Blanco County News
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How Does Your Garden Grow?
Landscaping a Yard
Wednesday, May 6, 2009 • Posted May 5, 2009 10:00 PM

Many people are considering new landscaping, either for a new home or re-designing an existing yard. Whichever is your choice, you need an all over plan for the entire yard area. Don’t try to do the entire landscape the first year unless you can afford a designer and contractor. Often times it is better to let a portion of the yard grow for a couple of seasons before adding everything. People often change their minds after living with a certain area for a season. Begin with the hardscape. This is patios, walks, polls, etc. Designing the gardens can be done by using a water hose to lay out the design before actually planting, or using spray paint to draw the beds sidewalks. This will give you an idea of the amount of material you will need. These designs can be re-designed easier than taking out sidewalks, trees, and shrubs.

Be familiar with the plants and trees that you want to use. Visit a nursery that has a wide variety and a knowledgeable nursery person. Know the size the plant will become in 3-4 years, if it needs shade or sun, how often to water and the colors to expect during different seasons. Be sure to include your favorite colors and plants.

One item many people don’t consider - how much time do they have to do maintenance? This is a very important part of landscaping and gardening.

Xeriscape - This word means proper soil preparation, proper plant selection, proper watering techniques and mulching.

There are many mulches available; cedar, pine bark, grass clippings, pecan shell bark, lava rock, and gravel. Know how you plan to use it before purchasing. I have discovered some information on cocoa mulch, of which you need to be aware. It is sold in some of the larger box stores and it has an ingredient, called Theobromine, that is lethal to both cats and dogs. It doesn’t have the warning on the package. Just be aware when you purchase mulch.

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