Landscaping can help you make your yard more beautiful; but this is not the only advantage that landscaping offers. Some other important advantages of Landscaping are discussed below:
Increased labor productivity
Studies have indicated that well landscaped offices tend to have lower cases of absenteeism and job shifting. It has also been found that employees serving in offices featuring colorful landscaped entrances show better productivity. The reason for this can be attributed to the basic fact that humans have a fundamental desire to keep contact with nature. Our perception and moods are highly influenced by the colors we see in and around us.
Helping people to recover faster
Most hospitals include well designed landscapes in their site to help patients recover faster. With proven results, most doctors today believe that the positive effect that a landscape can have on a patients’ mind is huge which helps him in recovering faster.
Landscaping for air purification
It is a known fact that plants generate oxygen taking in carbon dioxide to produce food thereby purifying the air. Thus landscaping your backyard with trees and other plants can help you minimize the bad effects of pollution. In addition to purifying the air, plants can help disperse fog, reduce wind speeds, reduce noise effects, control erosion and influence snow deposition.
Landscaping can help save energy and thereby help reduce energy bills hugely especially during summer months. During the transpiration process plants tend to soak up heat from the air and release water vapor that acts as a coolant. In addition trees help in reducing solar radiation and reflection thereby preventing walls from heating up.
Deciduous trees used in landscaping help in cooling down your property in summer. They also help in warming it up during winter months by allowing the sun to shine through. Similarly vines help in providing direct shade on the walls that helps in keeping the surface temperature down. Shrubs on the other hand can prevent architectural features like glass doors and windows from conducting heat thereby keeping the overall temperature of the interiors down. On an average a landscaped house can save at least 40% on energy bills as compared to a house that lacks this feature.
increasing property value
Landscaping can hugely enhance the sales appeal of a property thereby increasing the overall property value. The factors that seem to contribute in increasing the property values include greenery, walkways, arches, patios, decks and ponds.
Providing privacy and home security
Landscaping can help you effectively cover your outdoors thereby helping you block unpleasant views from outsiders or your own neighbors. Building huge walls to achieve this would be undesirable when the same can be achieved beautifully through landscaping.
All the more reasons why you should give landscaping some serious thought.
Tips on Controlling Weeds
Weeds can be aptly defined as plants that grow where they are not wanted, competing with other plants for space, water and sunlight. On an average our landscapes/gardens are invaded by hundreds of weeds classified as Broadleaf weeds, creeping weeds, rosette weeds, Grassy weeds etc. based on their characteristics. Some commonly occurring weeds include dandelions, plantains, docks, Clover, chickweed, crabgrass and wild violets.
Unlike other factors, weeds can cause havoc by changing the entire color and texture of your landscape. Thus it becomes important to give high level of importance in dealing with them. Given below are some solutions to deal with weeds in an effective manner.
Herbicides are special chemicals that act as plant killers. They are highly effective and unlike other measures can help put a permanent end to weeds. But they have some very eminent drawbacks which is why most landscapers shy away from using them.
Disadvantages of using herbicide:
Herbicides if not used properly can kill normal landscaping plants in addition to the weeds
Long term use of herbicides can lead to ground and water pollution
One needs to have in-depth understanding of weeds and weeding seasons to use herbicides to maximum advantage
Herbicides can cause damage to aquatic wildlife
Irrespective of the drawbacks proper use of per-emergent herbicides as well as regular herbicides can help you put a stop to weed growth altogether. The variety of herbicides available in the market is huge with each one developed for a unique weed family. To select the right kind of herbicide make sure you know what kind of weed you are dealing with (make a visit to your local county weed control officer if unsure). In addition be sure to read the herbicide label and instructions carefully before buying and using.
Drip Irrigationto control weeds
Using Drip irrigation can help you control weed growth to a moderate extent. Drip irrigation involves watering the plants using slow water pressure. The water is provided directly on to the base of the plants keeping much of the soil surface dry. Though primarily using drip irrigation is not a solution to control weed growth completely, they sure can enhance weed control in comparison to a sprinkler or other types of irrigation system.
Soil Solarizationto control weeds
Soil Solarization is the process of killing weeds by fumigating and warming the soil using UV stabilized plastic. In other words, soil solarization involves heating the soil to kill weeds or their germinating seeds. The process involves preparing the soil for planting like tilling and irrigating, and finally laying one or two layers of UV stabilized plastic like black plastic tightly over it. The soil is left covered for four to eight weeks during hot summer days after which the plastic is removed completely without disturbing the soil.
Though solarization can help you effectively control weeds and soil fungi it would be only logical to say at this point that the effectiveness of solarization depends entirely on the nature of soil, duration of the process and the nature of weeds. This article offers a good insight on the soil solarization process.
