The following article is presented by Replenish Landscape Garden Products.
How are you protecting your gardens? Does your garden just consist of dirt, or are you adding a nutrient rich compost and (or) a ground cover. Protecting your soils, providing nutrients and creating a beautiful yard is indeed a lofty, but a very satisfying goal. Trying to figure out exactly how to make your yard stand out can be an overwhelming experience if you are not sure what you are looking for and how to use the various materials available. Here are 4 tips from Replenish Landscape Garden Products for helping you accomplish this and creating your beautiful yard.
A good quality organic compost material, low in salt and adequately ‘cured’ or composted, is the very best thing you can add to our nutrient depleted soils in Utah. Compost that is added to the soil will, overtime, break down its organic material releasing nutrients into the soil and making them available to feed your plants.
An ideal ratio to use for your compost is to mix one part compost with three parts of your natural soil. Plant your plants as you normally would in the soil-compost mixture. Add a layer of compost on the surface of your garden, anywhere from 1 to 2 inches deep. This “top dressing” will help to add additional nutrients to the soil; help to retain moisture in the soil; help to suppress the growth of weeds in your beds; and will give your garden a uniform and finished look.
If you want a heavier ground cover or “top dressing”, you can use a wood mulch, (available in several different colors), or any of a variety of natural bark products. Ground rubber mulch is also available but comes with a number of problems and disadvantages. Again, adding 1 to 2 inches of mulch will help to conserve moisture, inhibit the growth of weeds, as well as help prevent soil erosion.
Mulch, which is a generic word describing anything you use to cover your soil, not only provides the advantages that have already been listed, but also can add color, texture and definition to your landscapes. With a variety of barks and color wood mulches, you are sure to find a color and material that will meet your personal tastes and will provide a nice contrast to your home and your landscape. When calculating how much material you will need to cover your gardens or landscape, the rule of thumb is: 1 cubic yard of material will cover approximately 150 sq. ft. at a 2” depth.
Adding decorative rock is another great way that you can differentiate your landscape from the others in your neighborhood. We carry three different sizes of decorative rock. 1 ½” Beach Pebbles (which are multi-colored smooth stones); 3/4” crushed gravel; and 3/8” (very light grey); and crushed pea gravel (beige in color). Each of these alone, or used in any combination, can give your garden a unique look. The decorative rock, while somewhat more expensive than the wood or bark mulches, will essentially last forever. They are often used in Xeriscaping and will nicely compliment the desert plants which grow so well in our hot and arid climate. 1 cubic yard of small rock will cover approximately 130 sq. ft. at a 2” depth.
When installing a playground in your yard, there are a couple of things you need to consider. Once your equipment is in place, you need to install a layer of landscape fabric (weed barrier). One that has been secured to the ground, you will want to install a ‘Certified’ playground chip. This material, which is produced from interior tree wood rather than the bark, is created using a specific engineered cut which serves two purposes. First: it prevents the wood from ‘slivering’ as it dries out. Second: it is cut to fold into itself providing a cushion at impact for any falls or landings from the playground equipment. In order to realize any safety benefit from the playground chips, they should be installed at a depth of at least six inches. (Schools and Daycare facilities are required to install a minimum depth of 12 inches)
Adding organic nutrients, mulches, rocks or other ground covers, can set your yard apart and give you the beautiful yard and landscape you have always wanted. All these materials are locally available and can be picked up or delivered to your home or business. Replenish! “It’s Good Stuff!”
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