Climate Change and Sustainability Initiative
Natural Yard Care
Yards are spaces for individuals and families to relax and have fun. Natural Yard Care practices can:
5 Steps for Natural Yard Care*:
1. Build healthy soils with compost and mulch
You can compost both your yard waste and food waste from your kitchen. Composting can be an easy addition to your gardening practices or a major hobby. For information and trainings on home composting visit Skagit Countys Composting Website.
If you cant compost at home, Skagit Soils also accepts organics for composting.
Mulch can be produced from organic material like leaves, wood chips, compost, or grass clippings. Mulch can be spread in spring or fall around your plants to conserve water, prevent weeds, and feed the soil.
Need fertilizer? Go organic!
Overusing chemical pesticides and fertilizers can damage soil life, leading to soil compaction and unhealthy plants. Excess chemicals can also wash off your yard into ground water, rivers, lakes, and marine waters, where they can harm people and wildlife and decrease water quality. Using organic fertilizers helps reduce the amount of chemicals that may wash off your yard.
Other information sources:
2. Plant right for your site
Use Native and Low Water Use Plants
Increase Backyard Habitat
The four basic requirements for Backyard Habitat are:
Information on Backyard Habitat projects and certification is available from the Fidalgo Backyard Habitat Project.
Other Information Sources:
Conserve Water (Skagit PUDs Landscaping and Irrigation Guide)
Collect Rain Water
Use Rain Barrels to collect rain water from off of your roof. Visit WSU or Skagit PUD for information on rain barrel installation, maintenance, and workshops. PUD holds Rain Barrel workshops for interested Skagit PUD customers. The rain barrels cost $50/ea. and participants receive one barrel at the workshop.
4. Think twice before using pesticides
Instead try using paper to avoid weeds in your garden, read Feeding Off Weeds with Newsprint.
5. Natural Lawn Care
Use mulching mowers and try composting your yard waste at home or take your yard waste to a disposal facility. Visit Skagit Countys website for information on Food and Yard Waste disposal facilities.
Other sources of information on Natural Yard Care practices:
*Adapted from Natural Yard Care: Five steps to make your piece of the planet a healthier place to live produced by the Washington State Department of Ecology