How to take care of new landscaping

How to care for your new landscaping

Your home landscape is a dynamic environment that needs maintenance as it matures. Tasks include pruning, mulching and weeding should be part of your maintenance schedule so you can get maximum enjoyment from your investment.

Any landscape is a natural ecosystem. Although there are many differences between urban and rural landscapes, the basics of land stewardship apply to both.

A well-planned landscape will become a pleasant environment that is easy to maintain and can last for many years.

The first (and most important) step to taking care of new landscaping is watering.

Watering

Watering in the early morning or evening will keep your soil moist during hot days and allows time for water to percolate into dry patches of ground. Water at a rate appropriate for your plants regularly, but don’t allow it to pool on top of the soil as this can lead to problems with fungus and bacteria growth. Also, avoid excess water in your planting area as this can lead to root rot which kills most plants slowly from the inside out.

A quality irrigation system can be a great investment as it can prevent a lot of these issues. One of the main benefits of using a drip irrigation system is the water only soaks deep into the ground, delivering water in an efficient manner which is also good for plants because it saves them from root rot.

Another irrigation system benefit is that it prevents grass from growing too close to sidewalks and driveways which can lead to a bumpy surface in areas that are shaded.

Suppress Weed Growth

Next up: weed growth! Weed control is important because weeds compete with grasses and other desirable plant life for resources like sunlight and nutrients in the soil so they need attention too! There are many ways you can control weeds, but the best method is to prevent them from getting established in the first place.

To prevent weeds from growing in your garden, a layer of mulch spread across your planting beds can help keep moisture in the soil and discourage weed growth. Ensure that you top up your mulch once the mulch decomposes. Quackgrass, dandelions, sowthistle and other common lawn weeds can add expense and work to your landscaping project when you let them go to seed. To prevent this, mow your lawn frequently to keep it low and even. Avoid weed controls that can harm the environment or people (for example, herbicides that contain chlorine).

Bonus tip: If you have let weeds take hold of your garden and decide to spend a day ripping them out, look out for any undesirable soil erosion.

Maintaining Healthy Plants

An important step in understanding how to care for your landscaping is to understand the basic structure of a natural ecosystem. In a natural setting, healthier plants keep each other company as they grow, providing shelter, food and habitat, just like people in a neighbourhood.

Depending on the type of plants (we regularly include native plants in our designs), they will have different requirements for growth and survival. Plants grow in natural communities called plant associations that share similar environmental requirements and are adapted to handle those conditions in their own unique ways. Plant associations are groups of plants with similar growing conditions such as water needs or soil conditions (pH levels). Each association and root system requires a slightly different approach to proper care.

For example, a patio garden may contain trees and shrubs from the forest-floor association as well as herbs from the sagebrush-grass-saltbush association. Some plants will be perennials while others will die back each year.

Healthy plants

Sunlight

Direct sunlight: direct sunlight is important for many reasons. It helps grass grow and it also gives energy to all the plants that need it to live and grow upright, such as other plants (such as flowers), shrubs, trees and even some small herbaceous perennials. Although full sun can be harsh in the hotter months of the year, it is still a good idea to aim for at least half of your landscape being in direct sunlight.

Light shade: light shade is like a mixture between full sun and partial sun/shade. Lightly shaded by trees can still receive plenty of energy from the sun and grow upright, but to be sheltered from the harsh afternoon rays so they don’t get scorched.

Partial shade: partial shade is where a lot of your plants will grow, such as shrubs and herbaceous perennials. It is important to select plants that are suited to the amount of sunlight they receive so they do not struggle in their new environment or die off each year. If possible, take note of the locations of trees in your area when it is time to plant and try to position new plants accordingly.

Apply Fertilizer

If you apply fertilizer to your landscape in Australia it can help plants stay healthy and vibrant. There are many different types of fertilizers that work at different levels, but they all have some level of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Annuals, woody shrubs and perennials react very well to a good quality fertiliser.

The three most common types of commercial lawn fertilizers for home use include granular, liquid and slow-release. Using a balanced fertilizer that incorporates all of the major nutrients is ideal.

The potassium and phosphorus in many quick release fertilizers help plants grow until they are large enough to capture energy through photosynthesis. Nitrogen provides the growth element when combined with water, oxygen and sunlight.

Apply Fertilizer to Lawns

You can apply fertilizer yourself using granular fertilizer or a slow-release fertilizer that is easy to use and measure. There are other types of commercial fertilizers, but applying granular fertilizer by hand is probably the most common method for lawns in Australia.

Liquid fertilizer comes in containers that look like those used for bleach or laundry detergent (except they won’t have instructions for use ). Before using liquid fertilizer, you should shake the bottle to ensure that the chemical ingredients are mixed properly.

Slow-release fertilizers are also known as controlled-release or time-released fertilizers. They tend to be more expensive than other types of commercial fertilizer but they require less maintenance. Slow-release fertilizers may be easier to use in small spaces such as a traditional garden or container garden.

What is the best time to apply fertilizer?

You can apply fertilizer anytime between spring and autumn, but the ideal times are in early spring and late summer when growth is at its peak. It is important to note that applying too much fertilizer at one time can burn plants so you may want to apply it a little at a time until you get the hang of how plants respond (i.e. don’t burn your plants).

Popular fertilizer brands within Australia include Scotts Lawn Builder and Yates. These products are available at most retail stores, such as Bunnings or Mitre 10. For small fertilizer needs, you can also buy these products online from the Scotts website.

Fertilising a lawn

Be wary of transplant shock

What is Transplant shock? Transplant shock is physiological stress in plants. Plants react negatively whenever they are transplanted to a new environment, whether from the garden centre or your own backyard. It can affect both large and small plants but it affects them differently.

How do I treat transplant shock?

It’s important to re-pot your plant as quickly as possible after taking it home from the garden centre. For landscapes built by us here at Sand and Stone Landscapes, we ensure any transition is completed promptly and safely. This will help the plant transition in its new environment as quickly as possible.

Keep a close eye on your plants for a period of about three weeks after transplant, watering them when necessary (early morning is a good time) to ensure they are getting enough water and attention. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye out for any wilting or drying leaves. These signs may indicate that your plants need extra care and attention.

Pruning

When should you prone new plants? You should prone plants that have just been planted. If your landscape was professionally constructed by Sand and Stone, we would have completed the pruning for you. The best time to prune is within the first year of planting new plants (i.e. when they are still in the nursery). Pruning helps establish young, healthy roots and it also encourages strong plant development which allows environmental conditions to affect them as little as possible for future growth at their new dwelling place.

Pruning can be done at any time of the year but it’s important to note that you need to wait until weather conditions are right. To prune, cut back about 10cm off the plant (just under a half-inch). Use clean, sharp tools or clippers so the leaves and stems are not torn.

Tree Stakes and Wrapping

Staking is the use of stakes to hold a plant upright or in place. Stakes are often used for trees, young saplings and shrubs. That way they won’t be pushed over by wind or pulled over by animals.

Wrapping is the act of covering a tree’s trunk with paper wrapping that helps protect it from pests such as insects or diseases.

Any trees planted as part of your new landscaping will most likely be staked and/or have paper tree wrapping around their trunk. Trees may droop or become unbalanced in the first-month post-installation, often in response to lateral growth, hose attachment, or stake wire. Keep your eye for any major movement and straighten as necessary, contact us with any questions you may have.

Dealing with pest problems

No matter how hard you try, pests and diseases will find a way to enter your landscape. Once they do it is important that you deal with them as quickly as possible.

What are some common pests and problems? Termites can cause major damage to plants within an instant, killing leaves or even the entire plant. The best way to combat termites is preventative termite treatments that can help keep them away. The pest treatments for plants in Australia will be different to those abroad. Be sure to consult an expert when considering these options, as they may have adverse effects on your environment if not used properly.

Stressed plants are more susceptible to insects and disease. Ensure your plants are able to receive proper water, food and sunlight. If you have a plant with wilting leaves or signs of small insects, contact Sand and Stone Landscapes for advice on how we can deal with the problem.

Curl grubs in soil

Caring for Brick or Paved Areas

It is not necessary to seal brick, but sealing the brick provides a couple of benefits.

First, seal the surface. This protects it from stains and makes it easier to clean (if the pavers are in an area that might get food or drink spills).

Sealer helps bricks from being washed away. It acts as glue. We recommend using an oil-based sealer, like Uni-Lock brand sealer, which is available at garden supply stores.

After new brick-paved surfaces are installed, avoid sealing them for at least six months and sweep in jointing sand as needed.

Be careful when using salt to melt snow on the patio, as it can damage them if not removed. Use sand instead and rinse any excess salt as soon as you’re done.

Caring for Decks and Wooden Structures

Keep an eye out for the following items with your new timber deck:

  • Watch for any signs of water penetrating the boards; water penetration can lead to rotting.
  • Be cautious with deck cleaners as they might contain chemicals that will affect your environment. To avoid this problem, make a homemade cleaner by using a mixture of vinegar or lemon juice, sea salt and dish soap in a spray bottle. In a bucket mix water with detergent and use a scrubbing brush to clean all dirt off of your boards. Rinse off excess liquid with fresh water.
  • If your deck has been stained, seal it in with an oil-based sealer.
  • After a few months or years, if you notice mould, sand the mouldy portion then re-stain.

Using these tips when caring for your new landscaping will ensure that everything from plants to pavers stay in good condition!

Contact us today

Would you like to turn your landscaping ideas into reality? Contact us today to get started.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to care for your new landscaping as if it was your own child. Follow the correct maintenance procedures and you will have healthy plants for many years to come.

Contact Sand and Stone Landscapes for more information on how we can create a healthy environment for your new landscape.

Contact us for a Free Quote.