Tropical plants are renowned for their lush colors, but that beauty comes at a steep price for homeowners who maintain them. Some thirsty flowers like Iris pseudacorus require standing water, which is extremely costly in Bryan-College Station during the summer. If you’re looking to practice sustainable gardening, reduce water and energy consumption whenever possible.
Most people who mulch prefer organic materials like bark chips and pine needles, but you can choose rubber, cardboard, or stone if you don’t want to reapply mulch every year. When applied to an entire flower bed, mulch presents a beautiful, uniform look, and it helps keep the edges clean. Weeds have more difficulty growing up from the soil through several inches of mulch.
Mulch also reduces soil evaporation, so you don’t have to irrigate as often. According to one research project presented at Texas A&M, mulch reduces water evaporation by 25%, which could save you thousands of gallons of water every single year. Your plants will be healthier, you’ll save money, and your flower beds will look nicer.
If you recently moved into a new construction home, there probably aren’t any large trees in your yard. Give your home character by planting trees as soon as possible. Saplings can take decades to mature, but you can speed up the process by purchasing mature trees. Tree farms often sell oaks, birches, maples, and other trees that are already up to ten feet tall, and you could start to enjoy shade in as little as five years.
A shade tree will add gutter cleaning to your list of chores, but the extra work is well worth the reduction in your cooling bills during the summer. Depending on your location and the time of year, shade can reduce the temperature by up to 15 degrees on a lawn and 55 degrees on a table or paved surface!
We’re all tempted to buy bougainvilleas and hibiscuses for our gardens because they’re undeniably beautiful, but it’s unlikely that we can keep them alive outside of a greenhouse. In almost all cases, it’s better to purchase native plants, which are defined as plants that existed in the United States prior to European colonization. Native plants use less water, weather the seasons better, and attract native wildlife.
A 2,000 square foot home generates approximately 1,250 gallons of water runoff per inch of rain. If you collect that runoff into rain barrels, you can easily irrigate your garden without purchasing water from your utility company.