollinators and beneficial insects.
14. Say no to herbicides
Not are only weeds and eyesores and can turn a dream garden into a nightmare, but weeds are also known to encourage garden insect pests and diseases. Now for many keeping weeds under control can become a real challenge and is also back-breaking therefore it’s good to put a plan in place as to how to suppress weeds.
One way this can be done is to stay on top of them, put it in your weekly schedule at least once a week to get out there in your garden and weed. By catching weeds as they begin to emerge from the soil is much easier than seeking to remove them when they are 1-2 inches or even taller.
With a garden hoe once weeds start to emerge the soil can be tilled or turned to remove weeds by mix in with the soil, now there is the exception. Where weeds are growing from hardscapes such as walkways, pavements, sidewalks, and gravel a herbicide can be considered but a word of caution when using herbicides in these areas apply on days when it is not rainy that will cause herbicides to lost their strength and for possible runoff to nearby garden plants.
Also avoid applying on windy days because weed killers can drift off or be carried by the wind to nearby garden plants, when applying herbicides read and follow the manufacture’s directions for best results you can also try this homemade remedy thats’ safe. Controlling weeds with hot water, Homemade weed killers.
15. Integrated pests management
Integrated pests management or IPM is a process that is safe which is used to bring garden insect pests under control without harming humans, pets, wildlife, beneficial insects, and pollinators. For more on garden Integrated pests management continue reading.
16. The benefits of beneficial insects
Beneficial insects play such an important role in the lives of garden plants, these insects are known as the good guys that police our garden protecting plants from the bad guys (using them as food) that are known as garden insect pests. Some beneficial insects pollinate our plants that encourage food production and there are others that help in the breakdown of organic material enriching the soil and still, there are others that are soil-borne which makes tunnels in the soil encouraging and easier movement for air and water flow that will not only contribute to plant’s health but will have a positive impact on soil microbes. So let’s do all that we can to protect them.
17. Encouraging beneficial insects
This is what we should go for because not only will garden plants benefit from them but we will also be providing a home and food source for them. A great way to encourage beneficial insects into your garden is by planting native plants or purchasing them from your nursery or garden center and releasing them into your garden.
18. Growing your own foods
A great way to garden is by installing and growing an edible garden, there are so many benefits because with these garden types you do not only get that much-needed exercise but you also grow your food crops in a way that’s healthy and you can also save on that food bill. Especially with the rate with how foods are being grown many homeowners are replacing a part of the flower garden with an edible garden so why not consider constructing an edible garden and reap the rewards or should I say eat the fruits of your labor.
The final word on eco-friendly landscaping ideas
I am glad that you stayed with me to the end, I know this was a long read but the knowledge that you gain here will help you in making decisions that will pay off in big ways as you make positive contributions to the environment and the ecosystem. This type of gardening is smart gardening where everyone wins so go for it you will be so happy that you did.
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.