In today’s economy, every penny counts. With summer quickly flying by and the fall gardening season right around the corner, now is an excellent time for homeowners to evaluate the money spent on everyday gardening and landscaping. The fact is most do-it-yourself gardeners aren’t doing it right. With a little education, Bergen County homeowner’s save a large amount of money, energy and water in their own yards, not to mention making their residences more eco-friendly and sustainable.Here are a few tips to go green and save green in gardening and landscaping:
Conserve Water in the Garden: Mulch the garden! Dressing flower beds with two inches of mulch reduces water evaporation. Be sure to weed on a weekly basis since weeds steal water from plants. When watering, do so deeply and infrequently. Deep watering develops stronger and deeper roots which help plants withstand drought. Remember to water early in the day to reduce evaporation.
Plant Shade Trees – By strategically planting trees and horticulture, homeowner’s can help regulate the temperature of homes. In the summer, shade trees help shield the home from the hot sun, keeping the house cool. In the winter months, shade trees act as a shield, protecting from the harsh and cold winds, which reduces heating costs. Plant evergreens on the north side of the home to protect from the winter winds, and deciduous trees along the south side to shield against the summer sun. In doing so, the Department of Energy estimates the average household can cut annual heating and cooling costs by up to 25%.
Mow The Lawn Carefully – Lawns that are cut too short will struggle to grow and will require more water. Make sure that grass is at least four inches in height, so that the lawn will grow healthier and greener while demanding less water.
Save at the Pool: By reducing the temperature of outdoor swimming pools by six degrees, heating bills can be reduced by 20-percent. Set thermostats at 78-degrees instead of 84-degrees. Use less chemicals. A salt water chlorinator, for instance, can reduce chemical costs by up to 25 percent. Just as shade trees reduce home energy costs, the concept is the same for pools. Trees and shrubs planted around the pool act as wind breaks and improve heating efficiency. A seven mile per hour wind across the surface of the pool, for example, can increase heating costs by 300 percent.
Install Rain Gardens - At Cipriano Landscape Design, one of our newest practices is the rain garden design. Rain gardens are specialty planted gardens which collect excess rain water. Instead of polluted water running off roofs and gutters and into the sewers, rain gardens absorb the water and filter it through specialty plants and soils, which cuts down on pollution in the streams and creeks. Compared to the traditional seepage pit, rain gardens are quite affordable.
Visit www.PlantNJ.com for more cost-cutting suggestions.
About Cipriano Landscape Design:
Established in 1989, Cipriano Landscape Design is a recognized industry leader in custom residential landscapes and swimming pools. Today along with the Ramsey, N.J. office, the Cipriano family also owns a 10-acre farm and nursery in Mahwah, N.J., where large caliper specimen trees and other rare plants are grown. In 2008, the Cipriano team was recognized for their award winning production, winning four Northeast Spa and Pool Association awards for water creation within Bergen County, an International Award of Excellence from the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals and four awards of Superior Excellence from the New Jersey Landscape and Nursery Association.