As landscapers, we are acutely aware of the effects of climate change on our industry. We’ve been seeing the impacts firsthand for years now – from more extreme weather conditions to changes in plant hardiness zones. It’s clear that we need to start landscaping for climate change, and adapt our gardening techniques to help curb global warming. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some tips from professional landscapers on how to create a climate change resilient garden.
What can I do in my yard to help climate change?
Landscaping for climate change is a great way to help the environment. There are many things you can do to your landscaping that will help reduce your carbon footprint. It all starts with a plan. Understand your growing conditions and planting accordingly.
How does your landscape impact the climate?
Landscaping can have a significant impact on climate change. For example, trees and other plants help to cool the planet by releasing water vapour into the atmosphere. This process, called evapotranspiration, helps to regulate global temperatures. landscaping can also help to reduce air pollution and carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.
By planting trees and other garden plants, we can help to offset some of the greenhouse gases that are causing climate change. In addition, landscaping can help to reduce energy consumption by providing shade and windbreaks. By properly landscaping our yards, we can make a difference in the fight against climate change.
What plants help combat climate change?
Some plants are more effective at combating climate change than others. Trees and shrubs are great for absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. They can also help to regulate temperatures and provide shade and windbreaks.
When landscaping for climate change, it’s important to choose the right plants for your area. Work with a professional landscaper to create a plan that will help you combat climate change in your own backyard. Together, we can make a difference.
Xeriscaping - the future of landscaping for climate change?
As the world heats up and weather patterns become more extreme, landscaping is evolving to meet the challenges of climate change. One approach that is continuing to gain popularity is xeriscaping, which involves using drought-tolerant plants that require little or no supplemental watering with various forms of aggregates or materials that do not require water.
There are many benefits to xeriscaping, including reduced water usage (which helps conserve this precious resource), lower maintenance costs, and improved resistance to pests and diseases. Xeriscaping can also be beautiful – gone are the days of thinking of cacti and succulents as boring “desert” plants!
If you’re interested in landscaping for climate change, consult with our experienced Landscape Horticulturist about xeriscaping.
10 Ways to Plan(t) a Resilient Climate Change Landscape
1. Plan and design for smart water use.
This includes using drought-tolerant plants, irrigation systems that deliver water directly to the roots of plants through well designed drip systems and also can incorporate rainwater harvesting as a substitute for using water from the local supply source. Some people are also using rain barrels to collect water and add hoses to water their gardens without connecting to the tap.
2. Improve soil quality.
By choosing organic fertilizer and reducing the use of chemical fertilizers, you’ll be on your way to creating healthier soil, and improving plant health.
3. Reduce turf and other water-wasting plants.
The use of Turf or Lawn can have its own negative side effects although many still love to have a green lawn outside their home or in the back yard. Unfortunately, the risks with having a lawn includes the possibility of toxic chemicals entering into the ground after the use of synthetic fertilizers, weed killers or even oil or gas spills from equipment used to maintain turf. This can locally enter the water supply, so it’s best to avoid it altogether or reduce it as much as possible. By reducing the amount of turf you have is s sign of responsible stewardship and looking out for the environment.
4. Include a variety of plants, flowers, and vegetables.
A diverse landscape is more resilient to changes in the environment. The variety of plants can also bring more beneficial insects to your local area and improve reproduction of vegetables and fruit bearing trees or shrubs. It is also important to try to install plants that will not require pesticides or synthetic fertilizer. If you use pesticides on your plants, shrubs or trees you may end up causing issues for local insects or honey bees.
5. Choose the right plants.
Soil conditions, exposure, and available water levels all influence what will work in your garden. Having more plants with less exposed soil and reduction in lawns will help. The integration of native species into your garden is also a great idea. Planting varieties that fit your local environment will benefit the local bird or insects in your area.
6. Group plants and flowers together based on their water needs.
Think water efficiency when planning your garden. Home gardeners can make big strides in reducing the negative impact of climate change by grouping plants together this way. If you find areas with naturally occuring underground water sources or areas with poor drainage, this can be a great area to plant shrubs or trees that like wet feet.
7. Think vertically; add trees to your landscape.
Trees are a great habitat for birds and other local animals as well as provide valuable shade that will cool your property. They also will reduce soil erosion and hold slopes in place.
8. Mulch your garden.
The use of Compost or Aged Mulch will help to conserve moisture and keep the roots of plants cool in hot weather. It also reduces weeds, which compete with plants for water and nutrients.
9. Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Growing your OWN Food.
It’s estimated that food production, processing, and transportation are responsible for one-quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. When you grow food at home, you reduce the time and travel required. Consider planting vegetables or fruit bearing shrubs that are perennials; meaning they will return year after year as opposed to annuals. Nothing beats your own organic crop of vegetables that grow all summer or winter long. In the winter, the use of cover crops will help the next years harvest as well.
10. Create habitat for local wildlife.
By including bird baths, plants for honey bees, and native plants in your landscape. Xeriscaping is not only great for the environment – it can also be beautiful, low maintenance, and easy on your wallet!
Tip - Be a little messy. Leave the leaves in your garden beds. The benefits include:
- Provide habitat for beneficial insects. Whole leaves contribute to better habitat.
- Promote good fungal growth in the soil.
- Improve underlying soil health by supplying nutrients and improving structure.
- Aids in water retention.
Once your climate-friendly landscape is planned and planted, it's time to review landscaping maintenance.
Finally, landscaping can also help to create a more aesthetically pleasing environment, which can help to increase people’s enjoyment of their outdoor spaces and encourage them to spend more time outside in nature. landscaping, therefore, is a great way to help reduce climate change!
Landscaping for climate change is no easy feat
With the increased frequency of extreme weather conditions, landscapers have to be extra careful when choosing plants and trees for their projects. In addition, climate change gardening needs to take into account changes in plant hardiness zones when planning gardens and landscapes. Sustainable gardening and landscaping techniques can slow future warming by reducing carbon emissions; while increasing carbon storage in the soil
By following these landscaping tips for climate change, you can help to create a more resilient garden that can withstand the effects of a changing climate. If we all do our part, we can make a difference in the fight against climate change, and reduce our collective greenhouse gas emissions.
Looking for more landscaping tips? Check out our blog for more great landscaping ideas! And if you’re in need of professional landscaping services, give us a call. We’re here to help you create the perfect landscape for your home or business, and help you enjoy more of the natural world.
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