Getting Started

Start That Landscape Project Now

by Mike Dooley

Here we are in the “dog days” of summer patiently waiting until fall so we can get started on the landscaping project that we’ve been putting off. But why not start now? That’s right — summer is a great time to get started!

Let’s think it through. First, we need a landscape plan and a professional to design it. This part of the project can easily take a month or more, even if you design it yourself. If you are going to need concrete work, grading or removals, now is the time to get that done before the landscapers raise prices and get busy in the fall. Let’s call this hardscape portion Phase One.

Say your project does not require concrete or extensive hardscape: You still need that month for the landscape plan and design. And after the plan is in your hand, maybe your alternate Phase One is gravel, paths, weed barrier, edger and even a little grass. All of these things can be done while it is hot and the landscapers are not as busy. You may even get a better price during the heat of summer.

I know what you are thinking. Under this scenario, the gravel is in the way when you want to plant and run the drippers. Who wants to move gravel twice? But if you install the drip system BEFORE the weed barrier and gravel go in, you can avoid that problem. This technique can only be done because you have a plan and know exactly where the plants go. When it comes time to plant you are already set up with the drippers, which are buried under the gravel and ready to start watering once the plant is in.

Whether your landscape plan includes hardscape or not, in either case you are doing everything except the plants and delaying the plant installation until a better time of year or until finances allow. This also allows you to have a more finished look while you wait on the planting phase.

The trick is to start with a plan so you can run the drippers and have confidence that you will not have to move that heavy gravel ever again. YUCK!

Happy Gardening!