Since it is spring, we reached out to our favorite horticulturist on campus, Penny Talbert for some landscaping tips. Penny and her team keep our campus beautiful, so who better to ask!
#1 Soil and bed prep
The foundation or soil structure your plants have to grow into is the most important aspect of gardening. If your pH and nutrients are balanced along with correct moisture and light exposure, you can grow almost anything. Your plants will be healthy and thrive when given good soil.
#2 Wrong plant and/or wrong place
Know the plant’s mature size, not how cute it is in the bucket today!
Know the sun/shade exposure needs, moisture needs, etc.
#3 Too many plants for a space
Much like wrong plant, wrong place. Too many plants in one landscape bed can cause problems. Pruning can be required more often due to overcrowding.
Air flow can be restricted around plants and this can cause fungal and insect problems.
#4 Too many of the same plant
If your landscape consists of one species or large sections of one species, an insect or disease can damage or kill all these plants at once. This can be extremely costly. Diversity in the landscape instead of a monoculture will create a healthier environment for plant life.
#5 Create YOUR home landscape
If you like an all-white blooming garden, select white blooming plants. If you like a rainbow of colors, plant them all. If the plant is correct for the environment and you like it, it’s your choice. Give your space a personality or a bit of whimsy. Your landscape should be an extension of your home, where you and others feel welcome.