Owner Robert Gates offered tips for landscape maintenance in a recent interview with Community Impact Newspaper. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Why is it important for homeowners to maintain the landscaping?
You want to keep the integrity of the neighborhood, and if you neglect your landscaping, it’s going to make the maintenance a lot harder. It’s very important when [considering] the health of your plants to put adequate soil, the proper soil around. A lot of soil around here isn’t good, so you need to bring in the good, high-pH, acidic soil that the plants love around here.
That’s the first key to having a healthy landscaping is the soil. Second is how much water it’s getting—is it getting enough? If you’re getting it too much water, sometimes the plant’s going to look worse than it is with not enough water. It’s really key to know how much water your [specific] plants need. As far as the sprinkler is concerned, you want to make sure that all the zones are designated to the flower beds separately from the grass. A lot of people don’t know that. I can’t stress that enough to people—put your beds on separate zones so you can control how much water your plants and trees are getting.
What are the most common issues your clients have?
Honestly, they don’t have a grasp on [regularly] weeding; they don’t have someone that maintains their beds either weekly or biweekly. Having a lot of weeds doesn’t look good, but it also suffocates your plants and flowers. It’s very important to have somebody that cultivates the soil and keeps the beds turned because the longer you go without turning your beds, the more those weeds have time to really make themselves at home.
Customers always ask how they can make their landscaping as low maintenance as possible. Your plant selection is one thing. You also have to keep in mind that you have to maintain the beds as well. The main thing is you can’t just put landscaping in a bed and then call it a day. It has to be maintained.
What are some simple ways homeowners can spruce up their yards?
Landscaping has a life kind of like us—we only live so long. [For] a lot of landscaping, within a 15-20-year period, it’s time to yank them out. An easy way to spruce up your beds would be putting splashes of color. The main thing is keep the soil amended, have your yard mulched twice a year, and then also you’ve got to make sure that landscaping is in the right placement whether you’re in a shade environment or a full sun environment.
An easy way to spruce up your beds would be putting splashes of color. Add some annuals for instant color. Perennial color is not instant; it’s more like a wave of color throughout the year.
Cut Above Landscaping & Irrigation, 18922 Fenske Road, Cypress. 832-428-9688. www.houstonsprinkler.net