July 20, 2021
10 Things to Know Before You Landscape
Landscaping provides functional beauty for your property. If done wisely, you can enjoy the benefits of your landscaping efforts for years to come. But before you set out to begin designing your ideal outdoor spaces, there are many factors to consider to ensure that your front and back yard landscaping, as well as any landscape architecture you install, serves you, your family, and guests’ needs well. With a little planning and thinking ahead, you can avoid the frustration that comes when you have to redo your landscaping – or are unhappily stuck with it until you can.
First, it is a good idea to make a preliminary list of your wants and needs and then roughly sketch these to use as the basis for your beautiful landscape design. You can also use the following components to drive your vision.
When imagining your outdoor spaces, think of their use. Do you have children who will need designated play areas? Do you frequently entertain guests or host parties? Without thinking of these, you may waste time, money, and energy putting in landscaping components that you find need to be removed later.
If you plan to tackle your landscape maintenance yourself rather than rely on professionals, you will need to install only those plants and trees you can realistically care for. Watering and mowing will take up the most time, so one solution is to use ground cover plants instead of grass where possible to reduce these needs.
If anyone who comes on your property needs special accommodations, it’s wise to consider these before beginning landscape installation. This could include using level walkways rather than jagged rocks, adding handrails to widened paths, and creating proper level ground grading.
No practical landscaping is complete without proper lighting. Otherwise, when the sun goes down, the beauty of your yard will be lost to the dark. Landscape lighting can spotlight certain areas of your yard or provide safety for guests while on your property.
Another important factor to consider is how your areas will transition between each other. You don’t want there to be a stark contrast between styles to jar your guests, but rather when they move between the spaces in your yard, it feels natural, and the transitions are harmonious. A great way to accomplish this is to match your home’s theme as best you can, mimicking its architectural style.
What to Choose
Choosing plants and flowers that will thrive in our North Central Florida climate is of the utmost importance. There is nothing more frustrating than spending money to plant the wrong kinds and have them die in front of your eyes. Before you ever put trowel to earth, find out which plants are native to Florida as well as their hardiness for our unique soil.
When choosing plants and flowers for your lawn, you should also consider which types will best attract birds, bees, and pollinators. These species can eat harmful insects before they become worse issues, all while contributing to your lawn’s healthy ecosystem.
If you want to know how much shade specific areas of your yard receive, watch your yard for a few days to see where the light hits and for how long as well as areas of shade. These factors create what is known as a microclimate, made up of these categories:
- Full sun
- Partial shade
- Deep shade
As some plants require a lot of sun and some do not like it at all, you can use this information to decide where to place the plants you have chosen.
When considering which grass to lay in your yard, it is essential to know the different types used here in our area.
- Bermuda grass is a turf commonly used for commercial applications such as golf courses, sports fields, and parks. Although it is drought and weed-resistant, it is prone to pests, shade, or cold weather.
- Bahiagrass grass is used for residential properties where other grasses fail to thrive. It is drought and pest-resistant but susceptible to overwatering, shade, or weed growth.
- Centipede is a low-maintenance, heat-tolerant grass used in residential applications that does not require regular mowing. It is, however, vulnerable to insects and not appropriate for areas with large amounts of foot traffic.
- St. Augustine is the most commonly used grass in our area due to its suitability for our hot climate and drought resistance. It is adaptable to different soils but requires continual maintenance.
- Zoysia grass is more complicated to install with its plugs, sprigs, and sod. However, this grass is perfect for our climate and can handle frequent foot traffic, sun, and heat while remaining drought, disease, and weed-resistant.
Once it is time to plant, it is smart to group plants and trees with the same needs near each other. For example, if you have species that need more water, you can place them together where you know water runs through your yard. Similarly, you can put a group that requires large amounts of sunlight to thrive together.
SkyFrog Is Your Partner for a Beautiful Lawn
If we included an 11th tip, it would be that the single best thing you can do is hire the professional and knowledgeable landscaping team at SkyFrog Landscape. Our expert technicians assess your property to determine which plants and trees will suit it best, install them correctly so as to ensure health and vibrancy, and maintain your lawn, so it always looks its best.
Whether you are ready to get started on your landscaping or looking for maintenance services such as landscape edging, SkyFrog Landscape can provide the expert services you need. Contact us today and let us help you start designing a yard you will never want to leave.