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Landscaping

Understanding the technical


aspect

BY JOY KIBET
Table of Content

INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................................... 4
Aesthetic role of plant ................................................................................................................. 4
Functional role of plants.............................................................................................................. 5
Ecological roles of plants ............................................................................................................ 5
Environmentally friendly landscaping ........................................................................................ 5
Eco-friendly landscaping techniques .......................................................................................... 6
Natural landscaping ................................................................................................................. 6
Xeriscaping .............................................................................................................................. 7
LANDSCAPE PLANNING AND DESIGN .................................................................................. 8
LANDSCAPE DESIGN PRINCIPLES ........................................................................................ 11
LAND PREPARATION FOR LANDSCAPING ......................................................................... 13
Landscape grading..................................................................................................................... 13
Importance of landscape grading .......................................................................................... 14
The process of Grading Landscapes.......................................................................................... 16
Construction of hard capes ........................................................................................................ 18
PLANT SELECTION ............................................................................................................... 22
Selection of turf grass ............................................................................................................ 22
PLANTING................................................................................................................................... 23
Planting in Individual Holes...................................................................................................... 23
Tree Staking and Guying........................................................................................................... 23
Caused of tree failure ................................................................................................................ 23
Decay ..................................................................................................................................... 23
Cankers .................................................................................................................................. 24
Cavities .................................................................................................................................. 24
Exposure to external factors .................................................................................................. 24
Unstable roots ........................................................................................................................ 24
Root girdling .......................................................................................................................... 24
Soil conditions ....................................................................................................................... 24
LANDSCAPE MAINTENANCE................................................................................................. 25
Watering ................................................................................................................................ 25
Irrigation ................................................................................................................................ 26
Waste and pollution Management ......................................................................................... 26
Pest and disease control ......................................................................................................... 26
Integrated pest management for turf grasses ......................................................................... 27
Fertilization............................................................................................................................ 28
Weed control.......................................................................................................................... 28
Mowing.................................................................................................................................. 29
Mulching................................................................................................................................ 29
Pruning................................................................................................................................... 30
Thinning of the crown and canopy ........................................................................................ 30
Measuring of soil Ph .............................................................................................................. 31
Protocols employed in landscape maintenance ......................................................................... 31
Appropriate construction practices ........................................................................................ 31
Arrangements of elements......................................................................................................... 31
Usage of Geotextiles to control Weeds and to stabilize the surface ...................................... 31
Usage of durable materials in constructing the structures of the landscape .......................... 31
Treatment of places which can easily ware out ..................................................................... 32
CONCLUSION ............................................................................................................................. 32
INTRODUCTION
Landscapes change as a result changes in cultural, man-made or natural environmental forces.
Cultural forces which cause landscape change come as a result of change in the societal norms
and their demands, for example; some societies in Africa consider certain tree species as sacred
and thus their habitats are well preserved, as modernization slowly erodes such culture the
formerly sacred trees are harvested for wood and the landscape begin to change, in Europe and
northern America such cultural beliefs do not really exist the town major causes of landscape
change are man-made and natural forces, floods caused by typhoons wreck havoc in some parts
of united states.

Landscaping is an important aspect of conserving the environment. It also increases the value of
a property due to its aesthetic appeal. Aesthetically pleasing landscapes starts with a good design.
Landscape design and development has three major roles which are:

1. For aesthetic value


2. To express function
3. Ecological function

Aesthetic role of plant


If you love plants landscapes it is probably because you love plants and maybe one look outside
your bedroom window creates that feel-nice feeling or maybe improves creatively thinking and
decision making (sorry if you live in a high rise in the middle of New York or London).
Research has also shown that plants help a patient to recover quickly (hortitherapy) and most
traditional medical therapies actually involves spending some time in the natural environment,
research has also shown that patients who have a clear view of plants will recover quickly than
patients who do not view of plants, this is totally physiological but it is worth trying next time
you are down with flu. Planting designs and landscapes should therefore be done in such a way
that they offer a pleasant for those who will use them.
Functional role of plants

Landscapes perform different functions depending on how they have been designed. As a
landscape designer you should know the intended function and what the owner wants to achieve
the most so that you can design it to meet the expectations. Planting design functions can be
architectural or engineering. Architectural role is the provision of privacy, definition of space,
screening or framing vistas. Engineering role include reduction of glare, control of traffic and
reduction of noise.

