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Bioretention Manual , Dept.

Sustainable landscaping

Soil Infiltration Test. Stormwater and the City , Chet Arnold.

From landscape architecture to conservation agriculture - Thomas Woltz - TEDxCharlottesville

Wildlife has evolved using them for food, cover and shelter. Proper selection, care and placement of trees and shrubs can produce a landscape that is both visually attractive and beneficial to wildlife.

Invasive Species. LID is a way to manage water that reduces the impact of built areas and promotes the natural movement of water within an ecosystem or watershed. For new development, LID uses a planning process to employ site design techniques to first optimize conservation of natural hydrologic functions to prevent runoff. More info. Sustainable Landscapes has information on rain gardens, rain harvesting, plant selections, green roofs, permeable pavements and more.

Sustainable Sites Initiative is a program supported by the American Society of Landscape Architects to introduce sustainable standards of practice within a points-based system. Harvard University shares its experience in transitioning to organic grounds maintenance. Translation Disclaimer. About Us. Contact Us.

5 Principles of Sustainable Landscape Maintenance

Pollution Prevention. Home and Garden. Faith Communities. Schools and Universities. Pollution Prevention Main Page. Main Menu. It should be placed in a partly shady location to avoid intense sun and drying out, as this will delay the decomposition process. The pile heats up during the decomposition process, then cools as material is transformed; this is a good time to turn the pile, so that uncomposed materials on the periphery of the pile can be moved to the center to complete the process.

Tips, principles and practices for the organic vegetable gardener.

With adequate moisture, nitrogen, proper temperature and correct timing of turning the pile, compost can be made in about a day period. Left alone this process will still occur, but may take three to four months under less-than-ideal conditions. Compost can be added as an amendment to poorly draining soil, as a fertilizer on flower and vegetable beds, to fruit trees or used as a potting soil for potted plants. Trimmings from lawns, trees and shrubs from a large landscape site can be used as feedstock for on-site composting.

Reusing on-site organic materials will decrease the need for purchasing other soil additives. Mulch may be used to reduce water loss due to evaporation , reduce weeds, minimize erosion , dust and mud problems. Mulch can also add nutrients to the soil when it decomposes. However, mulch is most often used for weed suppression. Over use of mulch can result in harm to the selected plantings. Care must be taken in the source of the mulch, for instance, black walnut trees result in a toxic mulch product.

Grass cycling turf areas using mulching mowers that leave grass clippings on the lawn will also decrease the amount of fertilizer needed, reduce landfill waste and reduce costs of disposal. Mulch should be applied under trees to the dripline extension of the branches in lieu of flowers, hostas , turf or other plants that are often planted there. This practice of planting under trees is detrimental to tree roots, especially when such plants are irrigated to an excessive level that harms the tree. One must be careful not to apply mulch to the bark of the tree. It can result in smothering, mold and to insect depredation.

The practice of xeriscaping or water-wise gardening suggests that placing plants with similar water demands together will save time and low-water or drought tolerant plants would be a smart initial consideration. In the event that the situation is difficult to manage, drip or sub-surface irrigation may be most effective. If the system has been in use for over five years, upgrading to evapotranspiration ET controllers, soil sensors and refined control panels will improve the system.

Often irrigation heads are in need of readjustment to avoid sprinkling on sidewalks or streets. Business owners may consider developing watering schedules based on historical or actual weather data and soil probes to monitor soil moisture prior to watering. When deciding what kind of building materials to put on a site it is important to recycle as often as possible. Reusing old bricks from sidewalks as patio pavers is one way to provide an aesthetic appeal to an area while reducing what goes to the landfill.

But it is also important to be careful about what materials you use, especially if you plan to grow food crops of any kind. Old telephone poles and railroad ties have usually been treated with a substance called creosote that can leach into the soils and make any food grown there toxic enough to cause harm to anyone that eats it. In general, you should avoid any kind of treated material, especially wood, that could leach into the soil with rain.

The Forest Stewardship Council was formed in "to change the dialogue about and the practice of sustainable forestry worldwide. One important part of sustainable landscaping is plant selection. Most of what makes a landscape unsustainable is the amount of inputs required to grow a non-native plant on it.

