Residential Water Use Lawns, Gardens & Landscapes

Green Infrastructure

Landscapes which are sustainably designed, installed and managed provide us with many benefits. Sustainable landscapes conserve water, lower the rate and volume of runoff water from rain, snowmelt and irrigation, and help reduce the amount of pollutants reaching the surface and ground water. Read on to learn ways to design or change your landscape to achieve a sustainable landscape.

Improving Soil Structure for Increased Infiltration and Water Holding Capacity

Compost

Plant roots grow in soil pore spaces. Pore spaces are also where oxygen is found. Just as plant roots cannot grow without water, they cannot grow without oxygen. Soil pore space is important to plant growth and efficient water use.

Soils with good structure have adequate pore space making them well drained while still having good water and nutrient holding capacity. Ideal soils have 50 percent soil particles and 50 percent pore space. An important aspect of good soil structure is soil aggregation.

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Nebraska Virtual Green Infrastructure Tour

Nebraska Virtual Green Infrastructure Tour flyer

Join us on March 5, 2021 for the Nebraska Virtual Green Infrastructure Tour!  We will re-visit communities across Nebraska to higlight green infrastructure projects and programs, both large and small.

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2021 Nebraska Virtual Green Infrastructure Tour - So nice, we'll visit twice!

Nebraska Virtual Green Infrastructure Tour

Join us on March 5, 2021 for the Nebraska Virtual Green Infrastructure Tour!  We will re-visit communities across Nebraska to higlight green infrastructure projects and programs, both large and small.

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Manage Soils to Improve Drainage and Prevent Compaction

Soil Erosion

Soils with good structure and those that not compacted help expand root systems. Roots hold soil in place to reduce erosion, a leading cause of water pollution. Soils that are not compacted allow for increased infiltration of rain and irrigation water.

Soil management is important to healthy plants and healthy ecosystems. Following are a few tips for improving residential landscape and garden soils and why it is important for root systems and plant health.

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Rain Garden Hydrologic Performance Depends on Proper Design and Installation

Rain Garden, Photo from Kelly Feehan, Extension Educator

Rain gardens are an aesthetic feature of your residential landscape that also has a hydrologic function. Hydrologic means related to water. A properly designed and constructed rain garden for a residential landscape (no underground drainage system) is designed like a bathtub to hold water and let it slowly seep into the soil beneath the garden. This water is available for plant growth, and this water is removed from runoff that leaves your yard and does not contribute to downstream flooding or pollution.  How well does your rain garden serve its hydrologic function?

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