Ecological roles of plants


If natural/native plants are planted, they do a big role recovery of ecosystem which was lost due
to any of the three environmental forces. When designing a landscape, proper selection of the
plants to enhance ecological functionality is important. Plants should be designed in such a way
that it attracts wild insects such as butterflies native to that place. Also, it is important to make an
effort to consider that any native plants already on the location are not disturbed where possible,
also it is nice to take note of any new plants which had been introduced and have already adapted
to the local environment.

Environmentally friendly landscaping

Creating an environmental friendly landscape is an important step in ensuring that the


environmental pollution is reduced. Since environmental pollution is now a major issue, it is
necessary to create environmental friendly landscapes and this starts with the design.

Eco friendly landscaping means:

Use of less pesticides


Use of less fertilizers
Use of less water
Use of other better landscaping techniques such as nature scaping or Xeriscaping.
Proper selection of plants
Proper planning and design creates very healthy and attractive landscapes with less cost and less
harm to the environment. This can be achieved by but not limited to harvesting water, recycling
grass and plant materials after pruning.

Design of elements like rain gardens and use of permeable materials in the garden helps in
slowing water flow in the landscape hence reducing the rate of infiltration which increases
moisture content in the soil available to plants.

Eco-friendly landscaping techniques

Natural landscaping

There are more advantages of nature scaping over landscaping with non-native plants. The
following are some of the advantages of doing natural landscaping
Low maintenance
Plants get adapted to the environment to which they grow in hence they require less care than
those plants brought from a different climatic condition. Maintenance practices such as mowing,
watering, fertilization and pest control are reduced.
Ecosystem conservation
Natural plants are habitat for many animals and insects. Landscape made with natural plants
ensures that the natural habitats for these animals are protected.
Reduction of risk of invasion by weed plants
Invasive plants when they invade in an area they dominate the whole area hence making it
difficult for other plants to grow and can lead to extinction of native plants.
Environmental conservation
Low maintenance implies that use of machines like lawn mowers and pumps for irrigation is
reduced hence reduction in environmental pollution.
Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping is landscaping with reduced amount of water, it is more suitable in arid and semi
arid areas. The choice of plants is very important in designing such landscapes because only
plants which require less water can be used.

Advantages of Xeriscaping

1. Low water consumption Xeriscaping consumes less amount of water compared to


normal landscapes
2. Low maintenance cost irrigation water and power, regular mowing and frequent
application of fertilizer is reduced.
3. Reduction of environmental pollution and waste reduction in frequency of mowing
reduces the environmental pollution caused by mowers.
LANDSCAPE PLANNING AND DESIGN
The process of design brings all the stake holders together. These stake holders include the
landscape contractor, the landscape architect and the installation team. The group has to go
through the project to come into agreement and clear any differences, this way they can also
come up with an accurate estimate of cost which will be given to the client. It is also important to
come up with a work schedule of how the project will be implemented at this stage.

Steps of landscaping project work plan

Doing a site inventory and analysis

Knowing ones need

Drawing a base map

Drawing a concept plan with what is proposed to be introduced on the landscape

Drawing a master plan

Site inventory and analysis

This involves taking details of the permanent structures and mapping their placement. This is
done by focusing on areas most affected by that particular project and also their specific needs
for preparation. For instance, if you are considering adding a swimming pool, you should know
if there is any hidden hazard such as an underground power line. Inventory and analysis for
factors such soil, vegetation, climatic conditions, and drainage is done.

