Environmentally Friendly Yard Alternatives


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Environmentally Friendly Yard Alternatives

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Environmentally Friendly Yard Alternatives

  1. 1. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: About raingardening, native landscaping andWhy should I Use Native xeriscaping: Plants? McHenry Count Water Resources: McHenry County Government Water Resource Xeriscaping? http://www.co.mchenry.il.us/common/ countyDpt/WaterRes/default.asp Xeriscaping is the art of creating a land-Native plants provide a beautiful, The Wildflower Preservation and Propagation Committee: scape with the goal of reducing water us- hardy, drought resistant, low TheWPPC.org age through proper plant placement and maintenance landscape while benefiting the environment Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: Environmentally the use of native and drought- tolerant plants. Its’ goal is to reduce water-use, with friendly www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/water/wm/dsfm shore/raingarden.htm the positive side-effect of less lawn- maintenance work.Native plants do not require U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: fertilizer www.epa.gov/greenacres/nativeplants/ factsht.html Yard-Alternatives information about the Xeriscape Principles:Native plants require fewer (NOT: Flowers!) pesticides than lawns www.water/denver.co.gov/cons_xeriscape/ xeriscape/xeriscapeprinciples.htmlNative plants require less water Seed Resource: than lawns Prairie Moon Nursery: www.prairiemoon.comNative plants help reduce air Native trees, shrubs, and plants: Raingardening! pollution. Possibility Place Nursery www.possibilityplace.com A rain garden is a shallow depressionNative plants do not require Natural and drought resistant plants: planted with native plants. Rain gardens mowing. Gas powered garden IL-NRCS Native Plant Guide: use and control storm water runoff. They http://www.il.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/plants/ tools emit 5% of the nation’s air npg/index.html filter pollutants and return moisture to the pollution. water cycle via transpiration and evapora- IL-Prairie Wildflowers of Illinois: http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info tion. They improve the soils ability to ab- sorb water, they remove carbon dioxideNative plants sequester, or remove, from the atmosphere AND they provide carbon from the air. McHenry County Government food, shelter and habitat for birds, butter- flies and many beneficial insects. Water ResourcesNative plants provide shelter and food for wildlife 2200 N Seminary Ave Woodstock, IL 60098 Phone: 815.334.4298Native plants promote biodiversity Fax: 815.334.4629 and stewardship of our natural Email:clmckinney@co.mchenry.il.us heritage Website: www.mchenryh2o.com
  2. 2. Don’t let storm water run off, Contrary to popular belief, they are not confined to cacti and The Seven basic Principles of Xeriscaping: succulents, but also include a wide variety of beautiful trees, New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus ameri- canus): Is an attractive, small,use it instead! shrubs, vines, perennials, and groundcovers. rounded woody shrub with small plumes of fluffy white flowers that Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea OR bloom in early to mid-summer. It 1 Planning and Design What does it take to have my own Asteraceae): These flowers are arranged grows best in well-drained aver- Plan your landscape. A plan provides direction and guidance and will ensure that water-conserving techniques are coordi- individually on sturdy, elongated stems age garden soil with full sun or rain garden? with soft lavender or purple petals sur- partial shade but will tolerate dry, nated and implemented in the landscape. Proper planning rounding an iridescent red-orange, coned harsh conditions. It is a larval saves time and effort spent on maintenance. 1. Dig a shallow depression with an even center. The purple coneflower is a robust, food source for the mottled Dusky bottom. You decide how large in circumfer- drought tolerant perennial, native to the -wing and Spring Azure Butterfly. 2 Soil Improvements Midwestern and Southeastern United Furthermore, its’ leaves make an Have your soil tested before you start planting. Depending on ence you want it to be. Pick a low spot. At States. It prefers full sun to partial shade excellent tea. your soil, improve it by adding organic matter such as compost least 10 feet from your house and direct or well-aged manure. If your landscaping with native plants, it water from your downspout or sump pump in fertile, well-drained soils. might not take much to improve the soil. into it. Chose a site with at least a half day of sunlight. Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberose): This Threadleaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis verti- 3 Efficient Irrigation 2. Redirect your rainwater + sump pump is a perennial plant growing to 0.6-2 cillata): is a perennial that will reach Water should be applied efficiently, through the use of drip towards the depression. Your water chan- m (1 -2 feet) tall, with clustered or- 18 to 24 inches in height. It has irrigation or soaker hoses, where possible. Be sure that nel can be made out of a buried 4” PVC ange or yellow flowers that bloom yellow, daisy-like flowers that last drought-tolerant plants get no more water than they need. If from early summer to early fall. The from late spring to late summer. It you want to install an irrigation system, plan this at the same pipe, or by digging out a shallow swale leaves are spirally arranged, lanceo- grows best in a dry, full-sun area. (linear depression). time you design your landscape. late, 2—5 cm long and .8—1.18 cm 3. Plant your plants. Ideal: Native plants. But you can also combine them with non- broad. Butterfly weed is a species of milkweed native to eastern North 4 Zoning of Plants Different areas in your yard get different amounts of light, native plants with similar water needs. America. This plant favors dry, sand wind, and moisture. Group plants together with similar light 4. For the first few weeks: water your plants or gravel soil, but has also been and water requirements and place them in an area in your every second day. Continue on doing that reported on stream margins. yard which matches these requirements. until the plants are growing and well- Rule of thumb: Put high water-use plantings in low lying drain- established. Smooth Blue Aster: The stems of this flower Prairie Dropseed (Sporobulous heterole- age areas, near downspouts, or in the shade of other plants. are usually unbranched with variable, pis): This prairie grass produces a Put higher water-use plants in areas where it is easy to water. Once your native Rain Garden plants are estab- mostly toothed, smooth, bluish green foli- magnificent fountain of fine-textured, lished, they’ll thrive well without additional age. It has small flowers (.75 to 1.25" emerald green leaves and has a 5 Mulching across) with violet blue to purple faint but unmistakable fragrance. It Mulch is essential for gardening. It keeps plant roots cool, watering. Fertilizers are not necessary. (sometimes white) rays and yellow center grows about two feet high. As the prevents soil from crusting, minimizes evaporation, and re- disks appear in open, loose, panicle-like seed ripens, it droops over. The plant duces weed growth. clusters in autumn. The Smooth aster is a turns a golden yellow in the fall. Missouri native that typically occurs in It grows on any well-drained soil and 6 Turf Alternatives prairies, rocky glades, dry open woods, can make a well-defined and distinc- Keep lawns small, to the size needed for actual use. Use roadside banks and thickets. This flower is tive border when planted 18 to 24 drought-tolerant turf-grass species where turf is needed attractive to butterflies. inches apart. (childrens play areas, pet use areas, etc.). Fill the remaining landscape with borders and islands of more water-efficient Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia ornamental plants. Hirta): Switch Grass (Panicum vergatum): This flower can reach a height of This native perennial grass is 3-6 tall 7 Appropriate Maintenance 3.28—6.56 ft. It has alternate, and is more or less erect; it usually During the first two years your Xeriscape will need proper mostly basal leaves 7.87— grows in large bunches. The culms are irrigation, pruning, fertilizing and pest control, similar to a 29.53 cm long, covered by light to medium green, terete, glabrous, traditional landscape. But as plants mature they will crowd out coarse hair. It flowers from June and fairly stout; each culm has several the weeds, need less water, and maintenance time will de- to August, with inflorescences alternate leaves that span most of its crease. With a well cared for garden you can sit back and measuring 3.94—5.91 inches in length underneath the inflorescence. The enjoy it! diameter (up to 11.81 inches in leaf sheaths are about the same color some cultivars), with yellow ray as the blades and are hairless; they florets circling a brown, domed are open at the mouth. Each ligule has center of disc florets. It is an a band of white hairs, while the nodes upright annual (sometimes bien- are swollen and often dark-colored. nial or perennial) native to most For more information about the Xeriscape Principles: of North America, and is one of www.water/denver.co.gov/cons_xeriscape/xeriscape/ a number of plants with the xeriscapeprinciples.html common name Black-eyed Susan.