Landscapes that have been properly and professionally designed, installed, and maintained have a pleasing and consistent appearance. Of course the visual will change with the seasons, but it will always be inviting, regardless of the season.
Eastern Massachusetts homeowners that have invested in organic, sustainable landscapes with native plants appropriate to the area do well to employ professionals to take care of their landscape maintenance so as to protect their investment. However it is still important for the homeowner to be engaged with what is going on. Let's take a look at some top landscape maintenance tips:
Tip #1: Have your trees properly pruned.
Having your trees pruned on an annual basis is not just about aesthetics, there are other benefits as well:
- When working with limited space, pruning can keep your landscape from looking crowded, therefore less appealing.
- Eliminating part of the canopy lets more light through. This is critical for the health of your grass.
- Pruned trees enjoy better air circulation, giving them more protection during heavy winds.
- Fruit trees will have better yields.
Tip #2: Keep it simple.
Balance is important. Although it may be tempting to keep adding more plants, paths, and water features, simplification means less landscape maintenance and better looks. That's why it's so important to have a comprehensive consultation with your landscape contractor. Solid planning trumps ongoing changes every time. Maintenance is maintenance and upgrades are upgrades.
Tip #3: If you start organic, stay organic.
A popular misconception is that organic programs are more expensive than chemical programs. Organic programs are better in many ways:
- The health of your soil is truly the foundation of your landscaping. The ground will stay better aerated because you aren't killing the earthworms.
- The roots of your plants will go deeper into the soil. This will result in less watering which saves money.
- Do not allow "weed and feed" products to be used. These products are toxic. You don't want your pets or children playing on it. The chemicals can reach the water table, eventually putting wildlife and people in danger.
- Do use organic fertilizers and proper soil amendments. For example horticultural dried molasses will do wonders for the health of your soil.
- To spot-kill weeds, do not use products such as Roundup® herbicide. White vinegar works just as well, albeit slower. As a bonus it is a far more frugal approach.
Tip #4: Use compost and mulch liberally.
This can't be over emphasized. High quality organic compost is very rich in nutrients and does wonders feeding your soil. If possible, maintain your own compost pile. It makes more sense to put those vegetable table scraps in your pile than it does to confine them to the landfill. Waste not, want not.
Shredded hardwood mulch keeps water from evaporating and breaks down, feeding your plants. Do not allow dyed mulch; you never know what is in the dye. When you apply it to the base of a tree or plant, be sure to make a ring or cone. It should not be up against the base of the tree itself. This is not good for the tree's health.
Tip #5: Have your soil tested.
A soil test will provide insight into pH and nutrient content. Be aware that different plants have different requirements and might need different amendments in order to thrive.
Contracting for a professional landscape maintenance program will allow you to maximize your time spent with your family and entertaining guests. You will also have peace of mind that things are being taken care of properly and will keep your home equity up to snuff.
Want to learn how to create a landscape for your yard that will help you relax, connect with nature, and replenish your energy? Please download our free ebook, How to Maintain Your Landscape and Transform It Into a Beauty You'll Love.