Landscaping Tips - Sustainable Practices

LANDSCAPING TIPS brought to you by the Arizona Landscape Contractors’ Association, the Sustainable Landscape Management (SLM) and the Arizona Certified Landscape Professional (ACLP) programs


Sustainable Practices

Landscape professionals are the stewards of our private and public natural spaces which are becoming increasingly important in this era of smaller yards, higher population and limited resources.

The basis of our SLM program is to promote and support sustainable landscape practices.

What does that mean, exactly?

Sustainable landscape practices promote the responsible use of our limited natural resources while creating a more inviting and useful outdoor environment by:


  • Using native or climate-adapted species that require less water, fertilizer and maintenance whenever possible
  • Limiting the use of high water-use, high-maintenance plant choices to only where they are used/required
  • Practicing “Right Plant, Right Place” – matching client needs and desires with the right plant(s) for the job by understanding the microclimate of the space and the plant choices
  • Following proper planting and pruning practices to reduce plant failure and replacements
  • Choosing lower water-use plants as replacements for failed high-water use plants when possible
  • Treating trees – the foundations of our outdoor spaces and the creators of shade - as the assets they are by properly selecting, planting and maintaining them
  • Using efficient irrigation practices – knowing when and how much to water, and doing so with the least amount of waste - using properly-maintained efficient irrigation systems with water-saving technology
  • Keeping rainwater on the property and available to plants with the “slow it, spread it, sink it” approach to storm water management
  • Encouraging the natural growth, flowering and dormancy period of trees, shrubs and groundcovers
  • Eliminating the pruning of plants into unnatural shapes and on unnecessary pruning schedules which:
    • reduces plant stress and the need for overwatering
    • reduces the excess use of fossil fuels for trips to the landfill and running equipment
    • reduces pressure on limited landfill space
  • Practicing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to deal with unwanted pests and weeds


Ultimately, sustainability equals efficiency.
Using knowledge, correct cultural practices and appropriate technology to reduce waste and increase the benefits of the landscape for the people who enjoy them.