Yep, its that time of year again to start thinking about your landscaping! January is the time of year, especially in Texas where business and home owners need to start planning their winter cleanup, annuals, gardens and regular lawn care and maintenance. Here are some tips as you start looking at companies that can service your landscaping needs.

Get A Tarp

Tarps can easily be used to move lightweight and bulky debris like leaves, weeds and even brush. Tarps can also be used to hold soil when digging a hole, to keep the grass clean. Or it can be used to cover plants in the back of aa truck when driving from the nursery.

Strategically Use Weed Fabric

If you are not familiar, landscaping fabric is often used under the gravel or mulch walkways to keep the material from sinking into the soil. You can skip the weed barrier fabric in planted areas. It only provides a short term sense of accomplishment until the weeds start growing in the mulch on top of the fabric.

Create An Edge For Your Beds

Gardens and beds do better with a natural edge around them instead of buying plastic or metal edging. Edging is useful to give a particular look to the landscape. However, a natural edge allows for easier maintenance over the long term and provides more flexibility for any potential changes to your landscaping.

Use Starter Fertilizer

Before you plant anything, make sure you use a starter fertilizer. These can provide a HUGE boost to new plantings. The best products have low nitrogen as well as a little more phosphorus. Most important, the best starter fertilizers use a special fungi (mycorrihizae-beneficial) that can help to increase the soil area from which plant roots draw their primary minerals.

Bulk or Bagged Soil

This is an interesting debate. Depending on your landscaping provider you will see bulk or bagged soil. However, landscaping providers must choose wisely. Bulk material can be dumped on the spot where it will be spread. This is most beneficial for large areas where you need additional soil. Buy the bagged if your need is more spotty or if you may need to move what you plant in the future.

Garden Tools

Most landscaping providers know the value of having good tools on hand. Good tools are also a little costly. If you are thinking about a DIY garden or lawn care, make sure you avoid the “cheap” tools. These can cost you more money in the long run and are not built to last. Save money and time buy buying good quality tools at value prices.

Consolidate Your Annuals

You can use pots or beds to best consolidate your annuals and make sure they are in high visibility locations in your landscaping for maximum exposure and impact.

Make Mowing Fast And Easy

This is where some DIY’ers tend to make things more difficult for themselves. Generally, most homeowners plant annuals and create a bed for them within or on the edge of their yard to grow. Plantings should always go into beds and islands. These beds and islands need to be mulched well so that you can avoid mowing and trimming around each individual plant. If you do this, it will save you a ton of time mowing and save your plantings from any potential mower abuse.

Keep The Leaves

Since we are in the midst of the “winter cleanup” time as we like to call it. Make sure you keep your leaves. You should be mowing small quantities of leaves back into your lawn to give it a light does of fertilizer for the grass and a little food for the earthworms. Use a bagging mower or leaf shredding blower/vac to grind up fall leaves to use as mulch or add them to a compost pile. You can also till them into a vegetable garden before planting winter cover crops.

Hopefully these tips can help you as you start to think about your spring landscaping. As always, you can call Pioneer Texas today at (210) 569-2156 to ask about our commercial and residential landscaping services.