Overview on Landscaping and Gardening

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The right home improvement products, techniques, and services:
Contractors, home improvement stores, and specialty shops in your area may not yet have a complete familiarity with the ‘green’ opportunities, products, system integration, and overall savings potential. So, you may get some resistance, since people in general are typically more comfortable recommending something that they are already familiar with rather than something new. To help break the inertia, use the information across this website like our Return on Investment Master ROI Table. Also feel free to post a question in our forum on the message board about a particular need for your home relative to your area. Our team has spent multiple years aggregating research from public and private sector performance reports and from manufacturers and homeowners across the country in order to provide you with the perspective you may need to see the initial payback and long term advantages. Environmental enthusiasts and leading institutions like the American Institute of Architects and the National Association of Realtors, see the value and link into our resources to support their members.

The Green Home:
For your overall home improvement, you can save money, improve your family’s health, and save the planet. Find out for free how much it will cost to do different types of home improvement in your home from a qualified and member approved contractor in your area. Get a FREE Quote . Plus, regardless of the size and scope of your home improvement project, save money and keep your home clean with the top rated chemical free and concentrated Green Home Cleaning Products .

Category Checklist:
Make sure to consider the latest Home Improvement products and services. If you are doing the work yourself or planning on working with a home improvement contractor use this checklist below as a guide to review and ask questions about the preferred products, details, and installation techniques related to:
  1. Back Yard Life: Back Yard Sports Equipment, BBQ Grills and Built-Ins, Firepits, Hammocks, Outdoor Fireplaces, Outdoor Play Sets, Patio Furniture Maintenance, Patio Umbrellas, Porch Swings, Swing Sets, and Tree Forts.
  2. Climate Considerations: Microclimate, Regional Climate, Shading, Water Conservation, and Windbreaks.
  3. Fences and Walls: Arbors, Composite Material Fences, Fence Installation and Maintenance, Garden Walls, Invisible Fences, Metal Fences, Ornamental Fences, Picket Fences, Privacy Fence, Retaining Walls, Trellis, Vinyl Fences, and Wood Fences.
  4. Garden Buildings: Garden Sheds and Outdoor Storage, Gazebos, Greenhouse Effect, Greenhouses, Hot houses, and Patio Enclosures.
  5. Hot Tubs: Hot Tub Buying and Installation, Hot Tub Gazebo, Jacuzzi Hot Tubs, Round Hot Tubs, Solar Hot Tubs, Spa, and Spa Covers.
  6. Lawn Care: Grass Seeding, Grass Sod, Grass Types, Lawn Aerating, Lawn Sprinklers, Lawn Weed and Grub Killer, and Seasonal Fertilizer for Lawns.
  7. Planting: Container Gardens, Design and Planning, Fall Planting Bulbs, Fertilizer, Composting and Soil, Flowers and Ornamental Plants, Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs, Garden Maintenance, Planting Trees, Recycled Tire Mulch, Recycling Christmas Trees, Rose Gardens, Vegetable Garden Planting, and Wood Mulch.
  8. Ponds and Water Features: Bird Baths, Garden Ponds and Liners, Pond ecosystem and Wetlands, Pond Lighting, Pond Plants and Fish, Pond Pumps, Solar Garden Fountains, Wall Garden Fountains, Water Fountains, and Waterfalls.
  9. Swimming Pools: Pool Covers, Pool Enclosures, Pool Houses and Cabanas, Pool Safety and Fences, and Pool Supplies.
  10. Trees and Shrubs: Planting Shrubs, Pruning Shrubs, Pruning Trees, Shrub Care, Tree Care, Tree Planting and Selection Tips, and Tree Removal.
  11. Weed and Pest Control: Beneficial Insects, Garden Defense, Insect Control, Mosquito Control, and Poison Ivy and Oak Killer, and Weed Killer.

Tips on Landscaping and Gardening: Create habitats for other creatures other than your family, kids, and friends that roam the yard.

Saving water is easier than you think. In America we use on average 100 gallons of water per day per household member. This is twice the volume as European counterparts. Over the summer, we each use up to 120 gallons per day, because the lawn care is factored in vs. over the winter when the average is closer to 80 gallons per day. To reduce your personal and household water consumption, here are a few tips…beyond turning the water off while you brush your teeth.
  1. Water deeply but infrequently to moisten the root zone.
  2. A large water waster can be leaks in your irrigation system around your home. Fix irrigation system leaks quickly and check for water in the gutters or mud puddles. Inspect your sprinklers and drip sprayers regularly for leaks during the daytime since the optimal time to water is in the nighttime hours when you cannot observe leaks. If you have an older irrigation system, over 50% and even more than 75% of the water can be lost to leaks.
  3. Begin planning future outdoor landscaping with potential droughts in mind by researching appropriate plants. Consider rain gardens, xeriscaping and drought-tolerant plants.
  4. Using pine straw, bark chips or ground hardwood mulch on the roots of plants and trees helps the soil retain water.
  5. Avoid overseeding your turf with winter grass. Once established, ryegrass needs water every three to five days, whereas dormant Bermuda grass needs water only once a month.
  6. Leave lower branches on trees and shrubs and allow leaf litter to accumulate on top of the soil. This keeps the soil cooler and reduces evaporation.
  7. Aerate your turf. Punch holes in your lawn about six inches apart so rain water will reach the roots rather than run off the surface.
  8. Create a rain barrel to harvest rainwater that hits your home or garage. This will help control stormwater runoff and helps store water to use on plants during dry times.
  9. Avoid planting turf in areas that are hard to water such as steep inclines.
  10. Winterize outdoor spigots when temperatures dip to 20 degrees F to prevent pipes from bursting or freezing.
  11. Discontinue using water to clean sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots
  12. Mow turf at higher mower settings.
  13. Water only during the late afternoon, night, and early mornings to minimize evaporation, and use automatic irrigation systems if appropriate.
  14. Keep sprinkler heads vertical and at the correct height for good coverage and keep the spray pattern uniform.
  15. Fertilize moderately with a “natural organic” or “slow-release” fertilizer.
  16. Think twice before using pesticides or “weed-and-feed.”
  17. Overall, look for areas where you can reduce the amount of grass in exchange for planting beds, ‘meadow grasses’ or dry gardens , because lawns not only drink up a lot of water but they also typically require power mowing that generates the harmful CO2 emissions.

Home Improvement Basics:
When it comes to home improvement basics, look for interior home improvements like creating a clean, safe, and healthy home through sustainable ‘green’ furniture, home décor, zero VOC and Interior Paint, plus ENERGY STAR Appliances and Electronics. For energy and utility savings you can focus on insulation and air sealing, windows, doors, lighting and skylights, water saving plumbing opportunities, and high efficiency heating and air conditioning systems. On the outside of your house, look for exterior home improvement opportunities through landscape design and gardening plus solar energy, wind and other power sources. If you are undertaking a major home renovation, an additions, or building a new home, then take the lead to ‘go green’ in as many ways as possible to save money and the environment.

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