Everyone wants a perfectly landscaped yard that’s fit to be on the cover of a magazine. However, a beautiful lawn doesn’t just happen by itself or by accident. It takes hard work, experience, and knowledge to truly perfect landscaping. While many homeowners are willing to put in the hard work, not everyone has the knowledge or experience to design and install a beautifully landscaped outdoor space. Read on to learn more about the importance of proper landscape installation and how we at Peer Landscaping are equipped to help.
In a way, installing all of the plants, hardscapes, and walkways means landscape installation is very similar to adding an addition to your home, only on the outside of it. We design your landscape to accent your home’s exterior, like using decorative siding or other design elements for your house. We look to add to your curb appeal by making your home and yard look amazing. We take so many things into account when designing your landscape. For example:
- Soil quality
- Sun exposure
- Wind exposure
- Size and shape at maturity
- Depth required when planting
- Colors of blooms
Before we even start that design, we will ask you to help us out by spending a few weeks paying attention to certain factors in your yard. These include:
- Map out sun exposure in your yard. Since we are planting a variety of trees, shrubs, and plants, we need to be able to place those in the areas where they receive the amount of sun those plants like. We want to be sure to put shade plants in areas where they are mainly out of the sun, and sun loving plants right out in the open to soak up as much sun as they want.
- Consider any current issues (weeds, pests, patchy grass, poor drainage, etc.). If you’ve noticed an area of yard that just won’t get green no matter how much you water it, let us know that. If you’ve seen some pests on a particular plant, let us know. If there is a part of your lawn that feels more like a swamp, we can fix that as we install your landscape. But we need to know all of these factors before we even design something new for you.
- Plan where you want your walkways. Walkways, and seating areas are the way you and your family access the beautiful gardens we install, so we will go over planning that with you in our initial meeting. We want you to have many ways to go out into your garden and enjoy the beauty.
- Identify features you want to highlight. Have you been dreaming about a big fountain as the centerpiece to your front yard? Do you want to have some lovely colorful flowers surrounding your lanai cage? We are here to design what you’ve been dreaming of, so don’t hesitate to tell us exactly what you’ve been dreaming about.
All of these factors must be carried through from the initial design through to when we do the actual installation. After all, we are often installing plantings around the foundation of your home, so we must pay attention to how large the plants roots will get and how to prevent soil erosion in that area. We want to be sure that we don’t plant something that loves dry soil, in an area that tends to hold water. The key to a successful looking yard is to create a sound plan for the design and installation, and at Peer Landscaping we know exactly how to create the perfect plan for your yard.
What to do Prior to Installation
Prior to installation day there are a few things you will need to do, and not do, and there are some things we will do. This will ensure that the project gets completed on time, on budget and is executed smoothly.
- If you regularly have a pest control company spray your lawn for weeds or insects, we request that two weeks prior to installation please stop all lawn treatment services. Our installers are on their hands and knees digging in your soil, and herbicides and pesticides can be dangerous for them. Two weeks is typically enough time for those projects to disintegrate into the soil, keeping our guys safe.
- Clear the proposed installation area of any playground equipment, tables, chairs and lawn furniture, bird baths, fountains, or anything else that will stall the installation process. Make an inventory of any of the furniture or hardscapes that you want reinstalled and where you want it installed.
- Stop irrigating the proposed installation area. Believe it or not wet sod is three times the weight of dry sod and it is harder to remove in nice even sheets, which can double the amount of time for removal. You can make our process smoother by turning off your irrigation system at least three days prior to installation.
- Have the area ready for installation by having it mowed. Sometimes homeowners stop maintenance services prior to installation, but this can make the installation process harder and lengthier if we have to mow and trim overgrown grass before we start installing.
- Identify irrigation system layout and underground utilities. Landscape installation will always involve digging, and we can’t anticipate what’s underground without having it mapped out. As long as we know where those lines are, we will avoid them because sometimes internet and cable lines are only a few inches under your soil and can easily be severed. We dig cautiously, but everything will go more smoothly if we know where we need to be careful when digging.
- If you have a mosquito control system that is installed just under the soil, it is a good idea to drain the system and remove all heads and lines in the area that will be landscaped so we don’t pierce those lines.
