For those who are in love with landscaping knows for sure that there is a whole lot of science involved in it as there is art. Landscaped spaces are always cherished.
They offer a solace even when you are living right in the humdrum of a big city. And the best part of landscaping and ornamental gardening is it enhances and shapes the outdoor. If done correctly, it can also increase the charm of your indoors.
So, whether you are seriously into landscaping and ornamental gardening or just taking it up as a hobby, here are few things that I would like to share with you.
Landscaping and Ornamental Gardening: Four Main Factors
1. Proper analysis of soil before planting
2. Selection of healthy plants
3. Preparation of the site and following proper planting techniques
4. Care and maintenance techniques after planting
Preparing The Soil
Like every other planting procedures, landscaping and ornamental gardening too, require proper soil surveying and preparation to create an ideal condition for growth.
Let’s take a look at that,
To start with, you must look out for potential hazards that will inhibit the growth of the plant. For example, alkaline soil condition is hazardous as it disables the ability of the plant to absorb nutrients.
The best idea is to remove the top 6 to 8 inches of the soil. Replace it with good grade topsoil and prepare an ideal condition. Also, remember that compact soil is not ideal as it hinders the root growth.
If the soil is poorly drained or waterlogged, there are ways to improve the condition.
For poorly drained soil, deep tilling helps. Route water away from the plant beds through the drain spouts. Extremely heavy soils also require extra effort. Construct a raised platform with well-drained topsoil. It should be at least 12 to 18 inches high. To avoid accumulation of standing water, slope the sides of the bed.
Test the soil samples two to three weeks prior landscaping and ornamental gardening. A soil sample will not only confirm the type of soil you have but will also determine fertilizer and lime requirement.
Now, we have come to one of the most important segments of our landscaping and ornamental gardening, i.e., choosing the plant.
Buying fresh and high-quality plants is the right and wise investment-we all know that. But, how to identify the fresh ones?
Whether it’s sold in a container or ball and burlapped, healthy and vigorous roots are usually supple with white feeder roots and flexible stems. When you are shopping for ornamentals for landscaping and ornamental gardening, do not shy away from examining the roots. Container grown plants are considered best when it comes to transplant as they get accustomed with minimum shock.
However, as a general rule, fall and winter months are the best time to transplant. For large shrubs and trees, cooler months from October to April are considered the best time.
If your landscaping and ornamental gardening area are yet to get ready, storing the plants in right condition will increase their self-life. Place the plants in a shaded area and keep their roots moist. If the plant has bare roots or balled and burlapped, cover the roots with soil or sawdust and pin straw to retain the moisture. Do not place the roots in a bucket or in water for a long period as it will tend to suffocate. The container plants will require daily watering.
Pruning Techniques Before Planting
Pruning concepts for landscaping and ornamental gardening varies greatly. The pruning should be carried out strictly for cosmetics purposes only. While pruning you must remove the damaged branches and stems before planting. For landscaping and ornamental gardening, research has indicated that to ensure optimal growth of the plant, all the leaves need to be kept in the plant canopy. Not only it is good for fast growth but also helps in a stronger root system, supporting the plant on site.
The roots require a similar kind of attention like the branches and stems. In other words, for landscaping and ornamental gardening, the damaged, broken and ragged of the roots need to be taken care of. Remove excessively long roots as it might not fit into the hole for planting.
Planting Procedures For Landscaping And Ornamental Gardening
1. Specimen Plants
As the rule suggests for landscaping and ornamental gardening, specimen plants are planted alone. The procedure usually involves digging up a single hole or creating a mulched bed.
While digging the hole, there are few things you need to keep in mind like,
• The hole must be wide and deep enough to accommodate the roots.
• Make sure the hole is 1 to 2 feet wider than the diameter of the burlapped root or root ball.
• Larger trees or shade plants are well off when set in firm lower soil. Thus, you must not loosen the soil present at the bottom of the soil.
When you are digging holes for individual plants, add the existing sod in a compost pile or discard it. Do not add the sod or any other material in the bottom soil of the planting hole. The root system of specimen plants should only be exposed to nutrient-rich and quality backfill soil. If the quality of the topsoil is not that good, you can balance that by providing the organic matter in the backfill soil.
2. Ground Cover Beds And Shrubs
When you are digging a hole for ground covers or shrubs, consider digging an entire area where you wish to plant them, rather than digging up individual holes. A depth of 10 to 12 inches is enough for landscaping and ornamental gardening. The root system of the shrubs will quickly establish themselves. The principles are similar to specimen plants for shrubs and ground covers.
Work on the soil for the entire area, it is good for the root development. There are other benefits as well as if your soil needs any extra amendments, it can be done more easily when you are working on the soil. The shrubs will grow faster unlike, in smaller holes.
Care Regime For Newly Planted Ornamentals
No matter what plants or shrubs you are planting in landscaping and ornamental gardening, watering them on regular intervals is the key to better growth and stronghold. However, make sure that you do not make the soil too, wet. Carry out the procedure for at least six to eight weeks of planting.
Depending on the soil type you can adjust the frequency of watering. Take guidance from soil moisture. Specimen plants usually need watering twice a week in absence of rain while the annuals might require daily watering.
The ideal way to keep the mulch layer is at an optimum depth on the soil surface under the plants. The mulch should be kept from touching the stems of the plants. If you are planning to add fertilizers, there is no need for that in the first growing season.
For landscaping and ornamental gardening plants, the landscape can start from the second season and the larger trees require it from the third season. After application of the fertilizer, water the plants well.
It is always a great idea to add a bit of green and colors to the outdoors with landscaping and ornamental gardening. Ornamentals are not only great for looks and aesthetics but, keep the air fresh giving you a healthy life.
Painter and a Cynophilist, Ipshita Maulik swears by yoga and started writing when she least expected it. From Kolkata, she is currently working as a Content Writer in a Digital Marketing Company. Here are few things she loves- eating at new places, hanging out with her friends and everything that are cruelty free.