In-Organic Mulchto control weeds
Mulches do the dual work of moisture conservations and weed control which makes them an extremely important part of any landscape. You can get two types of mulches in the market – organic and inorganic. Organic mulches also know as natural mulches are made from plant or animal residues and have the property of decomposing over time. Some organic mulches include crushed corncobs, sawdust, wood chips, clippings, pine straw or bark. Inorganic mulches on the other hand are man-made and do not decompose. Inorganic mulches include Stone, gravel, lava rock, pebbles, shredded tires, white marble chips etc.
In comparison to organic mulches, inorganic mulches like lava rocks have shown to provide better control again weeds. Again inorganic mulch does not erode away with water as the case with organic mulches and can offer a much longer protection against weeds. One general problem with in-organic mulch like lava rock is that they can sink below soil surface allowing weeds to germinate on the mulch layer. This can be avoided by making use of a strong landscaping fabric beneath the rock.
Landscaping Fabricto control weeds
Landscape fabrics can play a crucial role in suppressing perennial and annual weeds especially when used with inorganic mulch like lava rock. In comparison to other materials like black plastic, landscaping fabrics allow water to pass through and permit exchange of oxygen and Co2 gases.
If you want to avoid the use of mulch and want to stick with landscaping fabric alone for weed control, you can go for chemically treated landscaping fabrics. These special landscaping fabrics come with added herbicides like trifluralin which can help in effective weed control.
The following landscaping glossary deals with some general landscaping terms.
Accent: Accent involves the use of a plant or an object in order to draw more attention to that place
Acidic soil: Acidic soil is referred to any soil having a PH level of less than 7.0 on a PH scale
Alkaline soil: Soil having a PH level of less than 7 on the PH scale is referred to as Alkaline soil.
Alternate: In landscaping terms an alternate means a single bud, leaves or shoots that occur at the plant node.
Annual: Annuals are flowering plants that last only one season
Bleeding: In landscaping terms, bleeding is a term used to define the oozing of sap through a cut
Branch collar: Branch Collar is a thick ring formed at the bottom of a branch
Bud: Bud is a condensed shoot that contains a left or flower
Bubble diagram: Bubble diagram involves making use of round structures to represent different materials in a landscape
Bark: Bark is the woody surface layer of a tree or woody plants
Biennial: Biennials are plants that grow for one year without flowering, produce flowers/fruits in the second year and die
Canker: Canker is a fungal disease that can affect shoots
Cross-pollination: When a pollen from the flower of one plant, fertilizes the flower of another plant the process is referred as cross pollination
Deciduous Trees: Deciduous trees are those that shed foliage/leaves at the end of growing season
Decking: Decking is the process of creating decks using wood planks placed on top of beams
Defoliation: Loss of leaves from plants or trees is commonly referred as defoliation
Drip irrigation: An irrigation system that allows passage of water through emitters placed right underneath the plant’s root under slow pressure
Dormancy: Dormancy is the temporary cession of growth during winter seasons
Evergreen: Persistent Plants the remain green throughout the year
Frost line: Frost line is the earth below the soil limit that will freeze during winter season
Fireblight: Fireblight is a bacterial disease that gives rise to black flowers and stems:
Ground cover: Ground Covers are plants that grow horizontal to the ground
Hardscape: In landscaping terms, hardscape includes sidewalk, patios or walkways covering the soil surface
Herbaceous: Herbaceous plants are plants that have soft rather than woody tissue
Harmony: In landscaping terms, harmony is a term used to describe the design created by pleasing combination of all elements present in the landscape
Hybrid: Hybrid is a plant that results due to cross pollination of plants that differ in their genetics
Island bed: Island beds are flowering beds on which one can walk around without causing damage
Impervious: Impervious is the term given to soil which has become impenetrable because of foot traffic, construction etc.
Integrated pest management: Integrated pest management is the process of predicting pest infestations in order to take early measures to prevent outbreaks
Landscaping fabric: Landscaping fabric is a synthetic material that allows water to pass, but blocks sun light, soil and weeds from passing through
Limestone: Limestone is a compound that contains calcium. Generally used to increase the PH level of the soil
Mulch: Mulch is a layer of either in-organic or organic material which is placed around plants to enhance moisture retention of the soil and control weeds
Multi-stemmed: Multi-Stemmed plants are those that have several main stems arising from the ground level.
Node: Node is a point on the stem from which leaves, shoots or flowers arise.
Pathogens: Pathogens are micro-organisms that can cause diseases to both humans and plants:
Percolation test: Percolation test is a test conducted by landscapers or gardeners to find the rate at which the water gets absorbed by the soil
Patio: Patio is a paved area meant for recreation purposes, usually situated in the backyard area
Pruning: Pruning is the process of controlling growth of a plant or tree to give it an aesthetic shape, to maintain its health and to increase growing space.
Root pruning: Root pruning involves cutting off certain parts of the root system in order to restrict plant growth
Stacking: Stacking is the process to supporting a tree using ropes or wooden stacks to hold it in place
Transpiration: Transpiration is the process by which water absorbed by the roots is given off into the atmosphere through water vapor
Terracing: Terracing is the process of building walls to hold the soil in place on a sloped site
Variegated leaves: Variegated leaves are leaves that have different patters and colors