It wasn’t so long ago that “going green” was considered just a trend. (Just a trend!) And the products or services related to sustainability or eco-friendliness were expensive and, at times, ineffective.
In terms of sustainable landscaping, more and more of the products and services being offered are proving to be cost-neutral and just as effective as their synthetic alternatives.
As a grounds management provider that’s committed to offering environmentally-responsible solutions, we’re happy to see so many of our clients and prospects showing more interest today than ever before in sustainable landscaping methods for their commercial landscapes. Here are six sustainable landscaping upgrades you might want to consider for the coming year.
Smart Landscape Irrigation
A sustainable landscape design without an efficient irrigation program is simply faking it.
When you’re dealing with large properties in a retail setting, you want to make sure your commercial landscape is looking as good as it possibly can without wasting water.
And since Mother Nature waters when she wants, it’s important and cost-effective to incorporate a watering program that can offer your commercial landscape a little consistency. Installing a smart irrigation control system with rain sensors will do just that.
Also known as weather- or climate-based, adding these controllers to your landscape irrigation systems can automatically update watering programs and send data off-site for additional analysis. Here are three awesome things smart irrigation controllers will do for you and your commercial landscape:
- Smart irrigation controllers will ensure water is extending below the roots of the plants in your landscape.
- Anytime it rains, you’re system will know not to water, thus removing the tendency to oversaturate your turf.
- Monitored irrigation not only corrects bad over watering habits, but it will also reduce your water bill.
When it comes to your turf and fertilization, going with a bio-nutritional or organic fertilizer will produce synthetic matching results in terms of color and turf durability, but with a dramatic decrease in the amount of pesticides and insecticides put down on your lawn.
Using bio-nutritional fertilizers will also improve your lawn’s drought tolerance, cut down on phosphorus use, and naturally balance the soil’s pH.
During the application process, it’s best to have an experienced specialist at the helm who’s well versed in the laws of the EPA and OLA. He or she will ensure the right amount of bio-nutritional fertilizer is put down each and every time — no overdoing it — which reduces runoff into storm sewers and helps keep Lake Erie and other surrounding waterways safe and clear.
Smart, Low Maintenance Plantings
From ornamental grasses to river birches, Schill’s sustainable landscape design team makes it a priority to mix in attractive plants that won’t demand a lot of irrigation. If you aren’t actively seeking plants with minimal water needs for your commercial landscape, it could be costing you additional revenue — revenue that could be allocated to other valuable projects and upgrades.
If you can put in a landscape that doesn’t require any watering – like a bioswale – rather than having to water something three times a week, wouldn’t you?
“Closed Loop” Recycling
Where do the shrub clippings, leaves, grass cuttings and excess mulch go once a job is finished on your commercial property? Did you know those materials can be recycled back into your landscape?
Schill, for example, takes the organic material from your property to a recycling compost facility. The result? Nutrient-full compost and zero waste.
Energy Efficient Landscape Lighting
Your property should attract the types of customers, tenants, and employees you want 24 hours per day. Unfortunately, without lighting that accents the best parts of your property, this isn't possible. But beyond the aesthetic value of upgrading your landscaping lighting, you should know that having inadequate lighting can make you liable if someone gets injured on your property at night.
Has your landscape lighting made the LED conversion yet? If not, it’s time to replace the halogen bulbs used in your outdoor lighting with long-lasting LEDs, which are highly energy efficient and typically use just 20 percent of the energy required by a traditional halogen bulb.
Stormwater Management Walkthrough
Stormwater management ranks high on the regulatory commission’s list of priorities. They want to make sure stormwater is running in the right direction and not creating pools of standing water where mosquitoes and other bugs can fester.
Take time to revisit your stormwater management plan to address potential problem areas on your property.
Embrace Sustainability In 2016
Are you interested in making 2015 the year your commercial landscape goes green – and stays green? If so, give Schill Grounds Management a call at 440-327-3030, or fill out our simple contact form and we’ll get in touch with you.
Schill’s sustainable landscape design team has over two decades of experience planning and building environmentally responsible commercial, industrial, retail and condominium HOA projects throughout the Northeast Ohio region.