Landscaping can be tricky. But here are a few of the most useful tips from landscaping experts.
Plant trees as if they were full grown
•Before you buy a tree, look at the shade pattern it’ll have when it’s grown.
•You’re going to start with this cute little tree, and it’s going to look good when you plant it near the house, but once it grows up, it’s going to cause problems with the roof and gutters.
Plants don’t like rocks
•Rock mulch will reflect heat back into shrubs and heat up shallow roots, so it is not as good for the health of the plant.
•Shredded mulch holds moisture better and stays cooler.
Save money on mulch
•If you’re mulching a big area, use a cheaper hardwood mulch for most of it, then top-dress it with cedar or cypress.
•You can also top-dress old, ratty-looking mulch — just sprinkle on a fresh 1 inch layer and it’ll look brand new.
•This way you’re not paying for mulch that you (and everyone else) won’t even see.
The best garden edging depends on your yard
•Plastic edging will go up and down hills as long as you spike it in well, but over time, straight lines will get a little wavy.
•Steel edging, on the other hand, will hold a good, straight edge, but it won’t roll up hills well.
•Brick edging looks good, but grass will creep into the cracks, so brick edging involves a little more maintenance.
Keep these experts landscaping tips in mind to help you landscape like a pro. You can also search the Internet or go to your local library for more information on soils, plants, trees and growing conditions that are specific to your region.
Expert gardening tips
Building and keeping a lovely garden can take a lot of work. But there are a few things you can keep in mind to help make your gardening efforts easier. Here are some expert gardening tips.
Expert gardening tips
Mulch plants more—fertilize less
•Over-fertilizing your garden with chemical fertilizers can cause excess leaf and stem growth and even burn your plants.
•Never apply more than the recommended amount of fertilizer.
•Instead of just relying on fertilizers to make your plants look good, concentrate on proper soil preparation to give your plants a healthy growing foundation.
•Work in about 2 to 4 inches of compost in the top 8 to 12 inches of soil.
•This amazing material improves drainage in clay soils and increases water-holding capacity in sandy soils.
Healthy grass is the best weed preventer
•Lawns that are nutrient-stressed are a breeding ground for weeds, so the best defence is a healthy lawn.
•Test the soil to see what type and quantity of fertilizer are needed to help your lawn.
•Proper fertilization improves lawn health, so grass can compete better and crowd out weeds — without a lot of weed killer.
Solve landscape problems with ground covers
•Ground covers are an easy way to soften rock features and patios or to control erosion on slopes.
•If the soil’s good, kill the existing vegetation and leave it in place on the slope to stabilize the bank and serve as mulch.
•Then plant through the layer of dead material.
•Add another layer of shredded bark or other mulch after planting to conserve moisture and reduce weed problems while your ground cover becomes established.
Protect trees with mulch
•Protect tree roots that are exposed at the surface of your yard.
•Wounds in tree roots from lawn mowers allow insects and disease to move in.
•However, you shouldn’t just bury exposed roots in soil.
•Put mulch around the root area instead.
•A 2 to 4 inch layer of wood chips or shredded bark protects the roots and creates a good growing environment.
•Planting grass right up to a tree trunk is a common practice, but it’s not good for the tree because grass and trees compete for water and nutrients.
•The tree will be healthier and grow faster if you put a 1 to 1.2 metre (3 to 4 foot) border of mulch around it instead of grass.
Remember these expert gardening tips and you’ll have an easier time building up and keeping a lovely garden.