SOURCE: Janet Moyer Landscaping

Janet Moyer Landscaping

August 23, 2010 12:00 ET

Janet Moyer Landscaping Offers Tips for Creating a Low Maintenance Garden

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - August 23, 2010) -  Janet Moyer Landscaping (JML), a full service landscaping company in San Francisco devoted to addressing the unique challenges of urban garden constraints, offers the following low maintenance tips for Bay Area gardeners to keep in mind as they prepare their fall and winter landscapes:

1. Use plants that do not need to have dead flowers removed. Plants like Coleonema and Leptospermum have small, beautiful flowers that fall off when done flowering. With plants like roses that need to have dead flowers removed to continue flowering, place them close to a pathway for easy access and maybe not too close to high traffic areas like the front door in case you do not get to "deadhead" these plants in a timely manner.

2. Choose plants with small leaves so when the leaves fall they can just mulch back into the soil. Magnolias are beautiful but their large leathery leaves are unsightly. Japanese maples drop their beautiful colored leaves in the late fall and can be mulched in flower beds or mowed over with the lawnmower.

3. Make sure to plan for the mature size of a plant. If you need a hedge six feet tall don't plant something that wants to be sixteen feet tall. You will need to drag out the tall ladder each time to prune it, and maintaining a plant beyond its target size becomes an environmental detriment (i.e. equipment and disposal impacts on the environment).

4. Select disease resistant plant varieties. Some plants with smoother glossy leaves resist fungus like powdery mildew. Read labels and choose carefully.

5. Do not let weeds go to seed. This just dumps a fresh batch of weeds that will sprout and need to be pulled when the rains come. It is much easier to eliminate weeds before they develop seeds.

6. Mulch. Shredded redwood or Cedar, 2-3" deep will smother weeds and hide them from sufficient sunlight to sprout and it will provide nutrients for plants you want. A layer of cardboard underneath for very tough areas is also helpful. Make sure to keep mulch away from the trunk of plants.

7. Water management. Weeds need water to sprout. With drip irrigation, only the desirable plants are watered, not all of the areas in-between. Weeds will have to work harder to compete.

8. Careful choice and timing of fertilizer. If grown in healthy soil, most plants need little additional fertilizer once established unless they show signs of nutrient deficiencies. Plants also need a rest time in the winter.

9. Proper pruning. Don't use a hedge trimmer as this indiscriminate pruning sends new growth in all directions, creating a dense shrub that is host for diseases and pests. Smooth sharp cuts heal quickly and properly.

10. Design planting beds no deeper than four feet from a maintenance pathway. A person can generally reach in a good three feet. Beyond that distance, you will need to step into the bed, compressing the soil and removing oxygen. Stepping stones help in larger beds.

About Janet Moyer Landscaping
Founded in 1990, Janet Moyer Landscaping is a full service landscaping company based in San Francisco, CA. It has designed and installed more than 425 unique and customized gardens in San Francisco's varied terrain. Owned and managed by Janet Moyer and Michael Hofman, JML applies sustainable practices to its residential landscape design, installation and maintain services. The company has been recognized by the San Francisco Business Times in 2008 and 2009 as one of the "Fastest Growing Private Companies" in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, visit www.jmoyerlandscaping.com or call 415-821-3760.

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