Soil is soil, isn’t that right? No! Keeping the right kind of garden soil will help you grow beautiful and healthy plants, and greatly enhance your landscape. Before changing your home’s garden soil, you need to test it to find out its pH level as well as its texture like clay or sand. This test will help you determine what needs to be added to have the best garden soil. Sulfur or limestone will take the pH to fairly neutral, which is ideal for many plants, and compost will boost the nutrients in the garden soil.
The best garden soil completely depends on what you want to grow. The acidity or alkalinity measure (pH) of the soil influences the way nutrients are absorbed by the roots of the plant. Most of the common plants do well with a pH of 7. Most soils are usually between 0 and 5 pH. So, you can easily do a soil test to know as well as to analyze where your existing garden soils falls on the pH scale. You can purchase a home kit to do such tests, or you can take a sample of your existing soil to the professional at a private lab or a county office.
An alluring and well-maintained landscape improves the visual appeal of your property and enhances its value. Professionally landscaped properties often fetch higher resale prices when compared to properties that are not adequately landscaped. The following tips on how to landscape your property will be crucial because they will not only improve the beauty and appeal of your property, but they will also improve the value of your property.
Trees on your landscape will not only provide an aesthetical appeal because of their beauty, but they will also serve other functional roles that will improve the functionality of your outdoor spaces. Trees can provide shade and act as windbreakers that can protect homes from cold winter winds or dust storms. Trees can also act as physical, visual screens that can enhance the privacy of your outdoor spaces while at the same time reducing runoff by absorbing runoff water before it filters into the water table. Trees also increase the resale value of any property, and can thus improve the value of your property.
If the soil on your property is too wet, it makes the property unsuitable for most landscape practices such as gardening, and it also makes it challenging to carry out any outdoor activities on such grounds. To make the soil workable and the outdoor grounds suitable for outdoor activities, you can make cambered beds that can allow early spring planting and channels that can direct the excess water into the primary drainage system. Raised soil beds make planting easier because they enable the soil to warm up and dry faster than the surrounding soil.
Know Your Zone and Select Plant Species based on the Local Climate
Planting tropical plants in temperate zones often become a challenge because they may not be able to cope with the cold seasons. Therefore, it is important to choose plant varieties that suit your local climate so as to establish plant life that will be easy to maintain in your landscape. Whether you use Sunset zones or USDA standards, it is prudent to select your landscape plants not only for heat tolerance but also for cold-hardiness if cold seasons are expected. For example, it is prudent to avoid planting peonies in places that experience mild winters because the peonies do not bloom in mild winter zones. If you are in desert-like zones such as Texas, the installation of plants such as cactus is appropriate because these plants can bear with the harsh sun and dry climate.
Harness Mother Nature
Always rely on natural inputs and amendments to make your landscaping activities affordable. For example, the best and most affordable amendments should be the ones that you can make on your property such as compost from your indoor organic refuse. The use of natural weed control through physical weeding is also a good landscape practice because it avoids the use of expensive herbicides that negatively affect the environment and could cause health harm to nature.
Landscape plants require approximately one inch of water per week. If there is no natural precipitation, it is advisable to water the soil until the top soil is six inches wet. This observation is important because shallow watering does not reach the root zones, and the plants may dry out in the long run due to insufficient water.
Synchronize Pruning and Bloom-time
Shrubs that bloom in summers such as butterfly bush and Abelia should be pruned during early spring. The pruning allows buds to form on the new wood, which emerges. Later on, deflowering of spent blooms on your butterfly bush produces new blooms.
Work on Dry Soil when Gardening
Working on wet soil often destroys the structure of the soil because it may lead to clod formation and poor aeration that will negatively affect the growth of any landscape plants. Therefore, work the garden soil when it is either completely dry or moderately dry.
Spice Up Your Landscape with a Variety of Features
‘Variety is the spice of life.’ To make your landscape more attractive, incorporate some features that may include water features such as fountains, pools, and ponds as well as statues and other hardscape elements so as to make the landscape more interesting. The incorporation of features such as ponds and perches attracts birds and other animals that can make the outdoors enjoyable.
Schedule Regular Landscape Maintenance Practices
Proper and regular maintenance of landscape elements such as the lawns and ponds ensure that such components are not damaged by weed or pest infestation that diminishes the visual appeal and functionality of the landscape.