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Landscaping Essentials to Get You Started with Yard Improvements

By Rise
Jul 7, 2017

It’s backyard season! And to kick things off this year, we’re looking at some of the basics to consider when planning your landscape makeover. Did the image get you? No we’re not talking about pools or fire pits or hot tubs (not in this one) - we’re talking about the four essential things to consider when planning landscaping improvements. 

water harvesting system

Make Water a Priority 

Turns out we’re (consumers) wasting A LOT of water. Wasteful irrigation is responsible for about a third of residential water use - that’s a lot of careless water usage! In North America, we haven’t yet made the transition to thinking that rainwater can do much more than just end up as waste in our drains and sewers. 

One tip here is to treat water like there won’t be any available tomorrow. That means having a backyard that is properly designed and uses the right (and local/native) plants, can result in avoiding water waste.

Runoff from your house can be a good place to start - rainwater harvesting is a great way to capture rainwater from your home and use it for watering your garden or houseplants. Also not to be neglected: using rainwater means limiting your household water usage, which means dollars in the bank! 

Soil and Grass

Soil is Golden 

Treat your soil like gold and it will love you back. Chances are your soil is compacted - it’s a good thing to look into since compacted soil restricts plant growth contributes to erosion, and increases flooding and runoff. 

Using mulch is eye candy for a garden - it also happens to protect the roots of plants, slow down erosion, adds nutrients to the soil, keeps the soil moist, and helps to keep weeds away. So get mulchin’! 

Plants, trees and garden

Plant Smart

You might be tempted to take out all the existing plants to make way for the new ones. Check them out first: you’ll want to do this for non-native plants, as they can be invasive, but preserve native plants. 

  • Native plants do better in drought conditions and poor soil, and they’re also more likely to resist diseases or any pests that may be getting into your yard.
  • Deciduous trees (ie. those that lose their leaves at seasonally) are also a good option for shading in summer months while making way for the sun in colder months.  
  • Edible plants are also great for your yard. Yummy choices like chives, runner beans, and artichokes can blend well within ornamental gardens.
  • A variety of plants matters a lot - by adding variety, you’re contributing to a healthy ecosystem of wildlife like insects, birds, bees, etc that can contribute to your garden.
Materials and landscape

Matter your Materials

Landscaping can be waste-inducing, so it’s a good idea to select plants that are the appropriate size, while also reusing and recycling/upcycling construction waste. 

Hardscape materials are notorious for utilizing high amounts of energy to produce, and sometimes must be transported from far distances to reach their destination. 

Opt for stone or concrete that can be salvaged, used bricks, and other recycled materials instead.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute a product endorsement however Rise does reserve the right to recommend relevant products based on the articles content to provide a more comprehensive experience for the reader.Last Modified: 2020-04-24T00:51:35+0000

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