Secret Landscaper Tips & Tricks
These tools, techniques and strategies are utilized by professional landscapers like Landscape Pros in Manassas, VA. Take their thoughts, ideas and suggestions to maximize your gardening time and save some cash. Here are some Secret Landscaper Tips & Tricks for your garden tool box.
Have a Plan
Have a master landscaping plan for your garden and landscape, but work in phases. Have a financial budget under control and get the greatest impact by focusing on little or smaller tasks/projects that are important for the 10,000 foot view or picture. Upon completion of one project, then move to the next as planned.
Have your lawn and garden tested by your state’s University Expansion Service. Speculating or guessing on the fertility requirements can lead you down to expensive mistakes. Soil test results will show the current conditions and what should be applied for your kind of yard, flower garden, vegetable patch, and so on. Test and be cost conscious.
Get Enough Material the 1st Time
To know how much soil or mulch to get, you need to realize how to compute area of the space (length x width for square or rectangular regions), and how to calculate square footage of your area (length x width for square or rectangular areas), and how to convert cubic feet of the needed material for correct coverage of an area at a specified depth ( #cubic feet x 4 gives the number of square feet with three inches of coverage). It’s best to make fewer trips to the local Big-Box Garden Center by purchasing the correct amount of mulch and soil the first time.
Purchase Enough Plants
Try not to run out of your planting decisions. Purchase more plants and flowers than you think you’ll need…you can always return the extras or find a spot to use them. On the off chance that you run low and need to return to the nursery, your colors and choices may be sold out.
Use a Good Tarp
Utilize a tarp to move lightweight bulky debris of grass, leaves, weeds, and even small brush. Use it to hold soil when burrowing an opening, to keep the grass clean. Use it to cover your purchased plants after you place them in the back of your truck bed when driving home from the nursery. Doing so will protect them for wind damage or from flying off the vehicle.
Strategically Use Weed Fabric
Landscape fabric is most useful under gravel or mulch walkways to keep the material from sinking into the soil. Skip the weed barrier fabric in planted areas. It only provides a short-term sense of accomplishment until the weeds start growing in the mulch on top of the fabric. Weeds are a re-occurring problem for every good gardener.
Make a sharp natural edge around beds instead of buying plastic or metal edging. Edging is useful to give a particular look to the landscape. However, a natural edge allows for easier maintenance over the long term and provides more flexibility for changes to your landscape.
Starter Fertilizer Rules
Use a good starter fertilizer whenever you plant anything. Starter fertilizers can provide a tremendous boost to your new plantings. The best products have low nitrogen, a bit more phosphorous, and most importantly mycorrhizae-beneficial fungi that help to greatly increase the soil area from which plant roots draw their sustenance. A good starter fertilizer combined with good planting techniques is an awesome insurance policy for any gardener.
Bulk or Bagged
Choose wisely between bulk and bagged mulch, soil, and stone. Buy bulk material when it can be dumped on the spot where it will be spread. Buy bagged material if it must be moved again after delivery. Using both strategies will save time, work and $$ money.
Use and only buy good quality tools. The best quality tool may be a bit too costly, and an unnecessary expense for weekend DIYers. However, cheap tools are likely to break in the middle of the first job. Do yourself a favor and save money and your time by buying good quality tools at value prices.
Consolidate annuals in pots or beds at high-visibility locations in your landscape for maximum impact. It would be very costly to plant new annual color throughout the entire landscape every season. Use high-impact plantings and long-bloomers in key locations like around the mailbox, entryways, and in patio containers.
Make Mowing Easy & Fast
Group plantings into beds and islands and mulch them well to avoid mowing and trimming around each individual plant.
Mulch the Leaves
Don’t send leaves to the landfill. Mow small quantities into the lawn to provide a light dose of natural fertilizer for the grass and food for the earthworms. Use a bagging power mower or leaf shredding blower/vac to grind up your fall leaves for use as mulch or add them to the compost pile. Most importantly, till them into the vegetable garden before planting winter cover crops.
Grass Clippings Recycle
Use a mulching mower instead of bagging and dumping your grass clippings. This will cut your fertilizer requirements by 30% when done appropriately.
Landscape Pros hopes these secret landscaper tips & tricks can helps you with your landscaping and garden areas. If you need more information and details give the “Pros” a call @ 571.535.8622.