Traditional landscaping management has always been about ‘control’, instead of ‘cooperation’. Gardeners work hard to make sure every element of the landscape is perfect in their eyes. Lush flower beds, perfectly-sculpted shrubs, and thick green lawns.
The thing about this control on the landscape is that it’s tiring to maintain, both for the landscaping project and the gardener who’s going to be doing all the work. Maintaining a landscape in this way is a very physically-intensive task to handle, and can result in hours upon hours of weeding, pruning, watering, and tending to plants. As a result, landscapes are often a nightmare to handle.
Of course, there are ways that you can have a sustainable landscape and garden that recycles a lot of resources, requires less intervention, and that is less harmful towards the earth. Here are three tips that can help you manage your landscape so that you can keep your sanity in check.
1. Design Is Important
Your landscape’s design matters a LOT more than you think. It’s not just about the aesthetics. The design of your landscape can have a huge effect on the quality and longevity of your plant life. Proper planning and research can go a long way in keeping your yard nice and healthy. For example, trees and shrubs will grow. That’s a given. However, you have to take into account the fact that it will outgrow the space you’ve given it, which means it’s a bad idea to place it right along the foundation of your house.
The main lesson to this is that knowing what plants you’ll have in your landscape matters. Knowing their characteristics plays a huge role in the success or demise of your landscape. Once you understand that, you can choose the right plants and locations for those plants that will make sense for both the short-term and long-term.
2. Aftercare Matters
Once you have a landscaping design installed, you have to tend to it. It’s impossible for you to ignore your yard and still expect a healthy, thriving yard. There are three stages of aftercare that you have to keep an eye out for.
Acclimation is the first one. This is the first couple of days, weeks, and months after you plant the landscape. Your job is to monitor and administer care to your plants to ensure they are adapting well to their new environment. This usually comes down to water management. Don’t let your plants get dehydrated, but don’t over water them either. Make sure you keep them nice and comfortable.
The next step is establishment, which is the first year to three years of your landscape. This is going to be the highest-maintenance phase of your landscape’s lifecycle. Weeding is going to be important here because you don’t want to allow weeds to infiltrate your plants roots. Consistently monitoring for weeds will be a key task in this time.
The last step is stewardship, which is the long-term care you’ll provide to your plants over time. This will include proper pruning – NOT shearing, and ongoing management of any unwanted plants. Remain vigilant during your landscape’s lifecycle and you’ll be happy.
3. Timing is Integral
Your landscape is a living, breathing collection of organisms, and as such, when you plant them is important. Planting in the summer can lead to heat stress, while planting during the winter can lead to the opposite effect. Don’t prune before the plant is going to bloom and expect strong, vibrant flowers. Get the timing right and make sure your efforts are aligned with the natural rhythms in nature and you’ll get better results!