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Ottawa Garden

Botany – Landscaping – Green Living

Backyard Landscape Ideas

Backyard with Green Lawn

The following recommended practices to maintaining established landscaping are essential for plant health and water preservation. Whether you recently purchased a pre-owned residence or have lived in the same residence for several years.

Many suggested landscaping ideas that support plant health also preserve water. The subsequent is an overview of these practices.

Trees

Do not regularly fertilize landscape trees. Over fertilization can result in unnecessary growth, requiring additional water. Fertilize if nutrient deficiencies emerge.

Apply mulch around trees, but keep it more than a few inches away from tree trunks. Mulch reduces soil evaporation, buffers soil temperature, and reduces weeds. Keep in mind to apply water long enough to soak through the mulch layer into the roots.

Maintain turf grass and other plants at least 20 inches from tree trunks. This promotes faster tree development and reduces competition for water.

Irrigate trees individually from surrounding plants when possible. Drip systems are outstanding for this purpose. Think about using a water budget.

Avoid soil compaction around trees, which results in poor water penetration and runoff.

Manage weeds around trees. They compete for water.

Irrigate trees based on seasonal water demand. Preliminary study indicates that numerous species do well on about the same amount of water as warm season turf grasses, or even less.

Prune trees when needed. Remove dead and unhealthy wood, crossed limbs, suckers, and weak vertical growth. Pruning stimulates further shoot growth, increasing the water requirement.

Shrubs

Apply mulch around shrubs.

Most shrubs are water-efficient once established. Think about using water budget methods. Water based on seasonal water demand

Steer clear of soil compaction around shrubs.

Manage weeds around shrubs.

Irrigate shrubs independently from surrounding plants when possible. Drip systems work well for this reason.

Do not regularly fertilize shrubs. Over fertilization can result in unnecessary growth, requiring additional water. Fertilize if nutrient deficiencies emerge.

Groundcovers

Control weeds.

Avoid soil compaction.

Do not regularly fertilize groundcovers. Fertilize once yearly if nutrient deficiencies emerge.

Irrigate groundcovers based on seasonal water demand. Think about using water budget method. Preliminary study indicates that many varieties do well when receiving about the same amount of water as warm-season turf grasses

Turfgrasses

Aerate as needed to avoid soil compaction.

Eliminate thatch if over one-half inch thick.

Fertilize reasonably, applying low ends of suggested rates. If conditions dictate, stop fertilizing altogether, except for potassium, which promotes drought resistance.

Control weeds.

Follow my landscaping ideas to maintaining established landscaping and have a great landscape.