The RainScape Rebates program recently introduced by the Deer Creek Watershed Alliance has brought the topic of sustainability in our own yards front and center. But what does it mean to be sustainable and how can we accomplish sustainability in the tough conditions of St. Louis?
Sustainability comes down to a balancing act – balancing the needs of the environment, the needs of the economy, and the needs of both present and future generations. Sustainability is no small feat! But, anything from conserving water and energy to dealing with garden waste the right way, are steps in the right direction. Here are a few general goals for our yards.
Conserve water – If you already have an irrigation system, convert rotary heads to low angle mist heads for turf or drip irrigation for planting beds. Install rain sensors or use a rain gauge to prevent overwatering. Mulch beds to allow the soil to retain more moisture and to allow the water to percolate deeper into the ground.
Recycle food, yard and garden waste – Compost vegetative waste such as food scraps and lawn clippings. The resulting organic matter is a natural way to fertilize gardens, planting beds, and lawns while reducing how much we put into the trash. It also saves money as an alternative to chemical fertilizers.
Reduce the use of energy hungry equipment – Replace gas-powered equipment with electric tools that release less pollutants into the atmosphere and create less noise. Decrease the size of your lawn by replacing it with planting beds, rain gardens or bioswales. Pull weeds by hand, it’s great exercise!
Plant native plants – Native plants bring back our natural pollinators such as birds, butterflies, bees, and other insects. Native plants are better adapted to our St. Louis environment. Thus, they are less maintenance and more drought, flood, heat, or cold tolerant when properly sited.
You can start implementing many of these tips to make a difference today. Call one of our landscape designers to see how we can make your St. Louis landscape sustainable.