Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing our planet today. The effects of climate change are widespread and can be seen in everything from increased temperatures to rising sea levels. While it may seem like an overwhelming problem, there are many things that individuals can do to help combat climate change. One of the most impactful things you can do is make changes to your backyard landscape.
Read on to learn how you can do backyard landscaping to help curb the effects of climate change.
How Does Backyard Landscaping Impact the Climate?
Backyard landscaping can have a significant impact on climate change. Green vegetation helps cool the Earth’s surface by releasing water vapour into the atmosphere. This process, called evapotranspiration, helps regulate global temperatures. Thus, if each individual home focuses on backyard landscaping design to help curb climate change, it can become a great contribution to the environment.
Planting trees and garden plants can help offset some of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change. It can also help reduce energy consumption by providing shade and windbreaks. In addition, using efficient lawn care equipment is also vital, as traditional lawns require a lot of energy to maintain. Gas-powered lawnmowers, leaf blowers, and other lawn care equipment contribute to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. So, it is crucial to invest in energy-efficient resources.
Backyard Landscaping Design Factors for Climate Change
One of the easiest things you can do to help combat climate change is to plant trees. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas contributing to global warming, and release oxygen. They also provide shade, which can help reduce the energy needed to cool your home during summer. If you have the space, consider planting a tree or two in your backyard.
Another way to help combat climate change in your backyard is to create a rain garden. A rain garden captures rainwater runoff from your roof, driveway, or other hard surfaces. By capturing this water, you can reduce the amount of water that flows into storm drains and ultimately into streams and rivers. Rain gardens are typically planted with native plants, better adapted to local conditions, and require less water and maintenance than non-native plants.
You can also reduce your carbon footprint using a reel mower instead of a gas-powered lawn mower. Gas-powered lawnmowers are a significant source of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Reel mowers are quiet, require less maintenance, and are much better for the environment.
What Plants Help Combat Climate Change?
Many plants can help combat climate change. Native plants, mainly, are well adapted to local conditions and require less water and maintenance than non-native plants. Some examples of native plants that can help combat climate change include:
- Milkweed: Milkweed is the host plant for monarch butterflies. Monarch butterfly populations have declined significantly in recent years due to habitat loss and pesticide use. By planting milkweed, you can help provide a habitat for monarch butterflies and other pollinators.
- Switchgrass: Switchgrass is a tall, native grass that can grow up to eight feet tall. It is drought-tolerant and can help reduce erosion. Switchgrass is also a source of biofuel, which can help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.
- Oak trees: Oak trees are native to many parts of North America and provide a habitat for a variety of wildlife. They also absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen.
- Goldenrod: Goldenrod is a native wildflower that blooms in the late summer and fall. It is an important source of nectar for pollinators and can help provide food for birds and other wildlife.
The Future of Backyard Landscaping for Climate Change
Xeriscaping is a type of backyard landscaping designed to reduce water usage. The method typically involves using native plants that require little to no water once established. It can help reduce water usage, which is particularly important during drought.
Xeriscaping can also help reduce energy usage. Traditional lawns require a lot of energy to maintain, but xeriscaped landscapes require little to no mowing or trimming. This can help reduce the use of gas-powered lawn equipment that contributes to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Xeriscaping can also help reduce the amount of water that flows into storm drains and ultimately into streams and rivers. By using native plants that are adapted to local conditions, xeriscaped landscapes can help reduce the need for irrigation and fertilizers, which can contribute to water pollution.
If you’re interested in implementing xeriscape in backyard landscaping, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, choose plants that are native to your area and are adapted to local conditions. Second, group plants with similar watering needs together. This will help reduce the amount of water that is wasted. Third, use a mulch to help retain moisture in the soil.
10 Ways to Create Climate Change Resilient Backyard Landscape Design
If you’re looking for specific ways to create a resilient climate change landscape, here are ten ideas to get you started:
- Plan and design for smart water use: We cannot afford to waste water. Plan your landscape design to minimize water use and maximize efficiency. Consider using rainwater harvesting systems or drip irrigation to water your plants.
