Choosing Sustainable Landscaping Alternatives - dummies

Choosing Sustainable Landscaping Alternatives

By Owen E. Dell

Part of Sustainable Landscaping For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Skipping over conventional landscaping practices and moving to sustainable techniques will help the environment, save you money, and still deliver beautiful landscaping results. Try these alternatives for sustainable landscaping methods:

Alternatives to Power Equipment
Power Tool Sustainable Alternatives
Gas lawn mower Push mower, electric mower, sheep, alternative lawn such as a
meadow
String weed and grass trimmer Hand shears, scythe, hoe, goat, mulching, knee-high plants to
suppress weeds
Gas hedge trimmer Hand or electric hedge shears, natural unclipped hedges
Chain saw Hand pruning saw, lopping shears
Rototiller None (tilling isn’t recommended; use a spading fork only
when starting new beds)
Gas blower Rake, broom, allowing leaves to remain in place as mulch
Lawn tractor Hand cart, wheelbarrow
Alternatives to Harsh Chemicals
Harsh Chemical Sustainable Alternatives
Fertilizers Installing low-demand plants, composting, applying green
manures, planting cover crops, allowing leaf litter to remain in
place, practicing chop and drop pruning, applying organic
fertilizers
Pesticides Selecting pest-resistant plants, improving growing conditions
to make plants less susceptible, washing the pests off with a jet
of water, releasing beneficial insects that feed on harmful
insects, using the least-toxic pesticides such as insecticidal
soaps and oil sprays
Herbicides Blocking out weeds with tall dense plantings, sheet mulching,
applying organic herbicides such as corn gluten meal or vinegar,
using a drip system to reduce wetting of soil, pulling weeds before
they set seed