Best Practices for Beginners in Landscaping

Every homeowner dreams of having a beautiful landscape design that will really stand out among the neighborhood. However, many people approach a new design in the wrong manner, which can make it hard to take care of your beautiful spaces and flower gardens as well as trees and shrubs.

Gardening and Landscape Secrets for Every Beginner

There is no instruction booklet or dead set rules to follow when you approach landscaping in Fort Worth. Some well-kept secrets can help you to be successful in your endeavors and have a beautifully planned lawn to boot. There are a few things to keep in mind to help you along your way.

Don’t Buy All the Plants You Crave at Once

You should study the plants that you see in the nursery and examine the information cards in the pots of each and every one. When you choose a bunch of different plants because you want a great variety, you may end up with a haphazard appearance from a distance that will look like polka dots in a garden of onesies. What you are trying to accomplish is a coherent landscape design that looks like it’s meant to be. It’s better to purchase your plants in greater numbers and to plant in drifts and repeat the same drifts somewhere else in the garden or in another flowerbed. Drifts are irregular shapes of plantings with colorful accents of blooms or foliage grouped together. Then plant the next drift in another type of plant that grows in the same conditions and is a different color. This technique gives you a lot of color and interest in Fort Worth landscaping design ideas.

Leave Room for Your Plants to Grow

Everyone realizes that plants grow and this should be obvious, however sometimes you see a plant labeled as a dwarf version and it actually will get much larger than you expect. This is especially true when planting shrubs and trees near a path or a structure or just too close together and it can be a costly mistake when you need to move the shrubs or trees as adults giving them less of a chance of survival. Again, you need to research your shrubs and trees to find out the estimated mature size. You should space all woody plants no closer than two-thirds of the mature width and you can use some annuals and perennials to fill in the spaces between them in the meantime so that it doesn’t appear that you are waiting for the larger items to grow.

Choose a Smaller Flower Garden in Width

If you design a flower garden that is 6 feet wide or even wider, then it can make it very difficult to obtain your cut flowers at this distance. It also makes it hard to control weeds and to replant annuals if you have to crawl into the flowerbed on your hands and knees. This practice will also compact your soil from kneeling on it and it won’t allow enough oxygen to the roots of all your plants for good growth habits. You should design a flowerbed that is no more than four or five feet wide and place it where you have access to both sides to be able to tend to your plants properly. Your knees and your plants will be grateful to you.

When to Install Drip Irrigation

If you decide to install a drip irrigation system, you can have it installed either before planting a bed or afterwards. The key is to know which irrigation nozzles you will need and place them near the plants. The larger shrubs usually go in the rear of a bed and they may need larger nozzles due to their size. Drip irrigation can help you greatly in the growing process because you can set it on a timer to water plants when you aren’t even home in the hot dog days of summer in your Fort Worth landscaping design.

Identify Your Weeds

Let’s say you plant some seeds in your garden that will be new plants to you. How do you know if it’s the seeds sprouting or weeds? When you learn about the names and the growing habits of your weeds it is a critical step in garden management. Crabgrass is very common in Texas and they are a self-sowing annual weed. You must make efforts in a timely manner to prevent them from seeding. Some weeds grow underground like perennial gout weed and then they pop up in unexpected places in your lawn. Most local extension services have online tools for identifying weeds. The extension service for the Fort Worth area is Texas A&MAgriLife Extension Service of Tarrant County.

Desirable Volunteer Plants

Many plants that do well in our area can reseed themselves and create what we call a volunteer plant. Basically, you didn’t plant the new smaller plants, but the parent plant decided to volunteer you some baby plants. Some of the most common in the area that are lovely and definitely worth using are nicotiana, foxglove and hellebores. You can dig these young plants up and use them in another area of your lawn to beautify those places as well at no cost to you. It is worth noting that most all bulbs will multiply underground and you can separate them to have more of them available for another space.

There are no “Deer Proof” Plants

If you happen to live in a rural area, you should realize that there are no actual deer proof plants. Deer will inspect any type of plants and maybe give it a nibble to taste it or destroy it altogether. You can find some deer repellents on the market, but you will need to be diligent in reapplying the product many times and after each rain. You may opt for a simple decorative fence if deer are abundant in your area to protect your precious blooms that you’ve worked so hard to achieve.

Are Insects Always Pests?

The answer to this question is a firm no. Most all insects that you will encounter in your landscape are beneficial insects and they will cause no harm to your flowers, shrubs and trees. Earthworms are beneficial to any garden. They make tunnels in the soil underneath ground level and will automatically reduce the soil compaction. Beneficial pollinators that you should love to see in any garden are butterflies, honeybees, hover flies and wasps. Natural enemies help control the pest population and they include bigeyed bugs, lacewings, lady beetles, praying mantid and wheel bugs. Allowing these beneficial organisms to work for you will reduce the need for harmful pesticides in your garden.

How Many Seeds to Plant?

If you are starting plants from seeds instead of young plants, you should be aware that just because a package of seeds contains 200, you probably don’t need that many plants and you won’t be able to keep up with an overload as such. The best idea for starting plants from seeds is to sow them in small containers, such as a window box size and then thin them out after they sprout so they have ample room to grow. Then you can plant the amount you want in your garden.

These gardening tips can help you to be more successful in your quest for a beautiful landscape design that is easy to manage and looks great all year round.