I don’t care if you are an amateur or a professional. You need to prepare your garden for long-term environments and not just for the quick installation of landscapes. For example, at a place the other day, it has the bones for a tremendous landscape. Its be neglected for some time due to time constraints and lets face it – life! So its overgrown. In the middle of weeding, it was not long before we realised there was a primary problem with the landscape. The original establishment did not take the time to properly prepare the ground.
Large rocks were placed onto the ground for purpose – stepping-stones and aesthetics. However, they were placed right on top of the ground. The weeds/grass were not removed. So, over time, the grass would regrow and would forever be “apart” of the landscape. Removing the weeds and then waiting until they come up as new shoots is the best time to spray using an environmentally “safe” herbicide.
One needs to prepare the landscape before any landscaping is to be done, whether it be soft or hard. Soil needs to be cured for proper planting. There are different ways this can be done. Most importantly, it needs to be weeded. The seeds and runners of the weeds need to be eradicated.
It can look quite exposed after you weed, but that’s ok, soon it will be covered in mulch or other plants. Some do prefer the bare soil look. Which of course, is your prerogative, however, did you know, if you leave it like this, then it has to be turned over more. It has to have additives and water dug in more. The soil dries out and may end up hydrophobic, which as you remember from a previous post, is when the soil repels water. Water Repellent Soils are very nasty and can cause problems down the track. If you are vigilant or have a regular gardener than having the stripped soil will be fine as it will be raked and toiled routinely. If, however, you don’t have such patience, luxury or talent, but want a nice looking garden, then I suggest either more plantings or mulch.
The moral of this story? As the scouts say – “Be prepared!”