Energy-efficient Landscaping Techniques

Landscaping refers to any activity that involves the actual manipulation of an area of land to improve its appearance. It is very beneficial to the home because it provides a pleasing and comfortable ambience and can add to its resale value. According to experts, landscaping can add as much as 14 percent to the resale value of a property and speed its sale by as much as 6 weeks. This is equivalent to earning back 150 percent or more of your landscape investment.

Surprisingly, landscaping has another benefit. Landscaping can help in the conservation of energy. Carefully positioned trees reduce household energy consumption for heating and cooling by up to 25 percent. Homeowners can actually save an average amount between $100 and $250 annually. Here are some ways you could use landscaping to reduce energy consumption.

Plant Trees

Trees can help save energy all year-round. The shade given by trees is sometimes compared to the cooling power of air-conditioners. Place large trees with round, horizontal, and vase-shaped crowns on the south and west sides of your home. Doing so will provide cooling shade in the summer and will not obstruct the low winter sun.

Lawn as Air Conditioner

Make sure your MN landscaping plan includes a good area for your lawn. According to a Mississippi State University study, a healthy front lawn has the same cooling effect as an 8-1/2 ton air conditioning compressor. The plants transpire or evaporate water through the leaves surface to cool themselves and the surrounding area.

Energy-Efficient Pavers

If you’re planning to install pavers Minneapolis residents like for their homes, there are paving stones made of recycled glass called Bottlestone. Bottlestone only takes almost half the energy required to make conventional clay or cement pavers. This material is suitable for a variety of commercial and residential surface applications.


Include a windbreak in your MN landscaping design. A windbreak is made up of one or more rows of trees or shrubs to provide shelter from the wind and to protect the soil from erosion. A windbreak will also help in stabilizing the temperature in your yard by keeping warm air away from your house, thereby lowering energy consumption

Straw Bale Gardening

Straw Bale Gardening

Straw Bale Gardening is simply another form of container gardening. The difference is that the container is the straw bale, and it is held together by two or three strings. When the straw inside the bale begins to decay, the straw becomes conditioned compost that creates a great plant rooting environment. An essential part of the process is getting the straw bales conditioned. May is about the right time to get started in most of the country. This technique works anywhere in the country or the world, for that matter.

Joel Karsten is a certified Nursery and Landscape Professional through the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association. He hold a BS from the University of Minnesota in Horticulture Science, but his real knowledge on gardening comes from his 35 years of being a gardener. Joels father, Glen Karsten is the owner of Karstens Nursery, and has been growing and selling trees and shrubs for many years near Worthington, MN. Joel spend many hours working in the nursery and even gardening with his Grandma Josephine, as well.

The benefits of a Straw Bale Garden:If you are less capable or interested in doing heavy work of traditional gardening, such as tilling the soil, constant weeding, insects, and disease spraying, Straw Bale Gardening virtually eliminates these challenges.

Any Physical limitation or handicap that restricts you from getting down on the ground, you will appreciate the easier, higher surface access of a straw bale, which eliminates the bending to plant and harvest.

If you have poor soil or limited space to devote to a garden, you will love the low cost and flexibility of placement of your garden. Youll also love how the garden grows once it is properly conditioned.

If you are a seasoned gardener looking for a fun new method, you will love the results.

Joel started teaching the Straw Bale Gardening class in the spring of 2008, and has become a popular instructor at many school districts around Minnesota and Wisconsin. If you are not able to attend his class, you can order his book, Guide To Straw Bale Gardening, by Joel Karsten for $15.00, which includes mailing cost in the USA or Canada.Mail Your Check To:Joel Karsten1313 Willow CircleRoseville, MN 55113

Or order online. A PDF copy is $9.99 (Sorry, I dont have the link, but you can probably Google him.)