Guide to Choosing a Green Landscaper

Are you looking to hire a landscaper for your yard? To help you choose a green landscaper, it’s worth asking possible companies a few questions first to be sure they’ll use sustainable landscaping practices to protect the environment and save you money.

Consider asking landscapers how they will…

lawn and natural landscape by homeBuild Healthy Soils in Your Garden

Good soil is the foundation of a healthy landscape. By improving your soil, you can beautify your garden and lawn, cut your water bills and improve water quality in our streams. Learn how landscapers will tend your soil as well as your plants by asking:

  • Do they use a soil test to assess soil nutrients?
  • Do they till compost and other amendments into soil?
  • Do they “grasscycle” or mulch mow?
  • Do they use “natural organic” or “slow release” fertilizers?

Select Plants That Will Thrive in Your Garden

By choosing plants well-adapted to your garden’s situation, you save time and money, reduce maintenance, help prevent pests, and leave cleaner water for salmon and other wildlife. If your landscaping company will select plants to add to your garden or replace dead plants, ask:

  • Do they consider site conditions when choosing plants?
  • Do they look for drought-tolerant, pest-resistant plants?
  • Do they select plants that grow well in the Northwest?

Control Weeds, Pests and Diseases Naturally

Natural pest, weed and disease control will create a more vibrant yard – and protect the health of people, pets, salmon and other wildlife. Make sure your yard stays safe and low-chemical by asking landscapers:

  • Do they offer an “organic” or environmentally sensitive program?
  • Can they explain their Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to you?
  • Do they monitor regularly for pests and weeds, but spray only when necessary?
  • If a pest or weed problem develops, do they use the least toxic solution?

natural landscape in front of housePractice Smart Watering for Healthy Plants

Smart watering can result in lower water bills and a healthier landscape by conserving water and reducing the need for fertilizer and pesticide use. To make sure the landscaping company will practice smart watering, ask:

  • Do they water deeply but infrequently?
  • Do they develop irrigation plans to meet each plant’s needs, without overwatering?
  • Do they regularly maintain and adjust irrigation systems?

When you hire a landscape professional who minimizes the use of toxic chemicals and works with natural processes, you can save money and help protect the environment. For more information and a complete list of suggested questions check out “How to Choose a Landscape Company” (pdf).