By Kristi Loobek
Minnesota’s climate is anything but mild—from toasty hot summers to bitterly cold winters. To help save on your home’s energy and water use, follow these landscaping tips:
- If your house struggles to keep cool in the summer:
- Plant bushes or trees along the South wall. By blocking the suns rays for most of the day you will stop any excessive heating.
- However, keep in mind these same bushes will also block the sun in the wintery months.
- For a less extreme option, consider planting vines along the South wall.
- If your house struggles to stay warm in the winter:
- Creating a natural wind block may be the way to go. Planting bushes, shrubs, or trees on the North/Northwest perimeter of your house or lot will help reduce the same windchill effect that happens on exposed skin from happening to your house.
- Dense evergreen trees and bushes are an excellent option.
- Sick of those snow drifts cozying up next to you house? Consider planting low shrubs on the windward side of your house to create a barrier.
- Water conservation—how to save a few gallons and keep plants happy:
- Group plants with similar needs together.
- Consider using a grass that requires less watering.
- Maintain the soil by tilling. It will promote better water absorption and deeper roots.
- Use mulch! By using mulch you will prevent the soil from crusting and will reduce weed growth.
Reprinted with permission from Clean Energy Resource Teams’ Minnesota Energy Stories