In the past few weeks, we have been big on green buildings and a green environment and feedback from you has been great. A few however think investing in landscaping can hit the pocket. Well it doesn’t have to be so at all. Here are few ideas to green up and landscape on a budget.
Home Made Mulch
Mulch insulates the soil from extreme heat and cold, retains moisture, prevents weeds from growing around the tree, and keeps roots from poking through the surface. So while mulching is necessary you don’t have to spend cedis if you can improvise at home with the following steps:
Grass Clippings – In Ghana, we love to burn grass away, well guess what it’s time to put that grass to use. So, when next you weed or mow, rake up and spread them onto your flower beds.
Newspaper – Its time stop giving out old piles of newspapers to the groundnut seller. We have use now! Lay about five pages on the ground, water lightly and then cover with topsoil before planting.
Stone – Yes stone! Don’t worry, here is why. Stone mulch when used properly can cut down your weeding and maintenance costs. According to Steve Boehme of GoodSeed Farm Landscapes, it’s important to choose the right spot for your stone mulch:
“Stone mulch works especially well in clean environments and narrow beds between buildings and pavement. This is because grass clippings and other organic matter won’t be as likely to soil the stone mulch in such places.
Recycle Car Tires
Old car tires are a cheap commodity in these parts. You can literally find them anywhere and what’s more we can support the bigger climate change campaign by putting them to good use by recycling them into beds for plants. Here is how:
-Cover with outdoor pillow casings or rope for durable, rustic patio ottomans.
-Stack and stagger tires to create decorative planters.
-Create a hanging planter by filling one half with soil and attaching to a wall or fence.
-Make a man-made garden pond using a tire as the base.
Garden up vertically
Simply put, we are planting upwards instead of the popular wide or horizontal way on the ground. This method of using vertical space to grow plants is usually adopted to make up for lack of compound space but when done tastefully can add a new lease of life to you home. I am sure you have seen the growing trend of using recycled materials like old plastic water bottles to plant up. Here are a few more ideas
– Wash out old paint cans, fill with soil and hang them up to create a vertical herb garden.
– Recycle a picture frame to create a vertical succulent garden.
-Waterproof an unused shoe organizer or hanger as some call it for a vertical garden that’s easy to move.
– Turn your wooden fence into a vertical garden using a few pot hangers and wood screws.
Plant a Tree
This seems like a no brainer but it will surprise you how planting a tree is at the back burner when it comes to landscaping. Potted plants is usually the easy go to but actually planting trees is one of the least expensive.
“Planting shade trees is a common-sense solution that will save you money and make you more comfortable. You can plant mango, coconut, avocado, orange trees etc which serve a multi-purpose of contributing positively to save the ozone layer and the climate change campaign, provide therapeutic effect by boosting your personal wellness as well as providing your daily fruit needs. Plant today and before you know it these trees will be up.
Rocks just like stone prevent grass clippings and other organic matter from competing with the main plant for food and light. Rocks in addition to being great materials for filling an empty corner also add to aesthetic beauty and the general ambiance. You can easily move them around whenever you want to change the appearance of your compound.
See these aren’t so hard, are they? Shall we begin?
The writer is the Executive director of Yecham Property Consult
& Founder of Ghana Green Building Summit.
Email: [email protected]
Linkedin: Cyril Nii Ayitey Tetteh