Spruce Up Your Yard for Spring with Eco-friendly Lawn and Landscape Tips from askHRgreen.org
(Hampton Roads, Va., March 19, 2015) – After Hampton Roads’ seemingly endless winter, most everyone with a yard is ready to spruce up their outdoor spaces for spring’s arrival. Now is the perfect time to get your curb appeal back in shape, and the askHRgreen.org experts encourage eager gardening enthusiasts to think green when implementing their seasonal lawn and garden plans. The following tips will help you create a landscape that’s easy on the eyes—and the environment.
Test Your Soil. Applying fertilizer to your lawn may not be necessary. An inexpensive soil test can help determine if fertilizer is needed and if so, how much to put down. Cutting back on fertilizer saves you money and improves local water quality. Details at www.askhrgreen.org/put-your-soil-to-the-test/
Plant More Plants. Grass is better than bare dirt, but plants and trees are better than grass! Plants not only make your yard look great, they also soak up lots of stormwater runoff produced by the hard surfaces of your home. Bonus? Less grass means less mowing!
Choose Native Plants. Native plants are often drought tolerant, disease resistant and perfectly suited to thrive in our climate. Because of this, they require little to no fertilizer while still providing the landscaping look you seek.
Cleanup Your Clippings. Don’t blow grass clippings into the road or down storm drains. Better yet, leave them right on your grass, where they serve as a natural fertilizer and help keep your lawn green without dangerous chemicals.
Consider Compost. Dead limbs, grass clippings, pulled weeds – oh my! Composting is the best way to dispose of unwanted plant scraps because the byproduct is an eco-friendly source of nutrients for your soil. It will also help decrease your contributions to local landfills. Yard waste should never go in your curbside recycling container, but may be accepted for composting at a drop-off center in your community. Find out at www.askhrgreen.org/recycling-information-by-locality/
Mulch Your Beds. Mulch gives any flowerbed a uniform, finished look. But did you know that it’s also eco-friendly? Mulch helps retain moisture (meaning less watering) and also controls erosion, weeds and soil temperatures.
Water Wisely. Grassy lawns only need about one inch of rain per week to thrive. Use a rain gauge to determine if watering is necessary. When needed, be sure to adjust sprinklers so they are watering plants, not pavement.
Put Rain to Work. The roof of your home puts off lots of rain, but you don’t have to let it go down the (storm) drain. Installing a rain barrel for less than $100 will allow you to store rainwater for all your outdoor watering needs, while reducing your property’s threat to local water quality.
askHRgreen.org is your go-to resource for all things green in Hampton Roads— from recycling tips and pointers for keeping local waterways clean to water-saving ideas and simple steps to make local living easy on the environment. Launched in 2011, the region-wide public awareness and education campaign is administered through the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission and powered by the following members: The cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg; the counties of Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, Southampton, Surry and York; the Town of Smithfield; and HRSD. Like askHRgreen.org on Facebook, follow on Twitter, tune in to YouTube and catch the “Let’s Talk Green” blog, written by a team of local experts.