Sustainable landscaping is the use of design and maintenance practices that work harmoniously with the local climate and soils. Sustainable landscapes are adapted to the area’s rainfall patterns and can thrive with minimal watering. Further, a sustainable landscape typically does not require pesticides or fertilizers and creates little or no waste.
In contrast, conventional landscapes may feature plants that need a lot of water or gasoline-powered equipment for maintenance. Traditional landscapes may rely on pesticides and fertilizers to promote healthy growth. Rain or excess irrigation water can transport these chemicals down street gutters and into storm drains, which drains directly to the local rivers and waterways without being treated.
Sustainable landscaping revolves around three central practices:
1) Foster Living Soils
· Integrate compost – Improve soil health, productivity, water retention capacity, and carbon sequestration value.
· Mulch the top-layer – Limit water lost to evaporation.
· Reduce or eliminate pesticides and herbicides – Allow critical soil microbes to reproduce and thrive, limit human and animal exposure to harmful chemicals entering landscapes, and cut landscape input costs.
· De-compact soils – Allow subsurface air and water flow, plant growth, and water storage.
2) Conserve Water and Stretch Potable Water Supplies
· Use permeable landscape materials – Clean and absorb water, recharge groundwater, and limit the need for supplemental irrigation.
· Capture and retain rainwater – Limit the need for supplemental irrigation, and reduce stormwater runoff.
· Consider graywater – Limit the need for supplemental irrigation, and reduce wastewater flow.
· Minimize supplemental irrigation – Augment natural supply only when needed with efficient devices at appropriate times.
3) Select and properly install appropriate plant and landscape materials.
· Use the right plant at the right place and time – Choose non-invasive, native or climate-appropriate plants for specific climate and geography, space plants for mature size, and plant during appropriate seasons to help build soils, conserve water, and provide habitat.
For questions or additional information, contact Municipal Services at 209-668-5590 or visit the City’s website at www.CityofTurlock.org. Brought to you by the City of Turlock Municipal Services Department.
WATER CONSERVATION TIP #58
New watering schedule in effect as of June 1: The new schedule prohibits watering between the hours of 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., Sunday through Saturday. Watering days will remain the same, with odd addresses allowed to water on Wednesday and Sunday. Even addresses are allowed to water on Tuesday and Saturday.