Texas A&M Agrilife Extension promotes the use of Earth-Kind® landscaping principles in order to get low maintenance lawns that are better for conservation. These principles can reduce the amount of fertilizer, pesticides and water that you use on your property for landscaping purposes. The following principles are used in Earth-Kind® landscaping.

Mulch

Texas A&M Agrilife Extension reports that Earth-Kind® landscaping  practices include maintaining a three-inch layer of
plant-derived mulch. They say that this will drastically cut back on the amount of water you need for healthy landscaping plants.

Composting

Texas A&M Agrilife Extension states that according to Earth-Kind® landscaping, a properly managed compost pile will make valuable soil amendment within three months, often much sooner. You can simply mix your leaves and pruning waste into your compost instead of having it removed or burned.

Soil Tests

Getting your soil tested before applying fertilizers will help save you money. It will also reveal exactly what nutrients you need, so it’s healthier for the soil.

Low-Volume Irrigation

Earth-Kind® landscaping included using micro and drip irrigation for watering plants because it’s around 90 percent efficient. Sprinkler irrigation is only about 50 to 70 percent efficient.

Rainwater Harvesting

Ever heard of rainwater harvesting? You can get attachments to use your existing gutters to collect and store rainwater. This will conserve water, and reduce your water bill. Plus, the water is pure. Tap water is often high in salts or chlorine which isn’t good for plants.

Preparing Planting Areas

Preparing the soil properly can sometimes completely eliminate the need for fertilizers, reduce the amount of water you need and reduce problems with plant diseases. One easy way to start is by adding at least three inches of plant-derived compost into the soil.

Auditing Irrigation Systems

Be sure to check your irrigation system’s efficiency. Check for things like leaks and misaligned sprinkler heads.

Cycle and Soak Watering

They also suggest programming your irrigation system  so that it runs on several shorter cycles. This will drastically conserve water.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

IPM uses cultural, biological, and mechanical control measures for pest control and chemical pest management only as a last resort.

Turf maintenance

If you mow your lawn regularly and keep it at a high height, the nitrogen-rich clippings will reduce the need for fertilizer and you will need to water it less. Provided you low regularly, you shouldn’t have to worry about excess thatch.

Planning the home Landscape

Texas A&M Agrilife Extension’s promotion of Earth-Kind® Landscaping states that if you follow these steps, you’ll have good results without even having to hire a professional:

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