Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Going native

Our yard is in pretty lame condition. We haven't done much landscaping since we moved here -- and it doesn't look like any of the previous owners did either. The front yard is full of what I consider the 'basic' plants put in by the builders. Nothing spectacular to look at. The back yard is full of, well, nothing. We have two trees and that's it!

Since fall is prime planting season in Texas, we decided to get our yard into shape. At the same time, we're very interested in using native Texas plants that need less water and are better suited to the climate.

Peanut's papa even attended a Texas Smartscaping seminar to learn more about the plants and techniques for maintaining them. He's also keen on using less chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

So far, following the advice of the Dirt Doctor, he's rolled out a cornmeal-based formula as a pre-emergent and a week later, a molasses-based formula to help the lawn grow. The better condition your lawn is in -> the less weeds can grow -> the less chemicals you'll need goes the theory.

He's also using yard clippings and trimmings as mulch around the bushes.

The biggest projects have been refurbishing, or rather creating new, flower beds. Out came some corniferious ground cover. In went organic soil, a layer of wet newspapers topped off by a few inches of mulch. Now, it all needs to settle for a few weeks before we plant. The newspaper layer is there to prevent weeds from growing up and will decompose and be tilled back into the new flowerbeds.

As this is our first yard in Texas, the Natural Gardner website was also helpful in clueing us into what should be done each month. Another piece of advice I got was that around every big holiday (Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day), you do something with your yard!

No comments: