Sustainable Utah Landscaping for Water Conservation
Water is essential to life on earth, so its important that this resource is preserved. Landscaping and Utah don’t bring to mind the best conditions for water conservation, but there are many ways to customize a landscaping design to flourish in any climate including Utah. Conserving water doesn’t mean you need to forgo a beautiful landscape.
Benefits of an eco-friendly landscape include:
- Cools your property with increased shade and lower humidity.
- Filters harmful chemicals like CO2 out of air and water.
- Increases moisture and quality of soil.
- Supports local wildlife including birds and butterflies.
Choosing Plants that are native to Utah or a similar climate is an important way to create a sustainable landscape. Native plants will already be adapted to the existing environment, therefore minimal resources need to be used to maintain the plant’s health. Edible landscaping is a more recent, but very valuable, way to ensure a more sustainable landscape.
Professional landscapers can assist you in determining exactly which plants will thrive in the conditions on your property; Utah has both arid and temperate areas. Landscaping features can be strategically positioned to benefit surrounding plants and features. Some aspects to consider when choosing plants are the necessary sunlight, drainage, space, and soil type, to name a few.
Maintaining the Soil in any landscape is as important as maintaining the plants. Quality soil provides plants with the needed nutrients and maintains moisture better. The makeup of the soil – whether sand, clay, or compost – determines its ability to contain the necessary nutrients and moisture. Periodically using small amounts of natural compost will maintain and slowly improve the nutrient content of soil. But too much fertilizer can dry plants out and force more often watering. The PH of soil affects how much of those nutrients plants can actually use.
- Install a rain barrel or cistern to collect water from the rain or gutters. Attach a hose or irrigation system to water plants with the water collected. Gray water from appliances is safe for non-food plants.
- Water vegetation early in the morning when there’s less sunshine and wind; both cause the water to evaporate before plants can absorb it all.
- Only water plants thoroughly and not until they genuinely need it. Deeper saturation promotes deeper roots, which will in turn maintain moisture better.
- You can determine if plants need watering by using a rain gauge or soil moisture sensor. Alternately, you can just use your finger; if the soil is moist about two inches below the surface, it doesn’t need water yet.
Planning landscaping SLC to be sustainable can also conserve other resources like electricity for cooling your home and money on fresh vegetables. But it can also make your family – and the earth – healthier. Creating the most sustainable landscape you can is worth every effort. The benefits range from financial to medical to environmental. There are many factors in creating the perfect yard, but with the right tools and assistance, it can be nearly effortless.