?Green homes are now slowly becoming popular with growing number of people preferring them to conventional homes. Green homes have a more healthy quality of indoor air, yield more energy and water efficiency, and promote a better and cleaner environment, in the process reducing environmental impacts. Modern green homes no longer look weird but are stylishly designed, be they remodeled, newly constructed or refurbished traditional homes. Although most green homes are the traditionally wooden-built homes, options are now available for natural buildings such as super adobe, straw bale, bamboo, rammed earth, clay/straw wall systems, insulated concrete forms, and insulated structural panel systems. But eco-friendly landscaping is more than just avoidance of the use of toxic chemicals. It employs pro-active systems involving general landscaping maintenance on a month to month basis to include light pruning, weeding, cleanup, removal and termination of weeds, mulching of beds, organic fertilization of trees and shrubs, thatching, aerating, and over seeding of lawns, lime, demossing and fertilization of turf, removal of spent leaves off of bulbs., deadheading of spent blooms on flowers, treatment for flies and insects, start up irrigation, checking for powder mildew and aphids, new planting, pruning of deciduous plants, raking of leaves., pruning of deciduous plants, raking of leaves, and cleanup entrances and walkways. The basic practices employed encompass certain green practices such as: Variety of plants. Choosing a variety of native plants encourages a more abundant and healthy landscape. This belief also helps to prevent pest and disease devastation. To conserve water, plant beds are designed to grow more draught tolerant plants incorporated around lawn areas. Turf maintenance. Mowing and clipping of sidewalks, gutters and drives is performed on a regular basis according to the type, health condition and seasonal requirements of the sod. Pruning. Trees and plants are pruned to maintain health, growth, coverage and visual appeal. Edging. Edging of planting beds, curbs and driveways are performed bi-weekly as specified on a per site basis. Bed work. Ground mulch are raked on a regular basis to maintain a healthy appearance. Beds are kept regularly weed free and cleaned of leaves. Landscape debris in the landscaped areas will be removed. Fertilizers. Lawn fertilization use only organic fertilizers. Shrub and tree fertilization are done in accordance with the specifications of the chosen fertilizers as well as what is indicated by the seasonal requirements and conditions of the shrubs, trees, lawn and soil. Irrigation. Irrigation programming is adjusted on an as needed basis. Repairs, preventative maintenance, winterizing, spring start-up and upgrading are properly coordinated to insure proper work. Eco-friendly landscaping generates substantial benefits arising from the lowering in landscape maintenance costs, reduction in residential exposure to chemicals and the lessening of risk of ground water contamination. And, according to a study from Michigan State University, eco-friendly landscaping can add 5 to 11% to a home's base value.
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