Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall Is For Planting 1

Man, what wonderful weather we are having! We need rain (I write these Monday mornings and it looks like we are getting a very small amount of rain), but the last few weeks have been most enjoyable.

Fall is for planting, so now is the time to get those plants in the ground. I have notice several people re-sodding areas as well. New annuals are adding fresh color to our Lowcountry landscape and rye grass is popping up on many lawns (and in some beds).

The many parks and public plantations the Lowcountry has to offer are a great place to get design ideas for your yard or just to spend some time alone or with families and friends.

Planting can take several forms. A random new plant, a small renovation, landscaping an area that was not planted in the past, and planting a whole new yard all require some basic skills and knowledge. Some people will do it themselves and others will hire a professional.

When planting new plants there are a few things you might want to consider. How tall and wide is the plant going to be a full maturity? If it gets too big, you might be transplanting it (last week’s article) in a few years. Is it going to grow into my house and ruin my paint? Are the roots going to tear up my sidewalk or foundation? Do I have overhead wires that the plant is going to grow into leading to a safety issue? Is the plant an evergreen or is it going to lose its leaves in the fall? If you have a bed of sun-loving shrubs, do you want to plant a live oak that will shade them out in a few years, and then you have to replace the shrubs? Is it going to shade my house in the summer, yet let light in during the winter saving electricity?

A landscape designer can help you through some of these questions. Choose a designer whose work you have seen and like. Some designers include lighting, irrigation, bricks, sidewalks, fountains, statues, walls and drainage in their designs and other designers stick more with the basics. If you like the more elaborate features but cash is a little tight, most designers can break the project into phases. Working in phases is nice because you are working toward a goal, and when you are finished, you have the landscape of your dreams.

When you choose your plant material, it is best to go to a local nursery / garden center. They have the varieties of plants that do well here in the Lowcountry. The local nursery / garden center is going to have an employee that works daily with local plants, knows the plant’s advantages and disadvantages, knows if the plant is susceptible to any insects or disease and might even know where you can drive by to see the particular plant growing.

If there are new varieties of a certain plant that are available and resistant to disease or insects, those are the ones you want to plant, and your local nurseryman (or woman) will be able to direct you to them.

So much to cover, so little space; however, I will be back next week (I hope). Will you?