Landscaping and maintenance of trees and lawns can consume lots of time and money. Fortunately, if you plan correctly and follow a few simple tips, you can save some of both and perhaps achieve beautiful results. Landscaping and lawn maintenance takes a commitment and must be done continuously in order to avoid problems. If you have the patience and understanding of the species you have in your landscaped area, you should be able to put together a pleasing package with minimal maintenance.
There are basically two types of grasses: cool season and warm season grasses. Though it may be possible to use a combination of both in your area, your best bet is to choose one and stick to it. Common cool season grasses include Kentucky bluegrass, bent grass and perennial ryegrass. Warm season grass varieties include St. Augustine grass, Bermuda grass and Bahia grass.
Depending on the type of grass you have, you may have several different options for care. Generally, grass should be kept no higher than 3 inches. Also, using a fertilizer three to four times a year is a good idea. This fertilizer should have higher concentrations of nitrogen than phosphorous or potassium. You should apply three pounds of nitrogen for every 1,000 square feet of yard area.
Determining the types of trees and shrubs to use in your landscaping is important. They must be compatible not only with your growing zone, but also the grass. Some grass, such as Kentucky bluegrass, requires full sunlight. Others (like ryegrass) have good shade tolerance. You may be able to plant some tree species with grass that needs full sunlight--if the shade the tree casts is not extreme.
For the purposes of landscaping, there are two basic types of trees: evergreens and deciduous trees. Evergreens include pines, cedar and even palm trees, which may be an option depending on where you live. The deciduous trees lose their leaves each fall. Care should be taken to remove the leaves promptly to prevent fungal infections over the next growing season.
Remember that landscaping does not have to rely only on organic, or live, material. Using stones for walls and paths can be an effective way to add accents or highlights to your landscape--and these things require virtually no maintenance. While you may have to control weeds around stone paths, they tend to last for decades before needing replacement pieces.
Maintenance also includes things such as watering and aeration. If you live in an area that gets hard by various types of fungi or has water restrictions, that may be a big consideration. Aeration often helps control fungal infections in yards. Stone landscapes, drought-resistant grass and plants all may be things to consider for areas where water is in short supply. Not only will such features make your maintenance issues easier, it will also cut down on the costs.