If your really into sustainability, you have probably heard all the ways an eco-friendly landscape can foster a healthy environment, save water and create an organic haven of beautiful vegetables and fruit. What about the feeling the atmosphere creates for you – the homeowner. If we asked (and we did) our homeowner Marilyn in Mission Hills to describe her landscape we figured we would get a response of happiness, but what we received was better than imagined. Her reply, “it’s like a little slice of heaven” got us thinking – often times the most overlooked part about building a sustainable landscape are the senses it fulfills. Beautiful aromas, buzzing bees, vibrant flowers, soil between your fingers and the sweet pop of flavor from your fresh fruits and vegetables.
So how do we create this solace through landscaping – the answer is in an abundance of California natives and beautiful organic ornamentals. This specific sustainable and organic landscape is focused largely on keeping maintenance to a minimum. No landscape can go unkempt, however, there are few things you can do to keep resiliency up and even extend your blooming season. Most people around San Diego have pre-existing ornamentals on their property like Camellia’s, lilacs and magnolias to name a few. The problem is we are not treating these plants as they should be to enhance their lives. Our motto, feed it like you would like to be fed. That means enrich the surrounding soil with tons of delicious organic materials, prune appropriately according to the needs of the specific plant, and provide appropriate watering. If you are planting your first ornamentals, mix in compost with some Complete Organic Fertilizer (COF) to your existing soil and let your soil suck up all the delicious nutrition. COF often contains things like kelpmeal, seedmeal, dolomite, bone meal and other naturally occurring nutrients that are often fed to livestock. By adding organic maintenance to your repertoire you have the ability to extend the length of time your flowers bloom, while also creating a more beautiful and bright bloom.
So, how do we protect all those beautiful dudleya succulents, seaside daisies and lavender blooms from invasive weeds without the use of roundup herbicides? We could spend a couple hours every week doing back breaking weed pulling or alternatively you can place cardboard or newspaper under a layer of mulch to prevent weeds from breaking through. Make sure to wet the cardboard thoroughly before laying so it forms to the ground and cover any gaps with extra cardboard pieces. Place 3-4” inches of mulch on top and voila you’ve just saved yourself a couple sweaty hours in the garden every week. Earth worms which are a sign of soil vitality love this stuff, which is another added benefit.
The answers to all of life’s problems seems to lie in organically treated natives, ornamentals and succulents. So, what are you waiting for? For more questions on a low maintenance, organically-kept landcape please feel to reach out.