Cleaning Up Your Own Backyard

5 Tips For A Healthy Landscape

by Warren Garcia

A healthy landscape will require less hands-on work to look good, since you won't constantly be trying to treat problems. The following tips can help you achieve lawn and garden health.

1. Plant for the Climate

When choosing plants for your landscape, whether it's lawn grass, flowers, or trees, make sure they are well suited to growing in your area. Local nurseries, particularly those that deal in native plants, are an excellent resource. It's also important to know the microclimates of your yard, such as what areas are shaded even in high summer. This way you can select plants that don't just thrive in your climate, but that are suited to the specifics of your landscaping.

2. Mulch Properly

Mulch is an unsung hero in the landscaping world. Wood chip mulch is an attractive way to cover and protect the soil in flower beds and around trees. It keeps out weeds, feeds the soil, and helps prevent moisture loss. You can also use rock mulch in perennial beds where drainage needs to be excellent. Not only does mulch improve the health of your landscaping, but it also provides it with a neat, cared-for appearance.

3. Keep a Clean Landscape

Pests and diseases can destroy your landscaping. Good lawn sanitation prevents these problems. Rake up leaves and twigs from grassy areas and garden beds regularly, as these dead materials can harbor pests. Dead plants and leaves should be trimmed away, and trees and shrubs must be pruned annually. Doing so ensures there is no unhealthy plant material in the garden.

4. Manage the Lawn

If there is grass, then it must be managed and cared for. Regular mowing to prevent it from getting too long helps keep it lush. You may also need to aerate every year or two to prevent soil compaction and allow moisture to seep down to the roots. Another key maintenance task is dethatching, which removes the mat of dead material that can form on top of the soil and stop the flow of water to grass roots.

5. Feed Your Soil

A truly healthy landscape has high-quality soil. Regular fertilization treatments ensure there are plenty of nutrients. You may also need to add compost to garden beds or top-dress grass and trees with compost. Set up a feeding schedule that fits your landscape's specific needs. A soil test can help you determine what to feed and how often to apply it.

Contact a landscaping contractor if you need more help with lawn and garden maintenance.