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Landscape Installalation

Landscape installation can be a simple project of a few plants and some mulch or possibly something a little more complex involving hardscaping, planting, lighting, among other landscaping features.  Some projects might require the services of a landscape designer.  Regardless, its a good idea to have a plan or checklist that both the HOMEOWNER AND CONTRACTOR agree upon.  This leaves less to chance and helps to ensure both parties are happy at the end of the project. 

To clarify there are companies that do design, install, and maintain, or just one or two of the services, so depending on your preferences and available options you might be looking for multiple contractors.  Fortunately, if a contractor only specializes in one area, they know contractors or work with them in the areas they don't specialize in.  For example a designer only contractor will probably have one or multiple install contractors as well as maybe a maintenance contractor they work with.

Landscape Design

Landscape design should take a few important things into consideration like:

  • Sun positioning- how much does this area get per day?

  • Water content- Is this area dry?  Wet?  Well draining? Clay or soil?

  • Utilities- Where are the major utilities?  Electric, water, sewage, cable or internet

  • Current landscape

  • Future plans and budget

  • What the proposed landscape will mature like over the next 20 to 25 years

  • Colors of the house and surrounding permanent structures

Large trees should not be placed near structures where their roots could affect it in the future.  A general rule of thumb is the root system is at least as wide as the canopy.  

There are a few different approaches to placement of plantings in landscape:  

  • Straight lines

  • staggered- more of a natural look but evenly placed- most popular style

  • Random placement- tougher to do and involve

  • or combination of the three

Ultimately it is up to the homeowner and contractor to decide what looks best.

Landscape Design
Lanscape design

Landscape Installation

Landscape Install

Plant spacing should be even for the most part, in certain instances random placement is ideal or wanted.  Otherwise spacing the plants from each other evenly using a tape measure would be best.  Check you distances from

  • Nearby structures like house foundations, sidewalks, etc.

  • other plants

  • garden decorations and water features as well

Planting holes should be about 1.5 to 2 times the size of the root system being planted.  Make sure the top of the root mass is level with existing soil grade if not a .5 to 1 inch above existing soil.

Mulch should only cover the planting soil/root zone max 2 inches thick.  Mulching can be done every year, but you should remove the top layer of mulch from the previous year if it did not break down(decompose) enough.  It is possible to have too much mulch, especially right up against the base of plants, bushes, and trees.  The excess amount of mulch can promote rot and harmful insects.  

Watering new plantings is very crucial to their survival.  It is possible to over water and under water.  A good rule of thumb is to stick your finger into the soil closest to the stalk or stem.  You should be able to tell.  If its tough then it is likely dry, if its is easy and dirt sticks to your finger then its probably wet enough for now.  New plantings need to be cared for regularly for the next 2 to 3 months.  Some need more or less than others, a quick google search of specific species makes for an easy reminder.

Planting Flowers

Landscape Maintenance 

Landscape Maintenance

Landscape maintenance typically involves a few different tasks like:

  • Mulch Bed Maintenance 

  • Seasonal Trimming

  • Fertilizing and Plant Feeding

  • Mulching

  • etc.

Mulch bed maintenance includes weed picking, spraying, refreshing bed edges, trimming perennials, ornamental bushes, and trees.  Typically much bed maintenance is done 2 to 4 times a year (or more) depending on location and preferences.  Fertilizing and plant feeding should be done accordingly to species requirements.  

Finally is mulching, which is typically done in late spring after the majority of the trees and plant species have dropped their fruits   Mulching can be done as many times as you like but typically is done 1 or 2 times a year.  Just be sure to not pile the mulch too high.  Removing excess mulch from the previous year is recommended.

Landscape Site Consultation

Landscape Lighting

Landscape Lighting
Landscape lighting.jpg

Landscape lighting can add a beautiful nighttime effect to one's property, as well as security.  Highlighting key features and accents make the landscape design come together.  

Landscape Lighting is used to highlight key features in the landscape design like:

  • pathways

  • plants, bushes, & trees

  • fireplaces or pits

  • seating areas

  • outdoor living space

It is possible to have too much landscape lighting in a landscape design.  It's best to err on the side of less is more and you can always add more landscape lighting if needed. 

For more info and how to check out this video.

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