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.
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.
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.