Backyard Basics

There are a lot of great ways to beautify your landscape, reduce your maintenance and costs, and put the rain to work in your yard. From splash blocks to rain barrels, and practicing natural yard care to enjoy more wildlife, there’s something for everyone!

 Use Splash Blocks

Splash BlockRedirect your downspout to a splash block so the water runs downslope and away from your foundation. Make sure the block empties onto your lawn or into a planting bed, where rain water can be best absorbed and used. (Don’t let water pool next to your foundation.) 

 Add Plant Buffers

Add a Plant BufferSlow the rain down once it’s hit the ground, and put it to use before it runs down the storm drain, or down the road. Planting small shrubs and perennial plants along the edges of your yard will enhance your landscape, increase your property value and capture some of that rain, allowing it to soak into the ground.

 Amend Your Soil

Ammended soil on the left vs non ammended on the rightFor better grass and less summer watering, add a layer of compost to your lawn (1/4 inch) and planted areas (1 – 2 inches). This will help your soil absorb and hold rainfall, leading to a healthier lawn and plantings, and reduce your water bill and need for fertilizers. Do this annually in the late spring/early summer (May) or as needed.

 Layer Your Plants

Example of a Layered Planting“Layering” your landscape means you put the tallest plants in the back of your planted area, the shortest in the front, and mix other heights in between. Besides creating interest in your garden, this provides great habitat for wildlife, and also catches rain drops so they don’t become runoff. The extra shade also helps your soil hold moisture during our dry summers.

 Practice Natural Yard Care

By working with nature in your yard, you can have a great looking landscape that’s easier to care for and healthier for families, pets, wildlife, and our great Northwest environment. Check out the great publications linked below, or sign up for our workshops notifications to learn more at events in your neighborhood!



Additional Resources