Posts Tagged ‘Water’

How Ground Cover Plants Help to Flatten the Landscape

May 7th, 2014

The process of fattening out a landscape with ground cover plants is not difficult if the proper procedures are used. For this project, various things will be needed, such as different kinds of plants depending on the season.

The Benefits Of Flattening An Area With Ground Cover Plants

When an area is sloped, water runoff and soil erosion will be an issue. In addition, the moisture retention will be uneven. A sloped landscape is also tough to mow. The bottom of the slope is usually where water will travel and stop. Because of this, plants will have growth difficulties. Plants cannot grow well in areas that have too much moisture. This is just one reason why a sloped backyard might be flatten with garden plants.

How To Flatten A Landscape

Before tackling this project, all vegetation must be removed from the sloped area. If there are any plants that are worth keeping, use a shovel to dig them up. After the plants are removed from the ground, place them in pots and water them. After the plants have enough water, place them in a location that has shade. If there are no plants worth keeping, consider buying new affordable garden plants from an online plant nursery.

All digging must be handled effectively and efficiently, so contact local utility companies to inform them about the digging locations. A representative will visit the project location to provide information about buried water pipes, power lines, and phone lines.

An entire layer of topsoil should be removed while digging. Topsoil is a dark soil, and it covers the top eight inches. This soil should be placed into a pile. Next, place the subsoil at the bottom of the slope. Place the soil in the best locations to make a slight slope. The slope should be away from any buildings in the area. Use a rake to make the surface smooth.

You will also need a lawn roller. A lawn roller is available at any hardware stores or rental companies. Use the lawn roller over the ground to compact the soil. If there are any depressions, use a shovel to fill them with more subsoil.

Use an eight-foot long two by four on the slope at the top. The board should run down the slope. Use a level on the board to ensure that the board is level. The distance from the lifted end and the ground must be measured. The grade is correct if it is two inches. Once these procedures are complete, water the area to settle the soil.

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Correcting Drainage Problems in the Garden and Landscape

September 19th, 2011

french drains

Image by Indiewench via Flickr

This is a common issue, especially in new developments where the topsoil has been scraped away and the only thing left behind is compacted clay. There are actually some options.

Is the rain just hitting the ground and running off? Then, you need to be building up your lawn to make it healthier so the water is absorbed into the ground. Remember, weeds do not germinate in healthy soil. Lawns can be built up by tilling in organic matter, such as aged compost, aged manure mix, straw, etc. Aeration can also help water soak in. Sometimes it can take several attempts of aeration to see results. Soil softeners can help the ground absorb water. Like aeration, it often requires several applications before results can be seen.

French drains are made by digging deep trenches. In the bottom of the trench is placed a layer of rock, followed by black perforated piping covered with a weed cloth and then covering the piping with rock to the top of trench. French drains are (or can be) complicated issues, so a professional should be consulted to install them.

Dry creek beds are beautiful ways to direct excess water to where you want it to go. They are slightly dug out beds or paths, placing landscape fabric in the depression followed by pebbles/gravel/larger rocks. In some cases, the waters path is already clear in your yard, so use that to your advantage and create a dry creek bed and then landscape around it. It can be a great focal point as well as utility.

When working to alleviate drainage problems, keep in mind to route the water to an area that will not pose any further problems. One place is to your curb, but you should check with your development or city regulations first. Should you have a drainage ditch (common in most developments) bordering one side of your property, route the water to it. Never route drain water to a neighbors property.

Of course, if you can’t drain it, use it. Where the water lays, create a bog garden. Plants that will work in such an area are: vinca, spiraea, viburnum, goat’s beard, phlox, ferns (shade), daylilies, irises, bamboo (clumping varieties), red twig or other shrub dogwoods, acorus ogon grass, french pussy willow, nishiki willow, giant pussy willow, solomon’s seal, liriope, maples, green ash, bald cypress, river birch, elm, white pine, hemlock, sourwood, tulip poplar, blueberry, cranberry, red chokeberry, sambucus, holly, spicebush, oaks, red bud, serviceberry, hostas (shade), anemones, and gaillardia. If you have a really marshy area, check at your local fish store for pond plants.

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Ways to Reduce Garden Watering

August 26th, 2011

A garden hose pistol

Image via Wikipedia

Tips to reduce watering:

  • Mulch around plants with shredded bark mulch, aged compost mix or aged manure mix
  • If you can’t mulch large areas, spread a good layer of straw (not hay)
  • Hoeing the ground around the plants brings moisture closer to the surface for the plants
  • Plant perennials close together to shade the ground
  • Use soaker hoses where needed instead of overhead watering
  • When watering with a garden hose, water on the ground around the base of the plant and not the leaves on the plant
  • Do any watering late evening or early morning
  • Hold off any fertilize applications until the weather is cooler or it rains as plants will be less stressed

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Ground Cover Plants and More as Lawn Substitutes

July 14th, 2011

Front yard flowers

Image by nouveaustar via Flickr

This is the time of year, most of us become disillusioned with our lawns. Water, aerate, water, reseed, water, fertilize, then repeat and that doesn’t include the mowing. It’s a never ending cycle. Customers send emails wanting to know how they can forget the grass and have something that is just not as time consuming.

Well…there are lawn options and planning is a must or you will be the neighborhood poster yard for weeds. Ground cover plants, ornamental grasses and perennials are popular, but we have more ideas.

Here are a few ideas for lawn substitutes:

  • Cutting flower garden
  • Artificial grass (don’t laugh, it is being used quite often)
  • Spreading perennials
  • Clover
  • Landscape Pavers
  • Heavily chipped mulch
  • Pea gravel

Here are more ideas with pictures should you decide to go lawnless in the future. Lawn SubstitutesMore Lawn SubstitutesEven More Lawn Substitutes.

Check out Ground Cover Plants at Greenwood Nursery.

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How to Help Plants Cope with Hot Temperatures

June 12th, 2011

Plants become stressed during hot weather, too. Here are tips for limiting their agony:


  • Water in the late evening – after sunset if possible
  • Apply water the base of the plants at the soil level
  • Don’t fertilize when the plants are stressed
  • Shredded bark mulch for woody shrubs and trees will keep them cooler
  • Use aged compost or aged manure mix as mulch for perennials
  • If you can’t water (due to restrictions), get your garden hoe out and turn the soil around the plants.
  • Clip out any dead or broken limbs
  • Deadhead just as quickly as the blooms die so the plant doesn’t have to force energy into it
  • Have a plant that is extremely sensitive to the heat – construct a canopy over the plant with light cloth and stakes to limit the suns rays

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