Sunday, December 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Reap savings from your yard and garden

By
From page C4 | January 19, 2014 |

We all like saving money. But did you know strategically selected and planted trees and plants in your yard can put money in your pockets? And even better yet, all the tools you need to help you save are available for free.

Energy savings

Knowing the best location to plant a tree on your property can save you money year after year. In real estate there’s that saying about the importance of “location, location, location.” The same is true with your trees. A well-placed tree can lower your energy bill by providing shade over your home during the summer, reducing the amount of heat it absorbs, thereby keeping it cooler. It can also help block the wind, decreasing drafts in your home.

But do you know the best location to plant a tree on your property and which of the trees you like is the best for these purposes? Do you know the annual financial and other benefits you receive from each of the trees  planted in your yard? If not, i-Tree Design, a free software program from the United States Forest Service, can provide you with this information. i-Tree Design will calculate your home energy savings based upon where a tree or trees will be, or are planted on your property and the type of tree planted.

i-Tree Design, part of a suite of applications designed to provide analysis and benefits of urban forests, is free and easy to use. You simply enter your address and the program brings up a satellite image of the property. You click and drag a planting icon onto the image to where you have, or intend to plant a tree, select the type of tree from a drop down menu, and input the tree’s condition and trunk size. The program will respond with the estimated monetary value and benefits of the tree planted or to be planted.

For example, the mulberry tree in my front yard annually provides $26.74 of benefits, saves 27.36 kilowatts of electricity, reduces 125 pounds of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and intercepts 775.58 gallons of storm water. The software provides details on all of the specific benefits of the tree. You can access i-Tree Design at www.itreetools.org.

Grocery savings

You don’t need to have a vegetable garden to save on your grocery bill if you opt for edible landscaping. Edible landscaping is the use of food-producing trees, bushes and plants in your home landscape. Whether you’re simply replacing a dead tree or bush, or putting in a complete new yard, you can choose to plant a fruit or nut tree, or a berry bush instead of simply an ornamental. Just think of the money you could save from drinking fresh-squeezed orange juice from your own tree. You can even start small by planting a row of colorful pepper varieties in your flower bed, or planting asparagus where you would normally plant your annual flowers. Or if you like landscaping with planters, consider filling a planter with a variety of commonly used herb and spice plants.

Planting a year round vegetable garden can easily save you over a hundred dollars.

If you don’t have the space, planting just a single tomato plant in a planter can save you some money. Or planting lettuce in a planter makes a decorative and edible display.

Information on growing edible plants and trees can be found on the web at http://ucanr.edu/sites/gardenweb/.

Entertainment savings

If you have children, a lawn can provide hours of recreation, eliminating the need to frequently pay for outside entertainment. For their education and physical activity, consider teaching them how to garden. Set aside a small area or planter for your children to grow flowers and vegetables. A poll conducted earlier this year by the British Nutrition Foundation found a shocking percentage of secondary students think tomatoes grow underground and that cheese is made from plants. Teaching your kids gardening teaches them where their food comes from. Your local public library has books on gardening for children.

Paying attention to your yard and garden will pay off. Plus landscaped homes generally have a higher value than non-landscaped homes. So reap the benefits of your yard.

Kathy Low is a Master Gardener with the University of California Cooperative Extension office in Fairfield. If you have gardening questions, call the Master Gardeners office at 784-1322.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Rich GiddensJanuary 19, 2014 - 8:35 am

    Great article but your average Californian is not interested in anything aesthetic or redeeming. Their idea of gardening is to dry up the lawn and shrubs and stake a vicious pitbul to the dead tree trunk in the front yard. The only thing they want to grow is marijuana.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

The Salvation Army serves 1,000-plus across 2 days

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

 
Blue Christmas service offers reflection, hope

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1

Shining bright for all to see: Locals deck out yards, homes

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Time for annual Solano County quiz

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

Bevy of holiday activities at Western Railway Museum

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Discovery Kingdom upgrades animal, marine mammal facilities

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

State Fair scholarship applications available

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Get tested, know your status

By Morgan Westfall | From Page: C4

 
Free New Year’s celebration slated

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
 
New development fees start Jan. 1 in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

A word of warning for Senator Warren

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7, 4 Comments

 
New technology chief will join McNaughton Newspapers

By Tanya Perez | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Fairfield police log: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Sky-high price has VA rationing hep C drug

By Tom Philpott | From Page: B10

.

US / World

Air Force admits nuke flaws, but will fixes work?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
AP sources: Cops’ killer angry at chokehold death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

 
Officials: Missing dog was dyed to deceive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Immigrants build document trails to remain in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
California officer kills teen after machete attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
4 teens die in fiery head-on crash in Pennsylvania

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

2 dozen injured in southern Indiana bus crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Police brutality protesters rally at Mall of America

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Texas ranchers seeking alternative incomes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Panama’s Noriega in prison 25 years post-invasion

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

North Korea proposes joint probe over Sony hacking

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
2 car bombs rock southern Sweden’s city of Malmo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Bombings kill 12 in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
US sends 4 Afghans back home from Guantanamo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Burying the dead after Pakistan’s school massacre

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
A chance to breach divide for young in Cuba and US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
New school finance strategy lacks accountability

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

Season’s greetings from the Obamas

By Alexandra Petri | From Page: A8

 
Sound off for Dec. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Vatican offers olive branch to US nuns

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3, 1 Comment

Why celebrate Christmas?

By Noel Reese | From Page: C3, 2 Comments

 
Horoscopes: Dec. 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

Should I ask grandson why we weren’t included in wedding photos?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

Review: ‘Five’ by Ursula Archer is intriguing

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Publisher hopes to sell books through Twitter

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Chris Colfer has multi-book deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Jerry Lee Lewis: Sustained by brief blaze of glory

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

New Giants 3B McGehee eager to play back home

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Interim coaching jobs present challenges in bowls

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

49ers squander 21-point lead in 4th straight loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
No. 11 Lady Vols trounce No. 7 Stanford 59-40

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Eagles near elimination, fall 27-24 to Redskins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Raiders place cornerback Brown on injured reserve

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Big moves bring big hope for Chicago baseball

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
US skier Nyman wins Gardena downhill for 3rd time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Vonn wins women’s World Cup downhill in France

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
This date in sports history for Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Business

Your info has been hacked. Now what do you do?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
On the money: 4 ways to hold on to your cash when renting a car

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Recalls this week: Bean bag chairs, toy monkeys

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Scarecrows outnumber people in dying Japan town

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

.

Obituaries

Marian Kay Zutz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Bart Ferro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Dominic C. Scolaro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Barbara Jean Bidstrup Braker

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Perry Michael Smetts

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Luzdivina B. Banks

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Arnold Howard Evans

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Anthony Hanson Elder

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics