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Choosing Plants for Your Landscaping

Spring has arrived! Now is the time to get back outside, working on your yard, and preparing for the beauty that summer could bring. Imagine your lawn as a blank canvas, and you are the painter. But what colors will you use? To further this analogy, the plants you decide to add to your yard this spring are represent the palette you will paint your lawn masterpiece with. To choose those plants, we have a few guidelines for you to follow.

Take good measurements - “Measure twice, plant once” as the old saying goes! In order to decide on your landscaping design, you’ll want to keep a clear idea of the amount of space your working with. Take good measurements not only of your total yard dimensions, but also of set points within your yard. Space taken up by your patio or a backyard swingset will have an impact on the space you’re able to use. You don’t want to make multiple trips back and forth from the nursery or garden center, so having good notes about your space will help you make the right choices on the first try. Graphing paper can be a valuable tool for this, taking notes and sketch diagrams showing the measurements and area you have to work with, filling in blank spaces as you select your plants.

Check your hardiness zone - Unfortunately, not every plant can go in every yard, even if you have space for it. Different plants will have specific environmental needs. Your “hardiness zone” is determined by the temperate climate for your location. If you’re buying from a local provider, this will likely be less of a concern, since they’re going to stock plants that are likely to grow well in the weather conditions particular to your neighborhood. This is a great reason to avoid large chain providers, who may not take such things into consideration. This also helps you avoid invasive species that could damage your environment if planted.

Test your soil - Even if you are buying from a local provider, you still need to consider the soil for your yard, since this can differ even for each house on the same street, or even different sections of the yard! Hard, clay soil is going to have different growth potential from dark loose soil. Take samples from each place you’re planning on planting in, and use this to guide your decisions. Research the different specific species you’re looking at. Again, using a local nursery will be incredibly valuable here, as they will offer better insight than a large department store. For really specific information, the University of Kentucky offers soil testing for homeowners, which will go a long way in guiding your plant and fertilizer choices. If you live in Ohio, Hamilton County offers similar service.

Consider the light - Besides the soil, another need your plants will have is sunlight. Different plants will have different needs though, so be strategic in choosing where you place certain plants. Consider how trees and your home itself will offer shade to some sections of your yard, and also how the movement of the sun throughout the day will affect the way light is spread over different parts of the yard. Some plants need more sunlight in the morning, while some might benefit from stronger afternoon exposure. Again, researching individual species before planting them will go a long way to making sure your investment is protected by strong going landscaping.

Get Creative - Finally, don’t feel constrained if your yard is too small or otherwise limited. Particularly in more urban areas, it’s not unusual for larger portions of your yard to be taken up by paved patios or driveways. If you aren’t willing or able to remove these paved sections, you can still have a lush growth of landscaping in your yard, you’ll simply need to be more inventive with it. Consider the use of traditional and non-traditional planters. Old trashcans or reused tires can make great flowerbeds if given the chance, and planters of different sizes and shapes will let your yard have a varying level and depth that brings it even more to life! Be prepared to think outside the box to really make your yard stand apart from the rest!

Regardless of what choices you make for your landscaping, we’re prepared to be your lawn partners. With our mowing and treatment plans, we make sure your lawn is kept healthy and beautiful all year round. Call us for a quote today!