Does this harsh winter have you dreaming about warmer weather and enjoying your outdoor living space and landscape? Spring may seem a long time away, but designing a master plan now eases the way into a beautiful, renewed garden. Waiting until spring is already here before planning your landscape changes and additions can not only hamper your ability to complete the project, but it can also jeopardize the health and longevity of new plants that may not have been planted correctly.
Develop Master Plans
Knowing that you’d like to add new plantings, you will need to develop a master plan and research the best time to add each planting. A master plan is crucial to ensure that the plants you want are ready and available when it’s optimal to plant them in the ground. Planting times vary by climate, so you’ll want to be sure to find a planting guide that is suited for your particular region. Consider your soil type, soil pH, average rainfall and frost dates when deciding on which plants you’ll add and where you’ll plant them. Once your master plan is in place, you (or your landscaper) can make sure everything is ordered to arrive in time for the first plantings in March and April.
Prepare the Landscape
The landscape must be prepared for trees and shrubs ahead of planting. Mark locations, clear weeds and loosen the soil before starting to dig the planting holes. With a digging fork or shovel you can break up the soil and then cover the area with a thick mulch of straw, leaves or other coarse material. When it’s time to plant, you can just pull the materials back, dig the hole, and plant.
Plan Weed Control
Weed control is an important factor in the success of your spring planting. You can plan now to control the weeds which will inevitably crop up. For example, make sure your plan addresses proper spacing between plants, to keep them free from competing vegetation. Do your homework to find out the best combination of herbicides for your planting.
Plan to Minimize Animal Damage
Is your planting site frequented by deer or rabbits?? If so, plan your protection strategy before you plant. There are many ways to prevent animals from damaging your plants. Fencing the entire planting is very effective. Tree shelters only offer protection until the tree grows out of the top of the shelter. Repellents are readily available and inexpensive, but not very effective over the long term. Your landscaper can give you expert advice in this area.
Drawing up a master plan for your spring plantings and then executing the plan takes research, know-how and the ability to take many factors into consideration. Hiring landscaping professionals with extensive experience in developing master plans can ease your research and planning burden considerably, while ensuring that your vision will come to fruition.