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The trend for landscaping in many regions is being ecologically sustainable. Homeowners are clamoring to do the right thing and landscaping companies are busy building fountains, large retaining wall systems and planting great varieties of bright-colored flowers in blooming gardens.
This is great of you have the money. You can go out into your own personal Eden with a babbling fountain and watch the light show after dark. This attention to personal touches is what is fueling the landscaping business.
For those of you who can't afford to have a remodeling of your yard there are many other options you can do to personalize your space and keep with the ecological applications.
A lot has been written about the simple process of turning unwanted vegetation into a viable food source for both plants and lawn. Using chemical fertilizers is like feeding your lawn candy and is a very short-sighted approach. Because chemicals can kill the good organisms in the soil, ones that break down the soil into nutrients and destroy harmful insects and some weeds before they mature. And the good news is that it costs absolutely nothing and the bulk is good for water retention in the soil.
Mulching cover can be made from compost or from any ground up tree bark. Its main purpose is to hold moisture in the soil and prevent weeds from taking root but it also controls the temperature of the soil allowing the natural composting to take place. It is cheap to buy and available in woods such as red cedar that brighten up the garden and save water.
Just because you have a small backyard it doesn't men you can't grown vegetables like potatoes. And it's a good way to prevent your old tires from going into a landfill. Place an old tire in your garden area and fill the bottom rim with compost. Now put seed potatoes on top of the compost about 10 apart and then fill the tire full of compost right up to the top of the tire so that it looks like the wheel is made of dirt. As the potato plants start to sprout put a second tire on top of the first one and gradually add more dirt or compost as the potato plants grow. Then add a third tire, a fourth and even a fifth. Now, in the late summer, when the potatoes are ready, lift off the tires one by one and harvest fresh new potatoes.
This is a type of watering your garden and shrubs that is entirely underground where the roots are. Unlike spraying or sticking a hose in the garden there is little loss from run-off or evaporation. As for cost, the systems go from 4 to 12 cents a foot which means that a whole backyard garden can be serviced for under $30 of front-end cost. In many dry areas water usage dropped by almost 50% whereas yields went up because the water went to where it was needed - the roots.
Concrete paver stones and edging cost up to $2 a piece that means it could cost $1200 to edge your garden. Rocks are free and with enough creativity and patience you can have a look that would cost other people twice that much. The key is keeping an eye out for rocks and picking them up on a regular basis. This can be a game for the kids too. Keep the size and shape standard. Pretty soon you'll have all your edging in granite, limestone, redstone or white quartz.
Bird attracting accessories are not expensive, even hummingbird feeders. A bird bath is entertaining because you never know who's going to stop for a quick wash. To feed hummingbirds the feeder is cheap, and when you run out of liquid just put red food coloring in sugar water.
At the local home stores, pressure-treated wooden arches are under $25 and can last for years. They will support a climbing rode or other creeping vines for a spectacular entrance to the garden. They are also available in metal tubing.
Sometimes you can find a cement bench at a landscaping place or home supply coop for less than $20. these will last for years and give a classic touch to your garden. As well, you may see old wooden deacon's benches on the curbside for garbage. These can be spruced up and make great sitting area.
Before the European settlers came there was an abundance of natural plant life that thrived without watering, fertilizer and being sprayed with pesticides. Flowering wild onions, huckleberry bushes, wild rose bushes and other flowering shrubs are available in any rural ditch or empty field.