1. Don’t plant large shrubbery or trees against your house. The roots from them can damage your foundation and the foliage against the walls can cause mold and mildew.
2. Plan your design ahead of time. Always have a plan going in. This will save you time, money and aggravation. You don’t want to have your front yard looking great, only to remember you need to take a tractor to the back yard later on. This happens a lot.
3. Don’t plant too much of the same plant material. You want to vary your selection for several reasons. If you have different type of blooming plants and shrubs, you can have blooms all year long. Another good reason is if a fungus or blight comes along that affect one type of plant, you won’t lose everything.
4. Plant low maintenance material. Unless you have lots of time to devote to the maintenance of your landscape, or can afford a full-time gardener, plant low maintenance items. It may look great today, but if you can’t keep up with it, it will look worse than ever and you have just wasted your time and money.
5. Put beds around single trees and shrubs. Placing a bed around these makes it easier to mow and weed eat. You will be less likely to damage your shrub or tree with the mower or weed eater.
6. Be aware of growth habits of trees you plant. When planting a tree in your yard, be sure you know how big it will get and what kind of canopy it will have on it. If you have a nice lawn and want to keep it, don’t plant a tree in the middle of it that will make lots of shade in a large area. The grass will not survive. Also, make sure not to plant too close to the house, or plant tall trees under utility lines. They will eventually have to be topped out or taken down.
7. Think in three dimensions when planting beds. When you plan your beds, always think of how the plants will look when mature and try to put tall plants as a backdrop to shorter plants in the front. This will give you more dimension, than just planting a row of something.
8. Put in a sprinkler system. A sprinkler system saves time and money. Have you ever been moving the lawn sprinkler around on a Saturday and forgot it in one spot too long. Every time you do that, you waste massive amounts of water. With an automatic system, You get what you need, where you need, when you need. If and this is a big IF, you use a reputable contractor. Just putting some pipe in the ground with some heads scattered about, getting things wet is not the answer. If you are going to do that, you may as well stick with a hose.
9. Don’t rely on non-local sources of information. Get your information from local nurseries and the County Extension Agent. They will be more knowledgeable about our local climate and plant material. Someone writing a book about planting methods in California or Maine, would not be reliable for planting techniques here in Georgia.
10. Stay on top of weeds. Weeds are hard enough to keep at bay and they are exponentially worse when they get established. Be sure to stay ahead of them.
Well there you go. These are simple tips, but they are important. If you apply these to your lawn and landscape, you will be miles ahead of the game.