Sustainable Gardening- A New Maintenance Reality

As more Angelenos convert their yards from traditional gardens of thirsty plants and lawns to more sustainable landscapes, they are seeing some welcome bonuses. For one thing, weekly, lawn mowing, and hedge trimming can now be a thing of the past!

Believe it or not, traditional yards take up more time and resources than those covered with mulch and climate-appropriate and native plants. Embracing sustainable landscapes will not only help to decrease your water use and the amount of green waste you create, but also decrease the time it takes to maintain your yard.

A City of Santa Monica Study

To prove this point, the City of Santa Monica partnered with Santa Monica College and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to collect data on two residential front yards – one sustainable garden of low-water-use plants and mulch, and one traditional garden with a lawn, high-water-use plants, and inefficient irrigation. They collected data for both gardens from 2004 to 2013.

“The initial challenge was to persuade homeowners and landscape professionals that sustainable landscaping, with climate-appropriate plantings and efficient water use, was not only better for the environment than traditional landscaping with exotic plants and inefficient water use, but was just as attractive and made good economic sense.”

(Photo and information credit: https://docslide.us/documents/sustainable-landscape-santa-monica-professionals-that-sustainable-landscaping.html)

After nine years of data collection, the study showed that on average the sustainably-landscaped front yard used 83% less water, generated 56% less green waste and required 68% less maintenance than the traditional yard!

What maintenance tasks do you need to consider?

At TreePeople, we consider maintenance needs by monitoring the health of the soil, plants, and water systems that are working together to create a sustainable, nature-based landscape – one that works with the land not just for looks, but also for its environmental benefits.

Use this Monthly Garden Maintenance Checklist to help you assess the maintenance needs of your sustainable garden – what to look for and which actions to take.

Want some hands-on training on how to maintain your sustainable landscape?

Join us on Sunday, November 11 for a 4-hour Sustainable Landscape Maintenance Workshop that will cover soil health, plants and pruning, irrigation and watering considerations, rain barrels and more.  Go here to register.  This workshop is sponsored by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for customers in the LADWP service area.

If you haven’t converted your yard yet – what are you waiting for? Be a part of the new maintenance reality!

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