Here are a few ideas to help to make the most of your yard.
It’s the perfect weather for dreaming about transforming your yard into an amazing place to get outside, once spring arrives. Creating an environmentally friendly landscape here on the Island can take a significant amount of thought and planning, but the rewards are well worth it.
With some savvy advice, wintertime forethought and a willingness to get a little dirty, you can cut down on yard maintenance, save money and create a place where both nature and you like to hang out.
Here are a few tips to make the most of your Lowcountry yard:
Choose native plants.
Native plants attract a variety of birds and butterflies by promoting diverse habitats and food sources. They also promote biodiversity and require significantly less water, fertilizer and pesticides. In fact, native plants can prevent water runoff, improve air quality and decrease air and nose pollution by eliminating the need for mowers and other equipment.
Need some guidance as to what’s native to the Lowcountry? Visit naturescapesofbeaufort.com or attend one of Spring Island’s native plant sales, which are generally held twice a year.
Mulch reduces water loss from soil, meaning you will have to water less frequently. Mulch minimizes the germination of weeds, so there will be fewer weeds to compete for water and nutrients. And, yes, fewer weeds for you to pull. Hallelujah.
Mulch also improves soil aeration and drainage and reduces soil erosion. South Carolinians can be little obsessed with having a beautifully groomed grassy lawn, but planting ground cover instead of grass can save you tons of money on maintenance. Ground cover sprawls across the ground, but doesn’t grow tall, eliminating the need to mow. Plus, ground covers are usually low-maintenance plants that spread quickly and smother weeds.
Start composting now, and by spring you will have an excellent soil supplement at the ready. Composting is fantastic for several reasons. First, it saves water by helping the soil hold moisture. It also environmentally recycles organic resources while conserving landfill space. In addition, composting reduces the need for chemical fertilizers and encourages the production of beneficial bacteria and fungi that break down organic matter to create humus, a rich nutrient-filled material.
Rainwater harvesting involves collecting the run-off from a structure or other impervious surface in order to store it for later use. Traditionally, this involves harvesting the rain from a roof by collecting it in gutters that channel the water into downspouts and then into a storage vessel. Rainwater harvesting uses simple technologies that are inexpensive and easy to maintain. Best of all, this process puts you in total control of your water supply. You can use what you harvest to water all your plants and your lawn, significantly reducing your water bill. Rainwater is actually better for your plants since it isn’t chlorinated. A harvesting system can be easily retrofitted to an existing structure or built during new home construction. A rainwater harvesting system can also provide an excellent back-up source of water for emergencies.
None of these environmentally-friendly ideas are complicated, but they do require planning. So, take advantage of these chilly days to mastermind a plan that will bloom into a setting that beckons you to get #Outside. While you wait for spring to bud, check out outsidehiltonhead.com and find inspiration on one of our many outdoor adventures.
By Anneliza Itkor, Outside Hilton Head
To book an outing with Outside Hilton Head, call (843) 686-6996 or visit outsidehiltonhead.com.