Landscaping Advice You Wish You Heard Sooner

There is a ton of landscaping advice out there and sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s right and what’s just hype. Here are the 5 things you DON’T ever have to do (but you might think you’re supposed to).

1. Mulch volcanoes have become a popular look over the years, however, adding a mound of mulch up against the trunk and over the root flare can trap moisture against the bark, inviting fungus, disease, and decay. Too much mulch also starves the roots for oxygen and can block rainwater from saturating it. The correct way to mulch around a tree is adding no more than 3 inches of mulch that doesn’t touch the trunk.

2. Edging materials are believed to make a yard look “finished”, but in reality, they tend to add a few more items to your yard’s weekly maintenance “to-do” list. Rubber edging often heaves up in the winter, looking messy or requiring a replacement each spring. Landscaping blocks used as edging can heat up and apply extra heat toward your plants. Both types of edging requires a string trimmer to keep tidy when a simple trench edge, made with a manual or power edging tool, can be mown over. So place too much emphasis on edging, because your plants might be better without it.

3. Landscape fabric, also known as weed barrier, seems too good to be true because it usually is. Weed barrier can strangle your desirable plants while weeds grow underneath it and lift it over time. Rainwater may not saturate and water your plants; instead, it may run over time and displace your mulch. Try a 3-inch layer of mulch instead of landscape fabric. This will give your plants what they need and add value to your investment.

4. New mulch every spring seems like part of the spring clean up ritual, but it’s not necessary. In spring, rake and fluff out your existing mulch. Dig down to see how many inches of mulch you currently have: 2-3 inches is adequate and anything over 4 inches is too much. Doing this will ensure money saved and better yard health.

5. Raking your leaves is another yearly tradition that surprisingly doesn’t need to be adhered to. Mow over your fallen leaves with a mower, leaving them as mulch on your lawn, or blow them into garden beds for winter protection/mulch. They will help improve your soil’s water retention properties and add nutrients as well.