landscape maintenance

Indoor home maintenance is crucial, but it’s also important to maintain your exterior property. Photo: Dana Lund Landscaping (2015)

While it’s smart to be proactive about indoor home maintenance, keeping up with your exterior property is equally important. We asked four Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to weigh in on aspects of landscaping where maintenance matters most.


Seasonal garden preparation: Michael Moore of Masterpiece Gardens & Design, Inc.

spring flower garden

To keep your garden looking its best all year long, swap out the previous season’s plants for current varietals. Photo: Masterpiece Gardens & Design, Inc. (2015)

A crucial part of garden maintenance is swapping out annual plant varieties in conjunction with the changing seasons, which can be done in a few simple steps. First, remove the outgoing annuals and prepare the bed for incoming plants by adding fertilizer and new soil to provide fresh nutrients. Next, install your plants. Remember to arrange them with the tallest in back and shortest in front to optimize sunlight exposure. When planting fall annuals, it’s also a good time to pre-plant spring bulbs like tulips, daffodils and crocus, as they take several months to germinate. Once all the plants are situated, give the entire bed a light soaking.


Wildlife deterrence: Alan Kostelnik of Gardens of the Wine Country

If you’re taking the time to prepare your garden for the new season, you’ll also want to take measures to protect it from the effects of local wildlife. While bird netting is often used to deter animals from feeding on plants, there are other protective measures that won’t diminish the aesthetic value of your garden. One easy, effective and environmentally-friendly strategy is to spray your plants with a homemade solution of garlic and hot peppers. When it comes to subterranean pests, moles can be dealt with by using traditional rat poison, while gophers can be deterred by placing “gopher baskets” in the soil beneath plants’ roots.


Tree maintenance: Terry Powell of Terry’s Tree Service, Inc.

Terry’s Tree Service

Care for your property’s trees via professional maintenance and health assessments. Photo: Terry’s Tree Service, Inc. (2015)

Besides maintaining plants and shrubs, another crucial aspect of landscape maintenance is servicing the trees on your property. Not only does proactive tree maintenance keep your property looking its best, it also creates a safer environment by fostering tree health and minimizing hazardous situations. For instance, periodic canopy thinning lessens crown weight, which reduces the strain on a tree’s trunk and roots. Likewise, keeping limbs trimmed away from your home’s roof line will help prevent damage and inhibit access by rodents and insects. In addition to routine maintenance, have your trees’ health assessed regularly by a certified arborist so you can address any issues before they become full-blown threats.


Correct watering: Alain Joske of Inscapes

When it comes to landscape irrigation, many home and property owners operate under a misconception that plants need to be watered on a daily basis. In reality, the key to effective irrigation is watering less often for longer durations. By allowing water to fully penetrate the soil and reach plants’ root zones, a couple of thorough weekly soakings will have a far greater impact than short daily sprinklings.

14 Responses

  1. Drew says:

    Very cool idea to use garlic and hot peppers for a deterrent. It seems like most everything else to keep pests out really takes away from the look of my yard. I’ll have to try it out. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Jane Fox says:

    I’ve been working on the landscaping in my own yard, so this is really helpful in helping me figuring out the proper maintenance for my new landscape. Your tip about proper watering is new to me. I’d always figured that short and frequent was the way to go, so I’m surprised to hear that the opposite is true. I’ll adjust my schedule accordingly! Thanks for the advice.

  3. Being proactive in your tree maintenance is super vital. I live around a lot of storms and if you don’t prune them you will regret it after the storm. Clean up is not a lot of fun! Great post James!

  4. Melanie White says:

    When it comes to watering, it also depends on where you live in the country. Every city has their own rules and regulations concerning water.

    Nevertheless, you are spot on about watering. In the past, I have made the assumption that watering the lawn on a near-daily basis was a great idea in order to have a healthy, green lawn. I found out later that constant soaking was actually more harmful than 2-3 days/week watering – and that is not including the time of day it is done. 2-3 days/week at 30 minute intervals for each section has a much more profound affect than daily watering as the roots are choking on water. Think of it like this, the body can only handle a certain amount of water in our systems; too much of it can cause dire consequences, and too little can also be harmful. You need to find the right amount for your body, and the same applies to your lawn.

  5. Chris White says:

    It is very true that it is just as important to keep up on outdoor home maintenance as it is for the inside. Hopefully this is something that more people can realize. That way you can make your landscaping look just as nice as the inside. I like the fact that you can even get some landscaping services to do this for you.

  6. Cheryl Smith says:

    I agree that routine maintenance can help with tree health. I try to prune my trees every year. I hope this maintenance will help keep my yard looking beautiful. Hopefully, it will also minimize any problems I might have.

  7. Jake White says:

    I am studying landscape management in the hopes to start my own business someday. I really liked this post, especially the advice about tree maintenance, which seems to often get overlooked. Thanks for sharing this post, and I hope to see more in the future!

  8. Dee Francis says:

    Thanks for going through these maintenance tips for taking care of my landscaping. Tree maintenance is something high on my list of things that I need to do for my yard. I planted a few saplings in my yard about a year ago, but I haven’t pruned them after I planted them. They’re growing pretty quickly, so it seems like I should have them trimmed. Consulting a professional seems like a good idea, so I’ll do that to make sure that my new trees get the care that they need to stay healthy.

  9. Nash Rich says:

    I can agree with the wildlife deterrence. We get deer on our small farm and they like to scrape up the trees and eat flowers. The deer coming down from the mountains is a more recent problem, otherwise we would have put up bigger fences back in the day. The smaller fences do keep out other animals though, which is good.

  10. Braden Bills says:

    There’s way too many landscaping aspects for me to handle alone. I work a full time job and have a family to take care of, I think it’s always a good idea to hire someone to handle your landscaping, because it can save you a ton of time.

  11. Kyler Brown says:

    I agree with your point that while it’s smart to be proactive about indoor home maintenance, keeping up with your exterior property is equally important. My wife and I have an agreement that she will control the inside looks of our house, and I will control the outside look. I didn’t realize that plants didn’t need to be watered daily, but rather less often in longer duration’s. Thanks for sharing this post.

  12. judy wilson says:

    I used a lot of water for my lawn and garden during the spring and summer, so I would like to know a better way to irrigate my plants. You made an excellent point about how I don’t have to water them every day. Giving my garden a couple of soakings every weeks seems like a good way to save water while still having a beautiful lawn. Thanks for the tips!

  13. Maxine Wilson says:

    Any ideas how to keep deer away from my garden? For the last couple of years, they have come and eaten the majority of my garden. I put up a fence, but they just jump right over there. You talked about planting hot peppers or garlic to deter other pests, do you think this would work for deer?

  14. John Ferrell says:

    You said that plants don’t need to be watered on a daily basis. If I was going to hire a professional landscaper I would want to ask them about things that I could do to help my property. Maybe I should contact a professional beforehand so I can get some tips.

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