Expert Advice For Spring Landscaping

March 15, 2022
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Do you find it difficult to walk past the trays of live plants that start appearing in stores this time of year? Do you spend hours on Pinterest or Better Homes & Gardens daydreaming about projects for your yard? Do you have more ideas than you have time (or budget?) 

Landscaping your home is one of the most satisfying pursuits out there. It’s challenging to find just the right projects to suit your family, taste, and budget. Here’s how you can narrow it down: 

Do Your Research 

One of the problems with the Internet is that you can find pictures and how-tos for glorious yards — only to discover that it’s cost-prohibitive to use that material, or that certain plants won’t thrive here. You might even find that the microclimates in your yard won’t permit a certain project because it’s too shady or too wet or for some other reason. 

Some of these issues can be worked around, but not all. Some can be worked around, but it makes the project much larger than it would be in a situation more suited to it. In most cases, you will want to be realistic about your climate and the specifics of your yard, and reject out of hand any projects or plants that do not suit. 

Make A Detailed Plan 

Landscaping can be an expensive pursuit. Although it enhances your resale value and makes it a much nicer place to live, it’s still a substantial investment. In order to get the most bang for your buck, you will want to make a detailed plan that outlines not only this year’s projects, but desired projects for several years down the road. 

Thinking ahead will help you make reasonable choices about the order each project should be done in. For instance, if you know that in a few years you will want to put in a pool or a patio (or both!) you probably won’t want to put in sod this year. Not when you’ll have heavy equipment gouging it just when it’s finally established. 

What to consider in your plan 

In some cases, your immediate plans may switch to less sexy projects, like improving drainage and grading the yard. However, because you have this plan in place, it will be easier for you to look into the future and see what you are working towards

JK Enterprises specializes in bulk landscaping products like stone, mulch and topsoil — the backbone of many landscaping projects. Come on down to see our wide selection of high-quality products and talk to our experienced staff!

Initial Steps 

One of the most important things in making a solid plan for your landscape is finding the right topsoil for your garden. 

Topsoil allows for great drainage, so do not be afraid to add a lot of topsoil in your landscape because it can never hurt to use too much! For the best possible drainage, place a layer of topsoil where you are going to place your plant roots, and then add an additional layer on top. 

There are many different forms of topsoil, but they are all classified into six distinct types: clay, sand, silt, peat, chalk, and loam. Clay soil is the heaviest and most difficult to implement into any landscape. Because it is so heavy, clay soil has a high concentration of nutrients which can be great for any landscape if used correctly. It is difficult for water to drain when using clay topsoil, and this is especially true during the winter and summer months. Using clay is best when growing trees and other large and durable plants. As clay topsoil is very heavy, sand topsoil is extremely light. Sandy soils are simple to work with and they have great water drainage, but they are typically low in nutrients as it is easy for water and wind to displace the sand from its original position. Sand and clay topsoil are opposite each other on the topsoil spectrum. What you are looking for is something in the middle of the spectrum which is known as loam. Loam is a combination of clay, sand, and silt, and is known as the optimal topsoil type as it is versatile because of its water retention and water drainage. Loam gives you the best of both worlds and is certainly what you should be thinking about first when choosing your topsoil. Even though it might sound simple to order some loam and place it directly into your garden, it is not that easy. Your garden or landscape will have specific attributes which will make a big difference in finding the best topsoil for your garden. When you are deciding what topsoil to purchase, you can always bring a sample of your soil to our offices at JK Enterprise where our team of professionals can analyze your soil and assist you in making the correct decision of what type of topsoil will work best in your garden.

Secondary steps 

Introducing mulch into your garden can improve the health and success of your plants, and it can also raise the overall aesthetic appeal of your garden.

Mulch is simply a protective and nurturing layer of material that covers topsoil. You should only use biodegradable and natural materials for your mulch, such as dry leaves, wood chips, shredded bark, grass clippings, and compost. The use of mulch will protect the moisture in your topsoil from evaporating which will reduce the risk of erosion. Because mulch hinders evaporation, it also retains water in the soil which will contribute to the overall strength of the ecosystem that resides within your soil. Mulch can also help prevent weeds from growing in your garden as it doesn’t allow weed sprouts to get enough sunlight to mature. 

There are a few things to consider when deciding what type of mulch to use in your garden. When thinking about your plants and garden beds, mulch that is able to decompose quickly, like shredded bark, will be your best option as it will allow a consistent and appropriate amount of water. Using a more finely ground mulch will protect your soil when you first put the mulch down, and over the course of a few months, the mulch will have decomposed into a soil-like substance in itself. If you want to place mulch in an area of your landscape where you do not care about the health of your crops, using a heavier mulch, such as large mulch, will be more durable and long-lasting which means you will not have to replace it frequently.