by ERIK HOTVEDT of LAWNS Landscape Maintenance
You probably spend $100-$200 per month, or hours every weekend, on landscape maintenance. Have you considered ways that your landscape could return a dividend rather than being a drain on your pocketbook? Or make it worth the time that you are investing? The same practices for maintaining your landscape are currently the same necessities for most vegetables and herbs. Most of these plants have the same requirements as all of your current shrubs and ornamentals. With a few changes you could be your own farmers market.
Current landscape maintenance protocols include the use of synthetic fertilizers, weed killers and fungicides. Your landscaper should be warning you not to run in bare feet on your lawn for a few days after applying their toxic products. Incorporating food into your property immediately conveys your priority for healthier choices. Organic protocols are easily applied and similarly priced to conventional practices.
Landscape maintenance isn’t just about mowing your lawn. There are flower beds, irrigation, fertilizing, mulch, spring and fall cleanup. The cost of your water can be completely offset by growing your own cold crops like kale, spinach, Swiss chard, cabbages and savoy. How much could you save by growing these and not having to buy any all summer? You don’t need a full garden that requires weeding and constant tending. Just sprinkle them into your current landscaping. As the weather warms you can work in tomato plants, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, tomatillos and bush beans. If you don’t have much space you could even dress up a sunny wall with beautiful purple, yellow or even striped red climbing beans. Throughout the season you can continue to plant every few weeks to extend your harvests into December and January with beets, carrots, cabbages, parsnips, endive, broccoli and cauliflower.
All of these vegetables are as pretty as any ornamental that you are currently maintaining with no return. They even deepen in color as the weather gets cooler in the fall. Many increase in sweetness and flavor by changing the starches to sugars with the first light frost. You don’t have to do all of these examples, but trying a few will make a huge difference and you would be surprised at the abundance you will reap and desire to share with family and friends.
I started my 15 years of personal gardening experience at my house on the west side of Bend and now live in the Orchard District on larger property. The move enabled me make my dreams of pursuing healthy alternatives a reality for myself and began my quest to teach others the simplicity of those healthy alternatives. I was able to use recycled materials to build a greenhouse that allows me to grow all of the veggie starts that I use for my clients, and extra to sell at Central Oregon Locavore.
If you are new to the area and have not yet learned how to garden in Central Oregon, I am happy to help with any stage of transitioning from a landscaping design that sucks your wallet and our water supply dry, to benefiting your family. From a one hour consultation to design, to full weekly service of your entire property, I can make your dream of healthier choices a reality. Create a biosphere that will care for your loved ones by incorporating food into your landscape.
LAWNS Landscape Maintenance • 541-350-6490