Garden Clippings

| September 2008

I sometimes catch flak about the amount of resources that go into my lawn and garden. People think I use a lot of water or chemicals to keep things looking nice. But the fact is, a well-maintained and planned landscape is actually more self-sustainable than one that may not look as nice.

There is no doubt that water plays a major role in having a successful garden, and through careful planning, water use in a landscape can be cut dramatically.

Choosing the right plants  

Planting the best plant for a particular location is very important. A plant that requires a moist soil is better planted in a sheltered location where the soil is not dried out by the sun and wind. It will definitely take more water to keep a hydrangea thriving in an exposed location with a sandy soil than it will a hypericum in the same spot. Along these same lines, a border planting of low-water-use plants is only as good as the ones with the highest requirement. It would be wise to group plants that require more water in plantings together. This will put the added irrigation in an area where all of the plants will benefit.

When the proper plant is selected, place shredded wood, leaves, pine needles, grass clippings or some other organic mulch around the plant to help conserve soil moisture from evaporation. The mulch should be 2 to 3 inches deep and should be pulled back from the stem of the
plant to prevent disease and insects easy access into the base.

Irrigation systems 

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