What We Do Prior to Installation
Proper preparation is absolutely imperative prior to installing your new landscape. This planning and preparation saves time and money. Here are some of the ways we prepare for installation:
- We will remove all organic and inorganic debris, including dead plant life and weeks, rocks and fallen leaves and branches.
- We will prune plant life that will remain as part of the landscaped yard.
- We will remove any plants, trees or other vegetation that don’t fit into your new landscaping plan. We will also pay attention to whether or not you have invasive plants in your yard and remove those too.
- We will amend, aerate, and grade your soil to improve drainage and ph values, as well as adding compost and rich new soil to make sure the soil condition is perfect for your new plants and trees.
Installing Your New Landscape
Now we are all ready to install the new landscape we’ve designed for your yard. Here’s a little peek at some of the things we feel are important to installing plants, trees, and shrubs correctly.
- We purchase your plants and install them immediately. None of our plantings have been sitting around, so they are fresh and look great right away.
- We’ve done the research and have the experience to know exactly how deeply plants need to be put into the soil, as well as how much spacing needs to be left according to what that variety of plant needs. We’ve seen plenty of plantings that don’t take into account how large a plant will be in a few months or even a few years. We are careful not to overcrowd the planting beds. Certain plants are very picky about how deeply they are planted. For example, people often plant avocado trees too deeply and then their tree doesn’t thrive or give them fruit. This is the type of information that requires some experience, and knowledge of local plant life.
- We are sure to provide exactly the kind of potting soil, fertilizer and mulch your plants need to thrive. Mulch is like the insulation in your house. It keeps the new seedlings insulated from our harsh Southwest Florida sun and the pounding rain we get in the summer as well. Mulch also helps roots maintain moisture.
- Water, water, water. We water each plant well before installing it and then we water the root ball again once it’s in the hole.
Caring for Your Newly Installed Landscape
After our expert landscape installers at Peer Landscaping are done installing your brand-new plants, trees, and shrubs all of it will need some extra care until those plants are established.
The most imperative thing you will need to do once your new landscape is installed is to water it. Here are some instructions for proper watering. You must water newly installed plants EVERY DAY for the first 30 days. This will help your plant’s root ball to extend itself and establish into the surrounding soil. The compressed root ball can’t absorb moisture as easily as an established plant. Don’t just sprinkle the top of the soil. Put the hose directly where the root ball is and with a low-pressure flow of water, water it thoroughly. After the first 30 days you can water the plants every other day for one more month and then after two months your regular irrigation cycle should be enough, and especially in the summertime here in Southwest Florida, when it rains pretty much every day, you won’t need to water that much after the first two months, at least until the winter months. Here’s a good rule of thumb to follow during the fall and winter months when there is less rainfall here. If we got less than one inch of rainfall in a week then trees should be watered two times per week in dry, hot weather and one time in cool weather. For trees, you should water for three to five minutes or until the water starts to flow out of the hole. Shrubs also need to be watered two times a week in dry, to weather and one time a week in cool weather. Water them for two to three minutes.
At Peer Landscaping we will often stake brand new trees during our installation process. You should keep your newly staked trees staked for at least 12 months. This will allow them to start proper root growth, stabilize in the soil and grow straight by keeping them from being blown about by the wind during our wild summer thunderstorms here.
We always fertilize your newly planted trees and shrubs, but you’ll want to follow that up eventually. Here’s a good schedule for fertilizing:
- Deciduous or evergreen trees: fertilize with granular feed 12 months after planting.
- Deciduous or evergreen shrubs: fertilize once in the fall around October and once in the spring around March.
- Groundcover: fertilize with a liquid fertilizer once in the fall around October and once in the spring around March.
- Annuals and perennials: Fertilize in the spring with liquid fertilizer.
Landscape installation and maintenance in Fort Myers
Why risk injury, added expenses, pest control, invasive plant diseases, and added work? Make your life easier by contacting a professional landscaping specialist. Whether you’re starting fresh on a never landscaped space or your property has been the victim of a bad landscape installation, you can trust Peer Landscaping. We can solve your yard woes if you live in Fort Myers and the surrounding area of Southwest Florida. Contact us at (239) 645-6455 or reach us online for a consultation. We look forward to helping you achieve the yard of your dreams!