Toni Pohl

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Welcome to Day 4 of greeing your home in Greater Vancouver and saving money. Here are 10 yard improvement tips to share with you:

  1. Drip irrigation - It saves water compared to sprinklers.
  2. Elbow grease - Don’t power wash your driveway. Sweep it or use a scrub brush and pail.
  3. Less lawn - Lawns waste water. Instead conserve and beautify using indigenous plants such as ferns, tiger lilies and hostas.
  4. Grow your own - How much more will you spend on food this year? Even a few miniature fruit trees and a small vegetable garden in a raised bed or in containers will help keep you healthy and save you dollars. Lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries and blueberries thrive in our climate.
  5. Preserve your produce - Invest in home canning jars and equipment and a small freezer and enjoy your produce year round – at considerable savings.
  6. Bee friendly - We need bees to pollinate, so get a few plant bee-friendly annuals such as asters, marigolds, sunflowers, zinnias; or perennials such as clematis, foxgloves, hollyhocks, roses or shrubs such as Buddleia.
  7. Go chemical-free - “Get rid of weeds without using chemicals that harm us and our pets,” advises REALTOR® and Richmond City counselor, Derek Dang, who led the way to a bylaw banning cosmetic pesticides. His suggestion, “Use dish detergent or weed by hand.”
  8. Plant fruit trees - They’ll give you shade and fruit. Plum, apple, pear and more.
  9. Compost - It will make your garden grow and divert waste from the landfill.
  10. Clean green - Vinegar, baking soda and lemons clean as well as expensive, chemical-filled cleaning supplies for a fraction of the cost.

Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (May 2013)
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