Making Your Tulsa Landscape Design More Sustainable

We all search for more ways to help the environment, and one of the ways we can go “green” is by having a more sustainable Tulsa landscape design.  There are many things we can do to use fewer natural resources and reduce waste.

Conserve. One of the main principles of sustainable Tulsa landscape design is to conserve resources already in the drip_irrigationlandscape. Taking steps to conserve water is also very important.

Make sure your Tulsa irrigation system is working properly and is the right type of irrigation system for your soil. This will help  to reduce water usage. Drip irrigation can be used with soil that drains quickly. Drip irrigation generally uses 30-70% less water than an overhead irrigation system, and plants grow to maturity about twice as fast.

Another key to water conservation is to group plants according to their watering needs. Grouping plants together that need watered more often can help reduce water usage. You can also harvest

rainwater with a rain barrel to help conserve water and prevent storm water runoff.

Keep your soil healthy. That is another way to conserve water.  Compacted soil often leads to water runoff.

outdoor garden“Compacted soil leads to problems such as restricted plant growth, erosion, runoff and flooding,” the Landscaping Network noted. “Runoff caused by compacted soils is one of the main sources of water pollution.”

Lawn aeration or removing small core patches of soil and dead grass can help to relieve compacted soil and provide enough room for oxygen and water to reach the root system. The Tulsa landscape design experts at Oklahoma Landscape can aerate your lawn and overseed it so that the soil and lawn are both healthy and sustainable.

Adding mulch to your garden or flowerbed can also do a great deal to conserve water and nutrients while making your landscape look even more attractive.

Choosing plants. Which plants you choose for your landscape design can have an effect on the environment. Plants, shrubs, and trees that are native to your area tend to do better and also require less water. As the Landscaping Network noted, often homeowners want to remove many of the existing plants in their landscape, but this can lead to a disruption in the natural processes in the environment. Thus, preserving existing plants and choosing to add others that are native to the local environment can conserve resources while often reducing the time and energy required for maintenance and care.

Hardscape considerations. Another aspect of sustainable Tulsa landscape design is being thoughtful when choosing hardscape materials. Of course, using recycled hardscape materials is ideal when trying to reduce waste, but you can also use more locally sourced materials as well as those that allow for better water conservation. Permeable pavers are hardscape materials that help to conserve water. These pavers allow water to pass through to the soil reducing runoff and pollution. These hardscapes are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors to add a decorative effect to your patio, walkway, or driveway while allowing for sustainability.

The landscape design experts at Oklahoma Landscape can create a design plan for your outdoor space that creates a gorgeous oasis for your home while conserving the earth’s natural resources and allowing you to “find yourself outside.”

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Tulsa Landscape Design – Delicious Edible Landscaping Ideas

We all desire a beautiful landscape to complement our home. Elegant landscape design creates a peaceful place where we can unwind on the weekends, enjoy summer evenings with family, or hospitality entertain friends. But more homeowners are opting for, not just beautiful landscapes, but delicious, edible landscapes as well.

With the trend toward organic gardening, homeowners are seeing the many benefits of Tulsa landscape design that includes blueberry bushedible plants, which are as pretty as they are scrumptious. Edible landscaping is not just about planting a garden in your backyard, but more about integrating a variety of edible trees, plants, and shrubs throughout your landscape to provide cost-effective, healthy food right at home.

In fact, Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) wrote an article online about how to include edible plants in your landscaping. Here are some of the tips they gave:

A pretty plant that fits well in the flower bed or along the border is Rhubarb, especially when paired with purple-leaved Ajuga or a similar low-growing groundcover. Strawberries are another good groundcover or edging plant for a flowerbed or even planted on a sunny slope as a groundcover.

Currant bushes and blueberry make great decorative (and delicious) shrubs. Miniature and dwarf fruit trees are available that grow about 4 or 5 feet tall and even grow well in pots. These are great for use in smaller yards. Raspberries, the article noted, do great in light to medium shade, making them easy to grow at home.

