Welcome to Landscaping 101! If you are new to the world of landscaping, planting out a new area and maintaining it to ensure it reaches it’s full potential can be a confusing and daunting task. There is plenty of information out there regarding the do’s and don’ts of landscaping and how to ensure you are setting yourself up for success. It is important to remember while doing your research, a lot of information will vary depending on where you live. As an example, it would be counter productive for someone in Brisbane to follow guidelines referencing to landscapes in Canberra. Before you set upon your new gardening venture, devise a plan of attack to ensure the best possible outcomes.
Planting plans are important to ensure you’re maximizing the space and potential within your garden. For optimal results we recommend to observe the following 4 key elements:
- Sun exposure/environment – Observing sun and element exposure is extremely important when it comes to your garden. Depending on the amount and type of exposure it receives should also be taken into consideration when making your plant selections.
- Plant selection – It’s important to have a clear vision of what you are wanting your garden to achieve. Selecting the appropriate plants for the conditions they will live in is crucial. Water supply is also another factor, so be sure to think of these things before choosing your preferred design.
- Soil quality – Digging up some of the area is a great way to observe the kind of soil you have to work with. Depending on the plants you want to use, you can add different nutrients to ensure you are creating the perfect canvas.
- Maintenance – Practicing correct maintenance techniques inclusive of pruning, watering and treatments.
Now that we have covered the bases let’s study their applications to 3 easy and popular styles of gardens you can create at home.
Herb and veggie garden
- Full sun is required for most edible gardens
- Assortment of herbs and vegetables depending on what you would like to harvest
- Apply organic matter to soil, mix through all areas
- Once planting completed, spread sugar cane mulch around plants, this retains moisture and keeps the soil cool
- Prune prune prune! It’s important to grow herbs that you will pick constantly as this stimulates growth. Herb and Vege gardens will generally require water at least once a day in summer depending on growing conditions. Use of organic treatments like home made insecticide is recommended
- Morning sun is ideal especially in summer. Different varieties of succulents will flourish in different environments so trial and error is a great way to see what works
- Choosing the correct succulents for your area, some are hardier than others. Some species like Echeveria will rot easily so it’s important to keep this in mind
- Additives of drainage to soil is imperative. Use of perlite, charcoal or even sand. Mulching is not recommended, this can cause crown rot. Instead use decorative pebbles or leave to grow naturally
- Insecticide and fungicide treatments are imperative to ensure their success. While succulents are flowering it is important to routinely inspect and treat accordingly as flowers will attract a variety of pests. Water only when soil is bone dry
- Part shade/filtered light is recommended
- A mixture of strelitzias and other tropical plants combined with lower growing bromeliads can be a great way to border your garden. Layering of height is a great way to protect your smaller more sensitive plants e.g ferns
- Dig in copious amounts of well rotted manure or compost into the soil. Mulch is required to ensure soil stays cool. Re-mulch once a year or as required
- Water frequently depending on the amount of light these plants receive. Generally every second day in Summer depending on the heat/rainfall for the season
It’s important to remember that although there is plenty of information out there, it is also imperative to monitor your landscape and assess how they evolve and progress. If you’re noticing some are fairing better than others, investigate as to why this may be. It could be as simple as completing an insecticide treatment. Plants are living, breathing beings that can all be affected in different ways. Once you have planted out your dream garden, monitor, maintain and learn the dos and don’ts that work for you.
We hope you enjoyed this first course of Landscaping 101! Happy gardening!