Plants Are People Too!
In more ways than you may know, this is true. It has been proven that plants have feelings, they feed one another and care for their elderly in the forest; they produce offspring for generations to come and for the most part, respect their mother.
Plants are far more advanced than we are is many ways. They are self sufficient in their natural state, communicate without words and protect each other and the planet as a whole. Plants are brilliant when it comes to self preservation so if you’re finding that your yard is “the land of the living dead”, I assure you, you’re making some crucial mistakes.
Plants and trees in nature live together symbiotically through a “Wood Wide Web” called mycorrhizal Fungi. This is the white fuzzy stuff you’ve seen below your mulch that you weren’t sure was kosher or not. It is, so next time you see it say thank you for the world you live on.
This fungi is part of a vast Eco system that lives below our feet. When we pollute our land with grass, chemicals, doggy doo and stomping feet, it needs a lot of love to repair. Unlike those same trees and plants in nature, they do not receive nutrients from fallen flora and fauna (dead stuff), because we are too busy cleaning up the leaves and fallen debris and certainly don’t have dead animals hanging around. Our plants and trees are expected to keep producing off the of same ol’ soil for years and years then get nothing in return? I don’t think so…
If you’re using chemicals of any kind, stop today. Promise you will go 100% organic whenever possible and your yard will be completely revived in less than 3 years. You start with compost, compost, compost. Every spring get a huge load of compost and spread that sh** everywhere!
Beds get as much compost and natural shredded mulch as you can afford to raise them. However, amendments should remain 4 “ below the foundation of your home. The photo above shows some mulch a little too high, so be careful about this.
Lawn gets 1/4-1/2 inch and trees get the same around each flat tree ring. Once your tree is two years old, you no longer need a berm (hump), you need a flat ring around the trunk at least 2 -3 feet, but prefer to have a foot extra for each foot of tree diameter. Compost will repair chemical damage, retain moisture and feed your plants, trees and lawn all year.
Use only organic fertilizers and there are seriously too many to mention. Even the big box stores carry them now so you can find them most places or online at great resources like http://www.planetnatural.com. My super faves are liquid seaweed, liquid molasses, Medina products, Lady Bug products and so many more, and the more we support and prove these work, the more we evoke change. That’s a win, win right there.
Amendments should be applied each fall and spring only. There is no need to compost or feed plants over the winter, even the evergreens are sleeping above. That being said, what is happening in those beds? Are you replacing plants over and over and growing more weeds than the plants you want?
Well if you have good soil and good planting techniques (be sure you do), then it comes down to poor plants choices. Plants for “sun” at the local big box might live in New Jersey sun, but it ain’t seen a Texas day it ever liked. Texas hot is a whole nother level because plants suffer from the rays of the sun as well as the heat index. That means that plants in a Texas bed, need to be for Central Texas. In Austin and surrounding area we are zone 8a/b. Here, full sun means it needs a minimum of 6 hours to thrive. Part sun traditionally means morning sun only and shade means dappled light and mostly shade with no direct sun.
Once you’ve determined your yards light requirements, prepared your beds and filled them with a combination of native shredded mulch and compost, it is time to choose plants and trees! There is a native or adapted plant for just about every space. If you are looking for inspiration for Xeriscape, deer resistant and/or flowers and color for all seasons, there is a huge resource of information right here on my page, or my Facebook page, as well as many other great local sites.
Just like people, plants need attention when they are in a microclimate like each of us have in our yards. Our yards are disconnected from each other by chemical use, over watering and general neglect. The good news is, this can be corrected. While each space is unique in its topography and challenges, the kindest thing we can do for ourselves is embrace that and not fight it.
The take away here is to add compost to your soil, never over water, use only organic fertilizers and pest control, and spend time in your yard. Take 10 minutes every few days to get to know your space, pull a few weeds and say hello to your green friends. They are great listeners and they never tell your secrets. Plants and trees feel and absorb negative energy, so appreciate the value they add to your life and home and show them a little love; they’ll reward you 10 times over.
in the mean time, here is a little inspiration to get you excited!
I’m great friends with Mother Nature and I get what she’s preaching. Keep it simple, work with what you have.
Once you’ve implemented some simple techniques and timing along with organic protocols and the right plants, you’ll be better prepared to have a loving relationship with your space. If you want a head start or “cheat sheet” for your specific properties needs, call or text me at 512-733-7777, or email me at email@example.com to set up an educational or design consultation. I also provide full Landscape Designs to be implemented by a contractor, or a great long term tool for the do-it-Yourself home owner.
Lisa’s Landscape and Design
“Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”