Soil analysis

Analysis of site soil helps in determining the plant type which can survive in such an
environment and also will help the designer to know if the top soil will be removed and
backfilled with soil type. It also helps to determine the distribution of soil in different areas of the
landscape.

Climate condition analysis

Different regions have different agro climatic zones therefore it is important to analysis the
climatic conditions of the site. Climatic conditions include temperature, wind, humidity, sunlight
and rainfall. Temperature in an area has an effect on the type of vegetation to be planted hence it
is suitable to determine the mean temperature, the hottest and the coldest months. Wind velocity
and direction, this guides the designer in where and how to design and place structures and trees.
Some plants are short day while others are long day and this is determined by the duration of the
sunlight receives in an area. Blooming of some plants are determined by the duration and
intensity of the sunlight hence when designing a landscape, taking into consideration sunlight is
of great importance. The amount of rainfall received in an area affects the distribution of
vegetation in the particular area. Some plants can survive with little rainfall while others cannot
survive. When doing a landscape design it is advisable to choose plants which suite the places
rainfall pattern but also make a provision of the irrigation system to supplement the rain.

Vegetation analysis

This is done by analyzing the species varieties and distribution of vegetation in an area. This
helps in knowing the type of vegetation to be eliminated and those to be retained. Some plant
species may need to be retained but the location in which they are is not suitable, hence it has to
be removed or transplanted in another place so that it will not have an effect on the final design.

Draw a base map

A base map helps in determining the relationship between property boundaries and ones home.
It is the representation of the ground on a paper and is into scale. The details of the features
present are showed.
Sample Base Map

Drawing a concept plan

A conceptual design is created to show the relationship


r between the outline ideas and various
preferences in the design. Landscapes can express different concepts depending on the elements
used and how they have been designed. It begins with gathering of specific information of the
site and taking a survey of existing property in the site. With the gathered information
nformation the design
of the landscape can begin. The design is done taking into consideration the clients preference
and also to ensure the elements and principles of landscape design are taken into consideration.
LANDSCAPE DESIGN PRINCIPLES
Landscape designers use six principles of design to enhance their work. These principles include:

1. Balance
2. Harmony and contrast
3. Scale and proportion
4. Unity
5. Sequence
6. Emphasis or focalization

Balance

Balance is the arrangement of elements of design in either side of the landscape. It can either be
symmetrical or asymmetrical balance. Symmetrical balance is the arrangement of the elements of
design such that arrangement in one side is the mirror of the other side. These types of
landscapes are used in formal gardens. Asymmetrical balance is whereby the arrangement of
elements in one side of the line of axis does not resemble those in the other side. Balance
depends on the position and magnitude of vegetation. Applying this principle of design creates
an appealing landscape which many people find attractive.

Harmony and contrast

Harmony is how things relate while contrast is the difference between things. When designing a
landscape, the two should be taken into consideration since they work together. Harmony can be
achieved by using plants with the same flower color, texture or plant form and at the same time
enhancing contrast by using different species of plants. Also harmony and contrast can be
created by using plants with the same form but different texture (contrast).

Scale and proportion

Scale is the size relationship between features in a landscape. Scale can either be in relation to
human scale or to other landscape features. Human scale compares the size of human being in
relation to landscape features. For example when designing a relaxation area in a landscape, the
elements near the area should be in relation to human scale in that they should not block views.
When considering generic scale, the elements should be designed in such a way that they
correlate to each other.
Unity

Unity involves putting different parts of the landscape together into one design. Elements of
design like line, texture and shape when used together creates unity. Hardscapes such as
driveway, walkway, retaining wall, gazebo and fountain when used together with softscapes
makes the landscape appealing and unified. Proper use of the other principles of design such as
harmony and contrast, balance, sequence, scale and proportion, unity and emphasis creates unity
in the landscape.

Sequence

Creating sequence in a landscape enables the user to enjoy changes in the composition of the
landscape. Sequence can contribute to the dynamics of scale in that planting tree and shrubs in a
linear pattern create a sense of movement while planting plants in a circular pattern creates a
sense of rest.

