Yard Overhaul


Old 09-08-00, 05:32 AM
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I just moved into a home that has been vacant for over a year. The previous owners planted numerous trees/bushes/plants around the house. I would like to just dig the plants and shrubs up and start all over again. The shrubs that line the front of the house are mostly dead and the plants are overgrown. Can anyone suggest a good plan of action for this time of year. I thought it might be a good idea to just dig everything up and add topsoil, mulch, and plant new flowers for the spring. Is this the right time of year for planting flowers and shrubs? Any advice would be helpful. Thanks . . . . . .

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Old 09-08-00, 01:11 PM
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you didn't say were you are, north south or such. but i know here in the north we can plant shrubs at any time along as its not a heat wave and we water them. now is a great time to get a deal on shrubs as the garden centers don't want to winter them (i just got 2 shrubs at 25%off each and a 2 year waranty)
you may just want to cut back the plants and see if they come up nice in the spring, now my lilies look awful but will look fine in june. and the shrubs may just need some shaping. don't be afraid to cut them back by up to half. remember if it dies you were thinking about replacing it anyway
Old 09-09-00, 08:03 AM
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"Me" is quite right. Even though I'm sure the yard looks farely derelict right now you could very well have some good plants in there. No point in digging up and throwing away something you'll just end up spending good money on to replace.

I generally see no need to import top soil unless you are doing major regrading where additional soil would be needed. Besides, it generally comes with its share of weed seeds. No need to buy someone else's weeds.

If it were my yard I would do a good general clean up i.e. rake the yard, pick up any trash, edge beds, etc. Give a light shaping to some of the shrubs (not needled evergreens - cut them back and they don't regrow) just to make it look like someone cares.

Now, get the measurements of your house incl. the "ins and outs of shape", location of windows and doors, sidewalks, out buildings, etc. Locate and mark any trees, shrubs, etc. on your plan. You can do this on 1/4" graph paper using the scale 1/4" = 1' or 1/4" = 2' depending on the size of your property.

If irrigation is available I would water well to save what I could of what "might" be in there. Then check out some books on landscaping from your local library and do your homework this winter on what you want where based on personal choice, mature plant size, color, shape, etc. By spring you will be able to see what comes up, what greens up, what is truly dead, what you want to move, and be ready to put your plan into action.

Take a look at Ortho Book's "Landscape Plans" and "All About Landscaping" for some good ideas and information about planning, re-doing existing, installing, designing, etc. Also, any others at the library that interest you.

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