Instead of traditional vines to grow over an arbor or trellis, the article suggested grapevines or short vining-type vegetables like cucumbers, zucchini, and melons. Gorgeous grapevines will grow well over an arbor, plus you can use the leaves for decoration on platters or to top cheeses and salads, BHG said.

strawberries - edible landscapingVegetables often do well in containers, the article added. Lettuces come in a variety of colors, making them ideal for window boxes and along edges of flower beds. Hot peppers also add rich color to the landscape, especially when paired with marigolds and vinca. Swiss chard is another vegetable that comes in a “rainbow of colors” that can be paired with other vibrant flowers to create a beautiful Tulsa landscape design.

For more great edible gardening tips, check out the Edible Landscaping article on BHG. If you’d like help to incorporate more edible plants into your landscape, call the Tulsa gardening and landscape design/build experts at Oklahoma Landscape.

 

Tulsa Landscaping Companies Use Sustainable Landscape Design

sustainable landscapesTulsa landscaping companies like Oklahoma Landscape are striving to use more sustainable landscape design practices. Basically…the landscaping industry is going “green.” That might seem strange to say about a landscaping company. After all, aren’t they all about green, living things? Well yes, but sustainable landscape design takes to the next level – putting forth a concentrated effort to conserve resources in the environment through effective design.

What are some of the principles of sustainable design and what are the benefits to Tulsa home and business owners?

Sustainable design basically focuses on promoting a better environment for present and future generations. To do this requires careful planning and design to create landscapes that do not risk the health of humans or the environment, but rather encourage regenerative systems. In this careful planning, Tulsa landscape designers would consider how the landscape will be most often be used – whether for entertaining, children playing, relaxing, or other functions – and this planning not only helps to plan out how to conserve the earth’s resources but also how to conserve the homeowner’s resources as well.

Among the principles of sustainable design, are conserving the following resources:

Water Conservation

Drought has become an ever increasing problem in the United States. Even in winter, portions of Oklahoma are still under abnormally dry conditions with some areas in extreme drought. According to the Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES™), two practices – wasteful irrigation and undervaluing rain – have contributed to the imbalance of water. Through sustainable landscape design water can be conserved and treated as a resource. This would include selecting more native plants that require less irrigation, using drip irrigation systems, as well as harvesting rainwater to use for irrigation or water features rather than allow most of it to flow into and then overflow storm drains and sewer systems.commercial landscape design

These sustainable efforts to conserve water in the landscape save homeowners and businesses money they would spend on irrigation and promote healthier communities by preventing waste water from backing up and creating public health issues.

Preserving Soil Health

Healthy soil will promote a healthier Tulsa lawn, plants, and other vegetation while preventing erosion and reducing pollution. But often soil gets compacted over time or by construction projects. Compacted soil then stops plant roots from getting the nutrients they need, and this often can lead to erosion and increased runoff water and then flooding. In sustainable design, soil can be conserved and restored, thwarting costly erosion, flooding, and any resulting water pollution. Core aeration can help relieve compacted soil, and composts and mulching can help put nutrients back into the ground.

‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ Material Resources

As with the general effort to go “green,” conserving material resources is very important. With watchful planning and forethought, less construction and yard waste can be created. Choosing more sustainable or recoverable materials can reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions, SITES™ noted.

Preserving and Adding Vegetation

Preserving the native plants in your landscape can help improve the soil, conserve water, increase air quality, and prevent erosion. Native plants are also more resistant to diseases and drought. In addition, grouping plants together with the same irrigation and sunlight needs can reduce your irrigation costs and reduce maintenance.

Urban forests are creating cleaner, cooler cities, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) noted, reducing energy costs, and stormwater runoff. “U.S. trees remove some 784,000 tons of pollution annually, providing $3.8 billion in value,” ASLA reported. Adding urban green areas can help to combat increasing surface temperatures caused by sunlight absorbed by pavement and roofs, ASLA said. Many cities are integrating green roofs and other urban green and agricultural spaces to reduce energy expenses as well as provide various other benefits like improved efficiency and mental health while increasing property values.

Yes, the costs and health benefits of sustainable landscape design are numerous, creating a win-win situation for homeowners and urban development teams. Tulsa landscaping companies can thus successfully implement sustainable design not only in residential, but also commercial landscaping projects, so that you can ‘find yourself outside’ for generations to come.

For more information on sustainable landscapes, visit http://sustainablesites.org/.