The Green Room: Landscaping and Gardening

Spring is here and it’s a great time to spruce up your garden! Here are some tips for an eco-friendly and stormwater friendly garden:

  • Consider plants that attract beneficial insects to your garden.
  • Go Native: Native plants are low-water, fertilizer and pesticide users. They require little maintenance and they provide habitat for local wildlife.
  • Be Careful of Invasive Plants: Some semi-arid exotic plants grow like crazy. This seems great for your garden however, some can take over wild native plants that keep our watersheds healthy and provide habitat and food for wildlife. Here are a few examples of invasive plants: Pampus Grass, Fountain Grass, ice plant, etc.
  • One way to save water is to transform your landscape to a more water wise garden. It is important to put in plants that do not need a lot of water and are climate appropriate. Learn about sustainable landscaping here.
  • Use mulch: Mulch is a great ground covering that retains water in the soil so you can water less. Using mulch in your landscape also helps control weeds and reduces erosion on slopes.
  • Use less toxic alternatives to herbicides or pesticides. Find out how to manage pests naturally with our Healthy Garden Guide in English and Spanish.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions and do not apply pesticides or herbicides within 48 hours of predicted rain, or when wind speeds are above five miles per hour.
  • Mix or use only what you need; more chemicals are not better.
  • Use a funnel and handle gasoline, diesel, oil, and grease carefully when using landscaping equipment.
  • Do not blow leaves, grass clippings, and dirt into street or storm drain inlets; instead, sweep it up and dispose of it in the correct container.
  • Lawns can look beautiful without using pesticides and fertilizers. The tips in our Beautiful Lawn Guide in English and Spanish will help you maintain a healthy and beautiful lawn that can outcompete weeds and other lawn pests.
  • Don’t forget you can direct gutter downspouts away from pavement and into vegetation, or install a rain barrel, or create a rain garden to capture run-off and conserve water!

Find more information about eco-friendly practices at home on our website and check out our Homeowner’s Guide to Best Management Practices (BMPs) in English and Spanish, and our Gardener’s Guide to Clean Water in English and Spanish.