Paul W Sullivan & Assoc



Posted by Paul W Sullivan & Assoc on 4/21/2019

No matter where you live, smart planning means landscaping for your climate. While magazines, websites and home and garden television shows display verdant English gardens dripping with wisteria and spritely fountains, responsible landscaping means ecologically sustainable plants and watering systems is the way to go.

If you’re in a newly built home, designing a low-maintenance yard from scratch is more straightforward than removing an existing water-guzzling lawn. In more arid climates, consider xeriscaping—also called desert-scaping or dry-scaping—lower water use protects natural resources and native wildlife, while seamlessly flowing with the natural environment. Even in moister climes, it's wise to utilize plants that grow naturally without excessive watering. Choosing native plants with the assistance of a local garden center can start you on your way.

Plan your site use

Consider how you’ll use the space before tearing up the existing landscaping. Are the flat areas better for play spaces or for entertaining? Is there a slope or terraced area? Does water flow downhill from another yard? How does the sun, shade, wind, or other weather patterns move through the yard? Determine the best use and how weather patterns affect the area to reduce the amount of effort you’ll need to spend maintaining your landscaping.

Consider your needs:

  • Hire a professional to test your soil to see if you need to add special fertilizers.
  • Review the drainage and correct elevation issues so that water flows away from your home. A flooded basement is avoidable with proper preparation.
  • If you're new to homeownership and landscaping, think about hiring a professional to get advice or to complete the project.
  • Where possible, utilize drip irrigation systems rather than sprinklers. These reduce water waste and soil erosion. Set timers on your irrigation system to avoid overwatering and waste.
  • Try to preserve any naturally existing trees, especially native ones, but replace high-maintenance trees when necessary.
  • Choose shade-tolerant plants for areas shaded by trees or buildings.
  • Install ground cover plants, or even lava rock, gravel, or river stones to reduce water consumption and run-off.

Make space functional

For play areas, use environmentally-friendly grasses, or replace turf with pea gravel, mulch, sand or specially design playground materials made from repurposed rubber tires and other recycled products. Entertainment spaces allow for artistic use of paver stones with gravel between for drainage, raised beds that double as sitting areas and decorative pathways through your landscaping.

Simplify maintenance

Whatever your landscaping needs, careful planning to reduce maintenance requirements gives you more time to enjoy your yard. Cover any bare soil with water-permeable fabric weed barriers and layer gravel or mulch over the fabric. Advanced planning means less weeding later. Reach out to a landscape professional or garden shop for information on ordinances and specifics on safe herbicides that protect your environment while simplifying your life.




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Posted by Paul W Sullivan & Assoc on 5/1/2016

With warmer weather comes greater lawn-care responsibilies. If you want your yard looking top-notch this spring, then adequate hydration is key to keeping your lawn green, healthy, and growing. During warmer months, your lawn should be soaking up about an inch of rain a week to ensure adequate root hydration. Unfortunately, New England doesn't always provide rain like clockwork. When this happens, it's up to us to guarantee our lawns the proper amount of water. A good sprinkler system will keep your lawn hydrated and happy. But before you run out and buy a few old-fashioned sprinklers, take a moment to consider other options, like a time-controlled sprinkler system. While they are more expensive, they take a lot of the guesswork out of your watering. Below, I'll list the various types of sprinklers and sprinkler systems, and the types of yards they are most effective in. Fixed Sprinklers - Ideal for small lawns, shrubbery, or ground cover, these sprinklers spray a fan of water in all directions at once. This type of sprinkler is also very useful in areas that are hard to reach with conventional watering methods. Impact Sprinklers - These sprinklers spray a jet of water that gets slightly interrupted every few seconds, causing water to cover more ground, and effectively mimicking natural rainfall. These are the types of sprinkers that make the "clicking" sound that we are used to hearing. While not as widely used as they once were, they are still in use in many lawns that are too cumbersome and large to be taken care of by a fixed sprinkler. Another great advantage of the impact sprinkler is its resistance to clogging, which makes it the ideal candidate for homes that use well water. Drip Hoses - These are ideal for long strips of lawn, raised vegetable or flower beds, and irregularly-shaped lawns, with the added bonus of being environmentally friendly. Because of evaporation and runoff, most sprinkler systems use more water than they need to. Drip hoses release water directly into the ground, putting water where its needed most; the roots. The drip hose is generally laid out in a pattern, and waters your lawn and garden through small holes spaced throughout the hose. The water pressure generated is also very low, which adds a bonus to people who live in areas where water use may be restriced in the drier months. In-Ground Sprinklers - While this option will cost more to install, the aesthetic benefits of an easily-concealable irrigation system cannot be denied. In-ground systems can vary from simple layouts with fixed times, to sophisticated systems that utilize many different types of sprinklers, and operate on a need-for-water basis. If you were to decide to install the system yourself, you'll first need to obtain the layout of the pipes and lines in your property before digging your ditches. Doing the installation yourself will generally save you about 60% in total costs, but will require a fair amount of work on your part. For more information on how to self-install an in-ground sprinkler system, as well as pricing, please visit the following link. http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,641780,00.html







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