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If you’re new to gardening, start by exploring where it all begins.

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A xeriscape is not a black or white choice; the best landscapes have varying degrees of water conservation. Some plants are extremely water conserving while others may use low to moderate amounts of water. You may even see a good reason to continue on with some high water use areas in your yard. For instance, people often like to have an area where kids can play. Bluegrass is actually quite wear-tolerant. There is likely an appropriate place for all types of plants in your yard: low, moderate and high water-use. Usually people do two or three different zones.

Landscape Basics - Basics - Fabric | Riley Blake Designs

Here is an example of 3 zones:. Be sure to check the Water Wise Tree and Shrub plant list for help in selecting appropriate plants for each zone. To minimize water waste, group plants in the appropriate zones in your yard. Within each zone take into account other needs of plants besides their water consumption such as their ability to tolerate shade or exposure to wind. For instance, place high water-use plantings in your designated high water use zones such as low-lying drainage areas, near downspouts.

Every landscape has some shady areas — most commonly on the north side of the home. This is where you plant shade tolerant plants and turfs. High water use zones are composed of plants that most homeowners already have bluegrass, etc. People will often choose to maintain a high water use area closest to the home and often adjacent to the front and back doors.

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This works out well because this area is easiest to water. Limited areas of bluegrass may also be an appropriate material for high-traffic areas especially where children like to play. The medium water use zone is usually a transition between the high water zone and a low-water zone. This may be an area with some shade or sun but receives one-half to one-third the water that a bluegrass area might receive. The low water use area is usually but not always more exposed and furthest away from the home.

You will need to set up a strategy for watering each zone. The advantage of low water zones mean that they need less water so you may not need to depend upon automated systems. Read on for more information on watering your landscape. Spring is the best time to plant trees, shrubs and flowers. While planting can be done other times in the summer or fall, it is more challenging to establish plants in the heat of the summer or late in the season when roots have less time to establish.

Always consider the full-grown size of a given tree or shrub. Be sure you are not planting tall or wide trees on street corners where viewing traffic is important or underneath power lines where they may someday have to be severely pruned or removed. When you plant trees and shrubs, do not add compost, amendments or fertilizer directly into the planting hole. If the soil is poor you should improve the whole area and not just the hole.

One material that can be added to a planting hole is a water-absorbing polymer. These are small white crystal-like materials that, when wet, hold up to times their density in water. They also absorb and slowly release fertilizer, improving nutrient retention. Dig the hole at least three times the size of the container mostly in width and incorporate the polymer through out the area.

Check local nurseries for the polymer product.

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After planting, create a dam around the tree, or if on a slope, leave the topside open to collect water thus creating a small water reservoir from natural runoff. Then add mulch around the tree or shrub. Even the most drought tolerant plant requires some water in the first year or two. A minimum of once a week watering during the growing season should be provided in the first year to get these plants established. Using mulch is one of the best ways to conserve water in your garden beds and around your trees.

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Mulches also give beds a finished look and enhance the visual appeal of your garden. Organic mulches, such as bark chips, pole peelings or wood grindings, should be applied at least 4 inches deep.

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For flower beds you can use grass clippings or dried leaves although they decompose rapidly and need regular replacement , hay or pine needles. If your turf has been treated with dandelion herbicides, be sure the clippings are well-composted before using. Inorganic mulches include rocks and gravel, and should be applied at least 2 inches deep. These are best among woody plants. They rarely need replacement and are good in windy spots.

Mulch may be applied directly to the soil surface or placed over a landscape fabric. How and when you water have a lot to do with water conservation. By watering in the hotter part of mid-day you may lose a significant amount of water to evaporation and even wind. In our dry climate we have little to no problem with fungus in our turf.

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As a result, you can safely water your lawn in the early morning, evening or night. Those with an automated watering system can even set sprinklers to come on in the middle of the night. You can waste a lot of water over the course of many hours if you have forgotten to turn off a sprinkler. Now this practice may be illegal and subject to a fine. Forgetting your watering is easily solved with the purchase of a simple water timer.

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Timers can be attached to any hose at the faucet and will automatically turn the sprinkler off at a predetermined time or gallonage. These can often pay for themselves in a month or two. Your hose can also be a source of water loss so always keep an eye out for leaky hoses. Change the washers in your hose at the first sign of leakage or at the beginning of each season. An old hose that leaks from cracks and degradation should be immediately replaced. For hard to water landscaped beds that include shrubs, flowers and trees, consider using the newer black soaker hoses also called weeping or leak hose constructed out of recycled tires or vinyl.

Our landscaping experts will evaluate the condition of your property and design a new planting structure meeting the needs of your home or business, as well as your budget.

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From pulling out dead trees and bushes to planting new ones and implementing flowers and gardens, we will turn your sad, brown yard into a beautiful spectacle people will drive by just to see. If you have damaged landscaping structures in need of repair, call on Durham Hill. Walls, steps, walkways, patios , fences, and everything in between, we will repair it like new or replace it with something better. Noticing water retention problems? If so, we can install a new retaining wall to resolve the issue completely.

Call our landscapers to discuss your wall problems and the cost of repair. Cracked sidewalk or patio? Rotten wood on your deck? Sometimes the problem is larger than normal wear and tear over time. Trust Durham Hill to return your outdoor living space or landscape back to its original glory. All are designed to complement your unique home and yard while staying within your budget.

Make a subtle statement by choosing Durham Hill to enhance your property with reputable landscape design and planting services. Landscape Revitalization Have a dead, run down, overgrown, or neglected landscape?