May is one of our favorite months here at M.J. Design! Plants and trees are coming alive, the weather is improving and warming. Our Hispanic amigos have returned from Mexico to work with all of us to prepare our clients’ landscapes for the summer ahead. Birds, bees, and bugs are humming about pollenating the fruit trees, vegetable beds, and perennials…it’s a blissful time!
At this time of year, we’re reminded of the fruitful and beneficial sustainability practices that help beautify the gardens and lawns we maintain.
Sustainable, or eco-friendly landscaping, is a method of designing, creating, and maintaining the landscape in order to save time, money, and energy. This type of landscape nurtures wildlife, reduces air, soil, and water pollution and makes healthy spaces for plant-life and all of us.
Here are just a few of the practices we follow in the spring and year-round….
Right plant, right place
We strive to plant native/non-invasive, zone (6) appropriate plants. Light, water and space are important factors when planting.
Plants are central to the "green" part of sustainable landscaping. When designing new installation plans, we make a real effort to utilize native plants or cultivars derived from native plants (sometimes referred to as "nativars"). Native landscaping plants are naturally adapted to our regional environment. We work with local growers to supply our plants and trees.
Native/Zone specific plants require less water, fertilizer and maintenance. They are more likely to attract important pollinators needed to propagate growth.
Soil Regeneration has been a trend that is gaining momentum and widely used in our industry. Simply defined, soil regen is the process of improving the quality of soil by adding organic material, which helps to improve drainage, water retention, and nutrition to plants. This has been a regular practice of ours for many years. We collect and compile all the yard waste our crews bring back at the end of the day. We stir, turn and mix it over the course of the season, and the end result is a nutrient rich soil that our crews use during the installation process. Trees and plants absolutely thrive and love having their roots in this environment. Plus, regenerative soil requires less water, holds moisture in, contains the organic nutrients to increase plant growth.
Utilizing less water is an important element of sustainability. One of the services we provide is setting up and monitoring irrigation systems for our clients. This allows for a controlled plan for watering lawns, landscape beds and potted plants. Irrigation systems have come a long way in terms of being eco-friendly. Having the ability to set specific run times, a beneficial time of day for application and rain sensors aid in providing the correct amount of water needed to keep your landscape thriving and conserving water when not needed.
As always, recycling is very important this time of the year.
We regularly recycle plastic pots from installations. We’re working with our growers and other local landscape companies to collect all plastic pots and return them to the manufacturer to recycle and make new pots.
In established gardens, perennial plants can be divided and recycled/transplanted in open bed spaces.
Soil, plant material and yard waste are recycled and reused as compost.
If you’re interested in learning more about our practices and ways to increase eco-friendly/sustainable practices at your home or business, please feel free to reach out anytime. We’re always happy to share this passion that we put into our work every day.