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Conservation landscaping: Water conservation

Living the Country Life Radio Program with Betsy Freese

Assess your site

Listen to this radio show (MP3 download) or read below.

Radio interview source: Laurie Fox, horticultural associate, Virginia Tech University

If you visited my place, you might wonder why I've neglected to mow a chunk of the yard. We've let parts of it go wild over the years for wildlife. Because native plants are thriving in all kinds of conditions, I have the additional benefit of conserving water by not having to drag out the garden hose out every day.

Laurie Fox is a horticulturist with Virginia Tech University and says good water conservation in the landscape starts by first assessing your site.

"Consider how much impervious surface you have like roofs, driveways, sidewalks, patios, things like that -- versus green area or area that will absorb the water," Fox says. "And then you kind of look at what that ratio is and if it's pretty high, then that's an indicator that you might want to do some things in your landscape for water conservation."

Outline your goals, then assess the types of plants you already have in place, their overall health, and what your maintenance level is with them. Have a soil test done through your county extension office for nutrient recommendations.

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