Sustainable Urban Landscape

Although the definition of sustainable urban landscapes is not clearly defined, this is a movement that is being talked about more and more. The basic principal is to provide a lasting landscape that benefits the local environment. By selecting native/drought tolerant plants or pest resistant plants for landscape uses, the need for chemicals or water decreases. The six major components are:

  • Water conservation
  • Storm water and erosion management
  • Fire safe landscape
  • Reduced use of pesticides and fertilizers
  • Plant health care
  • Integrated pest management

Water efficient landscaping does not need to be barren and boring. Rather it can be a showcase of stunning color, assorted flowering effects and various textures making a landscape more diverse, more vibrant. Using different kinds of plants can make a landscape more part of a lifestyle fit for today’s world. The primary advantage is water conservation, which means a monetary savings, which is significant in light of increasing water costs. Converting to a water-smart landscape can reduce water use 50-75%. The secondary advantage is that these landscapes require less maintenance, which can also mean a savings. Smart landscapes will include:

  • Limit the use of turf to be functional only
  • Use water efficient and native/drought tolerant plants
  • Practice hydrozoning, group plants according to their water needs
  • Apply water efficiently, using drip or low volume irrigation
  • Use mulch to cool the soil surface and hinder evaporation

Advances in ‘Smart’ technologies have improved irrigation systems and components, promoting healthy and attractive landscapes by improving watering efficiency. Plan the landscapes so that hydrozones all have the same water use requirements. This will allow us to save water and energy, as well as time spent on fertilizer and pesticide use. Proper management also prevents pollutants from entering the environment and contaminating our water. New industry standards introduce the use of:

  • Smart irrigation controllers
  • Rotating sprinkler nozzles
  • Mounted weather stations

Smart controllers allow scheduling the amount of irrigation needed based on the type of landscape and current weather conditions, avoiding over-watering and excessive run-off. Promote a healthy and attractive landscape by irrigating based on the needs of your landscape. By utilizing rotating nozzles water is applied more slowly and uniformly allowing water to soak into the ground instead of running off. Reducing run-off means compliance with city storm water acts.

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