Traditional Yard Means High MaintenanceMowing.jpg

We all enjoy a yard that gives us a place to relax, play and just enjoy its beauty. Traditionally, that's plenty of green, well-groomed grass and colorful flowers. But it takes a lot of upkeep – weekly mowing, often-daily irrigation and periodic fertilization to have such a yard. And, the bigger lot you have, the more time, money and energy you spend.

The traditional yard is costly. Besides the amount of time and labor you spend maintaining your yard, you're using:

•Water for irrigation, which is increasing in cost
•Expensive pesticides that can be toxic to people, pets and wildlife
•Costly fertilizers that can harm the aquatic wildlife of streams and lakes if misapplied
•Gasoline for lawn-care equipment, which contributes to climate change and also is increasing in price

Tennessee Smart Yards Brings Fresh Ideas to Landscape Design
But you can have your beautiful yard without all the expense and time involved, a yard you will truly enjoy, while helping keep Tennessee's water clean.  You can make just one or two changes that will make a significant difference, or you can turn your existing yard into a gardener's dream, one that is functional for you, for wildlife like birds and butterflies, for your budget and for the preservation of our water.


The concept is simple, really. You steer away from shallow-rooted plants and select ones with deeper roots that do a better job retaining runoff. You use lots of mulch. You establish another garden or two. You choose plantings that thrive in your Tennessee region so they need less care and water. You learn how to use nature's best pesticides, which are predatory insects that can decimate populations of harmful pests. The concept is getting in sync with your surroundings – your soil type, the dips and rises of your land, the native wildflowers —all the natural features around your home.


Get Started Now

Perhaps you already use a rain barrel to catch water running off your roof, or maybe you've found alternatives to the maintenance of a large lawn by planting lots of shrubs and flower gardens. If so, you're certainly on the right path.

See how your yard measures up by taking a look at the Tennessee Yardstick Workbook and learn what else you can do to capture storm runoff and reduce pollutants. Also, check the Events Calendar for a workshop near you to get a wealth of information and the training you need to do your yard right. ​​