Local Dirt Perspective

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Hello again, this has been one of the nicest springs I can remember. But now it’s summer and July is upon us, so here comes the heat. 

I’ve been writing this column now since February 2015 I believe column 39 or 40, as there were a few hiccups along the way. I once wrote a column on a plane bound for Italy and then wrote about the gardens and landscapes I saw there when I returned. I even wrote a column of how I found my love for gardening and flowers. I could write a lot more about my personal stuff unless you start asking some questions. 

But some things did pop up during this last month that I can tell you about. 

The over landscaped landscape. 

I have come across many maintenance nightmares as of late, and the owner always say this: “I hope it won’t cost to much.” When you get to the point where you have to consider hiring the cleanup done, it’s going to cost to much. Here’s why; 1- hiring a contractor is expensive because he has  payroll, taxes, profit, wear and tear on equipment and extra time holding your hand as you freak out over some of the extreme measures needed to bring a shrub or tree back to reasonableness. 2 – hiring the wrong contractor is costly because if he doesn’t know what he’s doing, even if his rates are good, it could cost you your landscape. So be REASONABLE in your choices of what you plant if it’s a new landscape or remove, replace or reduce the size and scope of your landscape. What I mean by this is simplify your life by simplifying your landscape, but if you like a lot of plants to beautify your space then either hire a good professional to stay on top of things or make a plan of regular maintenance you can do to stay on top of things. When I teach others I tell them,”Do everything every week so you don’t have a lot of anything every week.” It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you skip a few weeds for several weeks. If you like formally shaped shrubs it’s important to keep them trimmed often, letting them go and then pruning can leave brown or dead spots created by overgrowth. If you like natural looking shrubs keep trimming out a branch or two deep inside to keep size and the look will never be noticeable. Do you want spend time working on your landscape or enjoying it?

    Temperatures are rising and so should the frequency of and length of watering times for all your landscaped areas. Until next time, Pat

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