LANDSCAPE INSTALLATION TIPS
- When converting a grass lawn to Xeriscape be sure you have a thorough kill of all grass and weeds. Spray in the morning. You may want to alternate kinds of weed and grass sprays. Place a piece of cardboard or plywood up to the base of plants you want to save to prevent wind drift of spray on to plant.
- Spray ground with pre-emergent to prevent weed and grass seeds from germinating.
- Do not use plastic. It prevents water and oxygen from reaching roots of trees.
- Remove dirt from edges of concrete sidewalks 3 to 4 inches deep and taper soil away.
- Plant trees first, then large shrubs, then smaller shrubs and groundcover.
- Keep grass away from sidewalk, driveway, and back fence.
- When planting trees, remove tree-stake and install 2 two-inch lodge poles outside of root ball with connective ties to the tree.
- When installing an irrigation system, group plants of common water usage on same valve. Use separate valves for trees, grass, shrubs and groundcover. Also install separate valves for vegetable/flower garden and high water usage plants.
- Use a pressurized anti-siphon valve instead of an atmospheric anti-siphon valve due to greater flexibility in installing an irrigation system.
- Use copper pipe from water source to anti-siphon valve and copper pipe from anti-siphon valve to ground, plus one foot beyond elbow. If PVC pipe is used, paint all above ground PVC pipe with latex paint to protect it from the ultraviolet rays of the sun.
- Install at least 3 two-gallon per hour drip emitters per tree with enough extra length in tubing that they can be relocated to under the canopy line of tree after one year. Place these emitters around the edge of the root ball rather than next to tree trunk.
- Also, install an extra 6 to 10 emitters per tree under the expected mature canopy line with plugs in them. After one year, remove the plugs.
- Install granite 2 to 3 inches thick, except near tree trunk, where it should be 1 to 2 inches.
- Avoid using river rock as the dominant rock in your yard. Use it as an accent feature.
- Place shrubs or groundcover under south and west facing windows.
- For healthy plants, water infrequently, but water deeply.