PORTFOLIO

Organic Landscaping 101

Good for you, good for planet Earth.

What do we mean when we say organic

Organic landscapers/gardeners have a slightly different task than organic food growers, but both are committed to using  practices which are safe and sustainable.  Food growers are committed to bringing safe crops to market and table.  A conscientious landscaper's goal is to have beautiful landscapes that have a beneficial impact on the earth.  

To promote a healthy environment, we pay attention to these details:

  1. Plant Selection: Know the plants and choose locations suited to their needs. Learn the cultivation requirements of a plant, and satisfy them. For example, Blue Spruce need to be sited in full sun with good air circulation. They don't do well in barrier plantings, where crowded conditions lead to fungus, disease, and pest problems. By meeting this requirement at planting, you minimize the  problems that can plague this species. 

  2. Compost: Instead of a quick fix with "miracle grow", we fertilize Mother Nature's way, with organic matter. Sustainable ecosystems foster the cycle of growth and decay. Organic amendments and mulches feed the soil, and your plants. 
  3. Long term thinking: Any thing we introduce to the garden environment should have a  sustainable benefit. Petrochemical fertilization offers short term nutrients to plants, but leaves soil barren in the long term.  Organic fertilization builds the soil.  Topsoil depletion through chemical fertilization is one the the major challenges of the future.  

  4. No poisons: Modern technological solutions combined with age-old practices are making the chemical arsenal obsolete. Chemical use in the garden is rarely justified, and inevitably does more harm than good, whether we perceive the damage or not
  5. Water Issues: A well-designed, installed and maintained garden should need water only during plant establishment and drought. We have found that over- watering kills as many plants as under-watering  Increasingly scarce and valuable water resources  inspire us to minimize using thirsty plants, such as turf grasses and annuals.  We have found that if the funds allotted for a watering system are used to build the soil, a watering system becomes unnecessary. All of our plantings are designed to thrive without watering systems. 

  6. Local Consumption: Organic requirements for food require that seed sources and all components be organic, and this is as it should be.  However, the ornamental plant industry is decades behind the food industry, and organically grown trees, shrubs, and perennials are still extremely hard to come by.   Rather than trucking plants and materials in from Maine or California, we feel it is more environmentally sound  to buy locally, and to plant and maintain without chemicals. If, because of certification issues, you must meet more restrictive requirements, we are happy to work with you to do that.
  7. Reconsidering Lawn:  In the quest for a perfect weed-free lawn, American homeowners use 10 times the toxic chemicals used by American farmers. We can all do our share by eliminating the toxic chemicals that come with "weed and feed" and use earth-friendly techniques to maintain our lawns.  We encourage people putting in new lawns to consider no mow/low mow grass varieties, like the one offered by Prairie Seed Company.  Furthermore, we encourage people to deeply consider how much turf they really need, and to consider putting unused areas into low-maintenance, ecologically beneficial plantings, like gardens or prairies.  Acres of lawn are out in the 21st century.  Prairie and Woodland restorations not only benefit the environment right now, they are also a way that any one  of us can to leave a legacy for the future. Check out The Organic Lawn Guide.

  

We look forward to hearing from you.   
Call 262/ 248-7513