Plan Your Landscape

R. L. Rhodes
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If you’ve been thinking about your landscape and wondering if it’s time for a change, the prospect of reinventing your look can be daunting. With a little preparation, though, you can set the stage for success.

Mulching the landscape.

Start with a clean slate

All the planning in the world won’t help if the conditions in your yard aren’t favorable for landscaping. Start with a soil test to ensure that the chemical balance in your landscape will sustain the plants you want to introduce. If your balance is out of whack, some amendments may be necessary. Now is also an ideal time to correct the grade on your lawn to reduce storm water run-off.

Plan for growth

Much of the appeal of landscaping and gardening is the element of unpredictability that comes of working with living things. We plant seeds and saplings, and over time they’re shaped by the prevailing conditions and the imperative of growth. To an extent, we can direct that growth, but it’s wise to start out with a healthy flexibility over your collaboration with the plants in your yard. If you’ve done your job properly, the one thing you can count on is that they will grow.

To that end, you should plan to accommodate for growth. Leave enough space between plantings to ensure that they don’t have to struggle with one another for the necessities. Use our plant guide to learn about the average dimensions of full-grown plants so that you don’t make the mistake of settling a tall shrub under a low hanging structure. Call 811 to make sure you’re not planting tap roots over buried utilities.

Plan for maintenance

That hedge you’re thinking about planting? It’s going to want pruning every now and then. That bed of flowers? They’re going to need water. Beautiful landscapes need periodic maintenance, so make the job easy on yourself. When you’re planning your landscape, take stock of what sort of care your plants will need and incorporate those needs into your blueprint.

Make sure traditionally thirsty plants are within reach of a ready water supply. If that means installing an irrigation system, save yourself a massive headache down the line by including that in your plans now. If you intend to illuminate your landscape, scope out the nearest electrical outlets and work out what you’ll need. Even if your plans are relatively simple, be careful to leave room to maneuver, so that you don’t have to fight your landscape in the process of maintaining it.

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