- Improve soil quality: Healthy soil is the foundation for a healthy garden. Adding organic matter, such as compost, to your soil can improve its water retention, nutrient content, and structure.
- Reduce turf and other water-wasting plants: Traditional lawns require a lot of water to maintain, making them one of the most water-wasting plants you can have in your landscape. Consider reducing the amount of turf in your yard and replacing it with native plants, groundcovers, or other low-water-use plants.
- Include a variety of plants, flowers, and vegetables: Diversity is key to creating a resilient landscape. By including a variety of plants, you can ensure that your landscape will be able to adapt to changing conditions.
- Choose the right plants: When choosing plants for your backyard, pick ones favourable to your local climate and soil conditions. Native plants are a great option because they are adapted to local conditions and require less maintenance.
- Group plants and flowers together based on their water needs: Grouping plants together based on their water needs can help reduce water waste and improve efficiency. This is especially important in arid regions or during droughts.
- Vertical backyard landscaping: Trees are an essential component of a resilient landscape. They provide shade and habitat and can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by sequestering carbon.
- Mulch your garden: Mulching is a simple but effective way to reduce water evaporation, suppress weeds, and improve soil quality.
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by growing your food: By growing your food, you can curb the carbon footprint linked with the production and transportation of food. Plus, it’s a great way to connect with nature and enjoy fresh, healthy produce.
- Create a habitat for local wildlife: By providing a habitat for local wildlife, you can help support biodiversity and create a more resilient landscape. Consider adding birdhouses, bat boxes, and native plants that provide food and shelter for local wildlife.
Maintenance After Backyard Landscaping
Once your climate-friendly landscape is planned and planted, it’s important to remember that maintaining it requires ongoing effort and attention. Backyard landscaping for climate change is no easy feat, but the benefits are well worth it. Here are some tips for maintaining a climate-friendly landscape:
- Water wisely: Proper watering is essential for the health of your plants, but it’s important to do it in a way that minimizes water waste. Use a drip irrigation system or a soaker hose to water your plants directly at the root zone, and avoid watering during the hottest part of the day when evaporation rates are highest.
- Monitor for pests and diseases: Pests and diseases can quickly wreak havoc on a garden. Keep an eye out for signs of infestations and diseases, and take action quickly to prevent them from spreading.
- Use natural pest control methods: Instead of using harsh chemicals to control pests, use natural methods like companion planting or biological controls.
- Maintain soil health: Healthy soil is the foundation of a healthy garden. Continue to add organic matter to your soil, and consider conducting a soil test to ensure that your soil has the right pH and nutrient levels.
- Prune and deadhead regularly: Regular pruning and deadheading can help keep your plants healthy and encourage them to produce more blooms.
- Use reel mowers: Gas-powered lawnmowers are a significant source of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Switching to a reel or electric mower can help reduce your carbon footprint.
- Reduce waste: Composting your yard and kitchen scraps can help reduce waste and provide a source of nutrient-rich compost for your garden.
Remember that creating a climate-friendly landscape is an ongoing process. As your landscape grows and changes, be prepared to make adjustments and continue to prioritize sustainability and resilience. Doing so can help reduce your carbon footprint, support biodiversity, and create a beautiful and sustainable outdoor space for years. Also, consider consulting professional backyard landscaping services in Toronto for expert advice.
The Best Landscape Designer in Toronto
Creating a climate-friendly landscape is good for the planet and can be a beautiful and sustainable addition to your backyard. At LandCon, we are committed to helping you create backyard landscaping design for climate change that is both resilient and sustainable.
Our team of expert landscape designers in Toronto can help you design and build a landscape that reduces water waste, supports local biodiversity, and minimizes greenhouse gas emissions. From smart water use and soil improvement to selecting the right plants and creating habitats for local wildlife, we have the knowledge and experience to help you create a beautiful and eco-friendly landscape.
Join us in the fight against climate change and make a positive impact on the planet with climate-friendly backyard landscaping. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you build a sustainable and resilient landscape. One of our landscape designers in Toronto will get in touch with you.