What this means is that a local plant, which has adapted to local climate conditions will require less work on the part of some other agent to flourish. For example, it does not make sense to grow tomatoes in Arizona because there is not enough natural rainfall for them to survive without constant watering. Instead, drought-tolerant plants like succulents and cacti are better suited to survive. Also, by choosing native plants, one can avoid certain problems with insects and pests because these plants will also be adapted to deal with any local invader. The bottom line is that by choosing the right kind of local plants, a great deal of money can be saved on amendment costs, pest control and watering.

They also help with shading a residence or commercial building in summer, create cool air through evapo-transpiration and can cool hardscaped areas such as driveways and sidewalks.

Principles - ReScape California

A house surrounded by local trees or bushes enjoys multiple benefits. Plants release water vapor in the air through transpiration and water has the ability to reduce temperature extremes in the areas near it as it boasts very high heat capacity. The larger and more leafy the plant, the most water vapor it produces. Additionally, the presence of trees is crucial in the creation of stable, healthy and productive ecosystems such as forests. In fact this is an important principle of permaculture.

If the surrounding trees are chosen to produce edible fruit they can provide a sustainable food source for the occupants of the house. Even if some are fairly demanding especially in the summer , irrigation is an excellent end-use option in greywater recycling and rainwater harvesting systems, and a composting toilet can cover at least some of the nutrient requirements.


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Research suggests that diluted human urine might be as effective as chemical fertilizers. An intelligent choice for direct energy conservation would be the placement of broadleaf deciduous trees near the east, west and optionally north-facing walls of the house. Such selection provides shading in the summer while permitting large amounts of heat-carrying solar radiation to strike the house in the winter. The trees are to be placed as closely as possible to the house walls but no closer than 1 meter - otherwise the roots can cause substantial foundation damage.

A sustainable house will most likely be equipped with south-facing north-facing in the S. As the efficiency of both systems is very sensitive to shading, experts suggest the complete absence of trees near the south side. Another intelligent choice would be that of a dense vegetative fence composed of evergreens e. Since north winds are most cold and westerlies blow most often, such choice creates an effective winter windbarrier that prevents very low temperatures outside the house and reduces air infiltration towards the inside.

It then follows that, with some planning, both arrangements deciduous and evergreen can be applied simultaneously. The above vegetative arrangements come with two disadvantages. Firstly, they minimize air circulation in summer although in many climates heating is more important and costly than cooling and, secondly, they may affect the efficiency of photovoltaic panels, thus prompting the need for a shading analysis.

Maintaining plant health will eliminate most pest problems. It is best to start with pest-free plant materials and supplies and close inspection of the plant upon purchase is also recommended. Establishing diversity within the area of plant species will encourage beneficial organism populations e.

Attracting a wide variety of organisms with a variety of host plants has shown to be effective in increasing pollinator presence in agrarian settings. The owner must consider whether the plant can tolerate the damage caused by the pest. If not, then does the plant value justify some sort of treatment? While pesticide is often chosen to solve the problem, physical barriers and repellents may help.

If pesticides are the chosen method, selective organic or natural pesticide is often better because it has less impact on non-target species. Proper pruning will increase air circulation and decrease the likelihood of plant diseases.

Principle 1: Maintain Healthy Soil

However, improper pruning is detrimental to shrubs and trees. In addition, topping is a hazardous practice which creates a hazardous tree which is highly susceptible to wind damage. Natural pruning techniques during the proper season, on the other hand, promotes healthier, more stable plants. Plants should never be pruned at the end of a growing season because growth is stimulated and such new growth will be too tender to survive winter freezing temperatures.

Landscape managers should make use of the Integrated Pest Management IPM to reduce use of pesticides and herbicides and reduce non-point source solution. As there is considerable debate on the safety levels of nitrates and the impact of fertilizer run-off, more studies are needed in order to determine if the risks justify the outcomes of applying nitrate-ladden fertilizers. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main article: Composting. See also: Sustainable architecture. See also: Xeriscaping and Native plant. See also: Organic gardening. Retrieved November Andersen, J.

Lloyd, T.

Mrozowski and K. The green roof research at Michigan State University.

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