One of the first things I often hear from clients when meeting with them about a landscape design project is, “I want a low maintenance landscape.” There are certainly different degrees of maintenance necessary to keep a landscape looking its best, and the design stage can definitely address this need. However, with that said, the landscape differs from other elements of home construction in that it is a living entity. Like all things living, it needs some maintenance and love to keep it looking its best.
A seasonal maintenance routine, whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, is one of the best ways to keep the day-to-day or week-to-week maintenance to a minimum. The two most important seasonal maintenance times are in the spring, to refresh the yard after the long and wet Portland winter, and a fall cleanup to rid the yard of the autumn leaf drop and put the garden to bed for the season.
The spring cleanup typically consists of weeding the planting beds, pruning trees and shrubs, cleaning up debris left over from winter, an application of an organic pre-emergent herbicide such as Corn Gluten Meal, fertilizing the trees, shrubs, perennials, and turf and mulching the beds. Taking this step in the spring can aid in assisting the overall health of the landscape and set the gardens and turf up for success throughout the summer season.
Wheel & Barrow Landscape Design & Maintenance recently completed a spring cleanup for Gillian and Greg Rubin at their North Portland home. They were very satisfied and said,
“We hired Patrick to do a seasonal clean-up of our front and back yards. He had his work cut out for him as our garden beds were a mess! Patrick did an amazing job. He arrived early and stayed late and meticulously worked every inch until our landscape was the envy of the neighborhood! We will definitely hire him back in the fall.”
The spring cleanup is essential because it allows you to get a jump on the weeds early in the season, as well as an opportunity to prune the trees and shrubs before they have leafed out or have flowered. Additionally, adding 3-4” of mulch to the planting beds has an assortment of lasting benefits. 3-4” of mulch will aid in reducing weeds by not allowing weed seeds the light they needs to germinate. Also, a layer of mulch will reduce the necessity to water by reducing evaporation and holding water in the soil. Mulch keeps the soil cool in hot weather and warmer in cold weather. Wood based mulch like shredded hemlock will add nutrients to the soil as it breaks down.
Like I alluded to in the opening of this blog post, low maintenance is best accomplished a strategic combination of seasonal maintenance. Allow Wheel & Barrow Landscape Design & Maintenance to assist you in designing and executing a seasonal landscape plan to best meet your needs.