Monday, December 22, 2008

Landscape - Horticultural Ecosystems VIII

This is a continuation of the series on managing landscapes as horticultural ecosystems for sustainable landscaping. Slides are from a presentation I give on the subject.

Consider what effects structural components will have on the horticultural ecosystems and design to minimize negative effects. Limit root restrictions or design with rooting in mind (structural soils under walkways for example). Consider where water runoff will go and design to manage that runoff (rain gardens for example). Consider how structural components may increase radiation load, change light conditions, or limit plant space.

Consider how the landscape will be used by people and how this will effect the horticultural ecosystem. The goal is to blend man as part of the landscape.

Your management activities in the horticultural ecosystem can have major effects. Consider how you will manage the root environment. Plant nutrients and water can be limiting factors in a landscape; however, overuse of these inputs can have negative effects. Consider how your management affects light conditions, temperature, wind, humidity, and other microclimate effects.

Consider what the effects of the above management decisions would be on the horticultural ecosystem.

To be continued...

Gordon Johnson, Extension Horticulture Agent, UD, Kent County

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