Finally, it’s here: Standing on the porch of your new or renovated home, you can see the beautiful lawn and landscape that will surround you. Although you may believe that you are looking at a blank canvas or a blank page, it is not the correct analogy. Imagine if DaVinci had a painting that he had to begin by erasing the canvas and then repairing it. That’s closer to your situation. Before you can start planting, you may need to fix it.
This is because new constructions and substantial renovations present unique landscape challenges that are not available in homes with established yards. Although you don’t know what lies beneath the surface, it is likely to be unfriendly to plants. It is possible that your soil is full of construction debris, and lacks the necessary ingredients for healthy grass and other plants.
Here are some tips.
Sketch your Landscape Plan to Imagine the End Product
Begin by imagining what your final landscape will look like. If you are remodeling, this is your chance to re-do the work or create a new landscape. You don’t have to use the same starter plants as the contractor or put more grass where it was before. Make a rough plan. Take a pencil and a pad of paper and take a walk around your house. Draw your lot and your house. Don’t worry too much about scale or whether you failed art class. As long as you can understand your own squiggles, crude is okay.
You should indicate where the sun rises and sets. Make a sun map if you have a sunny day at your home. To see the shadows and sun on your lawn, take a series of pictures each hour during daylight hours. If they could affect your landscaping plan, include them in your drawing.
Next, sit down with your plan. Then start to play with ideas while keeping your ultimate goals in mind. Are a pool and/or water feature essential? What about a play area? Is there a low-sun area where shade-tolerant plants are needed? It is important to have a clear idea of what you want your landscape to look like years from now. Professional landscapers and software for Landscaping design can help refine your ideas.
Get down with your dirt – Next, think about your soil.
Although it may appear ready to plant, the soil is likely not. The soil around a newly built or renovated house is often affected by one or more of the following conditions:
Poor soil quality. Fill dirt is often used by contractors to raise new homes, fill in cracks, and create a slope for water to flow away. Fill can come from many sources. The fill could contain some topsoil but it’s more likely to be mostly subsoil brought in from nearby areas or transported from far away. It hasn’t been irrigated by any microbes, worms, or insects.
How to fix it: Make the soil better. If you’re lucky enough, your contractor might have removed the topsoil from a remodeled home. This will give you some soil that you can layer over your yard. You will need to make your own topsoil if the contractor does not. To determine the nutrients in your soil, get a soil test and adjust your soil amendments accordingly.
Construction debris. Because of its lackluster quality, fill dirt can be a poor choice for planting material. It is well-known for its contents. It’s a great place to plant an azalea. Don’t be surprised if you doink! The spade strikes a rock or piece of construction debris. How to deal with it: As soon as you see it, remove it. It will be found as you prepare the soil. It is possible to incur a cost if you have a lot. Some municipalities will take it away but many won’t.
Compacted soil. For grass roots to thrive and grow, they need loose soil. The soil is compacted by heavy equipment and walking around the area. Builders find that compacted soil is advantageous because it prevents a building from settling as they build.
How to fix it: Before you plant grass, it is necessary to till the soil. You’ll need to till deep enough to mix the subsoil and topsoil if you have compacted soil. You’ll stop your lawn from setting deep roots and will make it less resilient.
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