Once plans are made, it is time to install the new landscape. In some cases, it may be possible to contract installation with a local landscape nursery. This is the simplest and quickest method for completing the plan. It is also the most expensive. Consequently, completion of a landscape may be a long-term project, requiring several months or years. When a project is done piecemeal, it means that each step of the process should result in something attractive and functional. Careful consideration should be given to the implications of each step in the process.
The following order of completion will, as a rule, help you avoid frustration in completing a landscape project around your home. Follow these steps when installing a new landscape or renovating an older one. The sequence can be adjusted according to personal need, abilities, and finances.
- Install primary hardscapes: These include sidewalks, driveways, walls, terraces, decks, patios, and ponds. Hardscape features will define your use areas and will prevent future damage to your landscape if done in the beginning.
- Install Planting Beds: Amend soils, if necessary, and install weed barriers, if desired.
- Plant or Move Trees and Shrubs: Plant and transplant shrubs early in the spring or late fall when plants are dormant and the soil is workable. Do not transplant large trees and shrubs when they are actively growing.
- Install the Irrigation System: Make sure it is properly designed with proper head spacing, coverage, and zoning.
- Plant Lawn or Ground Covers: Add soil amendments if you have poor soils-especially soils low in organic matter-or plant some type of an annual cover crop to improve the soil before planting. With a long-term plan, this step may need to be moved up in the scheme.