If you’re like me most likely you love your yard but don’t always know what to do to make it better. Well recently I have come across some truly innovative and cheap methods to enhance the quality of your yard and how it impacts the environment. I’ll start off first with some storm water management practices for your yard.
In Philly where I live they recently changed the law so that each home can be charged for storm water runoff based on the amount of impervious surface you have. I live in a small row home and my bill went up 13 dollars a month!!!!!!.
But a condos water bill was lowered by 4,000 dollars because they were rewarded for having high density housing, crazy. If you want to try to convince the water company to reduce your bill here’s a couple tricks which might help.
- First if you have a small yard rain gardens can be a great way to store and hide that extra water while it seeps back into the soil. They can also create a great accent of flowers and grasses on the side of yard. This can tremendously increase the atheistic of your yard while handle water runoff from the roof. There are hundreds of examples online.
However you may be saying but I don’t have a yard, what can I do.
Well recently a couple ideas have come up where people had row homes but there small backyard was simply concrete.
It was ridiculously hot in the summer and had no shade plus there was nowhere for the water to go.
Of course it would cost a fortune to tear up all that concrete and put soil in.
On the ASLA website there is an example of an innovative idea. They rented a jack hammer for 50 dollars and started cutting linear lines into the concrete. This created numerous gaps in the concrete.
The idea was that now plants could be grown in these cracks as well as provide spaces for water to run into and eventually into the soil beneath. They were also able to cut enough out for a small tree to provide some shade. For only 200 dollars they had a completely new and improved back yard.
Those are just two simple ideas on how to improve your yard. There are many other ideas such a rain barrels and street trees which can save your home energy. The key is to return your yard back to a natural landscape rather than trying to constantly fight it. In the end you could see a return in savings and pleasure of your yard.
There is much research out there on how landscapes can lower you homes energy bills.
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