will enhance your home, but at the same time, it should not be a
burden. With good
planning and proper plant selection, your yard will be a
pleasure to care
for as well as a pleasure to view. The right plans
for low maintenance.
HOW TO PLAN
First - EVALUATE
YOUR SITE. WHERE IS IT GOING TO GO?
1. Where is the sun and/or shade?
2. Where is the wind in the summer and winter?
3. Where is the location of utilities and/or easements? Tree roots can
4. Where is the location of your house on the lot, including
walkways, patio, pool?
5. Have your soil analyzed.
6. Where are your existing plants and trees?
7. Where is the location of your water supply?
8. Think of the convenience when locating a patio, a tree, etc.
9. What will it look like from inside the home?
10. Do you require low maintenance?
11. Is there an eyesore in your yard?
THINK ABOUT WHAT ARE
YOU GOING TO DO IN THE SPACE?
Is it a playground? A place
to relax? A pool? A basketball court?
Is grass practical or do you need a tougher surface?
Are you going to put a
"quiet area" next to your air-conditioner compressor?
Sit down, and think about how you
want to use the space. What do you want out of the space? How much
money can you afford to spend? Is the space expandable if you can't
complete the entire project at one time? How much work is involved in
taking care of the space?
Third - AFTER YOU HAVE
ANSWERED ALL THESE QUESTIONS,
THEN THINK ABOUT...
Avoid the temptation to over plant.
Plan for the shrubs FULL size.
Small gardens are easier to work with than
Square or round shapes are easier than free
Use plants that will thrive in the conditions
your site offers. Native plants work well.
Keep your garden beds and containers within
reach. The most convenient garden beds should be no wider than 4 feet. Three feet might even be better.
If possible, keep your tools and supplies in
the garden area.
Keep potting soil in wheeled plastic trash
containers so that they may be easily moved to
your work area when necessary.
All gates, passageways and other openings
should be at least 42" wide, the width
Do not feel like you have to
do everything the first year. As
long as you are working from a
master plan adding to your landscape can easily be done over seasons.
Trying to plant
everything at once can sometimes have a negative effect since your needs or
change over time as you live with your garden.
Making alterations to a master plan is easier
than digging up half of your garden and replanting it.
As you are adding new shrubs
to your landscape, be sure to keep their mature size in mind. Try planting dwarf shrubs, this will help in reducing your pruning
If you an object in your landscape like a fire hydrant, telephone pole, create a focal point
elsewhere in your garden with a bed of flowering plants to draw you eye away
from the less attractive object.
It is important to NOT raise the soil level around your trees.
Changing the grade around trees, whether with soil, top dressing, thick mulches or flower
beds leads to fungal diseases and even death.
ADVANTAGES OF RAISED
Some gardeners find they
have an impossible soil situation that won’t grow anything. If
this is a problem then growing plants and flowers in raised beds should be
considered. A primary advantage of
raised bed is the gardener has a choice as to the soil he/she gardens in. Free
water drainage is essential in raised beds and the soil or mixture used
be one that will
retain some water while permitting the excess to drain out. For small areas the commercial peat-lite mixes might be considered. These
are disease, insect and weed free and have good drainage properties.
Another mix might be equal parts of sand, peat moss and garden soil.
Raised beds that have good drainage should be watered more often than regular
garden soil and plans for irrigation should be considered when beds are
constructed. Underground water
lines to each bed are ideal and are best put in while beds are being built.
Drip irrigation: will require more initial
investment but less water will be used for irrigation.