Emphasis or focalization

This is done by designing a place in such a way that there is a focus point. A focal point is a
point which will attract the attention of landscape user. Attractive and appealing features like
monuments, colorful plants, water features are used to create a focal point.

Master plan

The main goal of developing a master plan is to ensure that all the features both proposed and
existing are organized in order to achieve functional, environmental and aesthetic roles. The
master plan incorporates all the elements required to be installed in the landscape. They include:
Irrigation Plan, development Plan of the site, Planting Plan, 3d landscape modeling and lighting
Plan. A planting plan contains a photo of the suggested plant, common and botanical names,
sizes and quantities.
LAND PREPARATION FOR LANDSCAPING
After the landscape plan is ready on paper (or a digital device), its time to begin the physical
design process, depending on existing conditions on site, appropriate land clearing technique is
used. This is the removal of unwanted materials in the site such as dead plants and branches,
weeds, debris and households waste. After this has been done, the remaining plants should be
pruned. Diseased affected and dried branches and leaves, weak branches and hanging branches
are removed during pruning. These pruned materials can be used as compost if it is desired or
disposed off especially those affected by the diseases. The old grass and any unwanted materials
are removed leaving a bare surface, and then the land is tilled.

Landscape grading

Landscape grading is another important process during land preparation. It involves activities
such as removal of the top soil, stabilizing the land, soil excavation, irrigation, lighting
installation and backfilling of the soil. Removal of the top soil is done if the soil found in the site
is not suitable for plant growth. In order to stabilize the land structures such as retaining wall are
built. Such structure ensures that the soil erosion does not occur where the land is slopping.
Installation of the lighting systems is also done during grading process.

After finishing the grading process, the land is now ready for planting. It is important to note that
good land preparations leads to good landscapes in future with low maintenance cost while poor
land preparation it will lead to maintenance challenges and also increased maintenance cost. For
example if diseased plants are left in the landscape, the disease will spread and it will be difficult
to control in future.
Importance of landscape grading

Drainage improvement

This involves gently sloping waterways away from the house or constructing sites and directing
water to follow a constructed channel in order to reduce erosion. There are many types of
drainage systems depending on the ground and the purpose of the landscape. They include

Slit drainage systems

Slit drainage systems are more economical since it only uses sand and gravel. It allows increased
infiltration rates of water and therefore it can be used where the ground is flat so that water will
not remain on the surface. The limitation of this type of system is that there is restriction of root
system development because channels connected to the system are highly permeable.

Sand soil irrigation system

This type of drainage system is expensive but restriction of the root development is minimized in
this system. Correct mixing media is required in order to achieve a good drainage.

All sand drainage

This is a system which involves use of sand alone as a drainage media. Sand drains water easily
and provide for maximum aeration. This type of drainage system is majorly used in sports fields
as it ensures that all the water is drained.

Pipe drainage system

This type of drainage system involves arrangement of pipes to drain the water which also
depends in the slope of the land. When installing such a system ensure its a perfect slope to
avoid water stagnation. This type of drainage is the most complex to install.
Random drainage system

This type of drainage system is majorly used for lands with undulating surfaces. It is cheap to
install and hence suitable for the landscaped with minimal budget. This type of drainage system
is used in the golf greens.

Enhance aesthetics

Grading of a place with terraces or a steps and slopes can change the appearance of the garden
and hence enhancing an aesthetic landscape.

Fashioning elements

In order to place specific landscape elements, grading is usually undertaken. Such elements
include walkway, gazebo, arbors, pergola, driveways, trellis and patios

Stabilizing the Land

Consideration of creating stability for building foundation for landscapes is an important aspect.
Reinforcement of an area in the landscape in order to install elements like retaining wall or a
water feature, redirecting water addition of stones into the landscapes is required and this is
achieved through grading.

Directing Circulation of the Traffic

One may wish to direct traffic to a certain area of the landscape with certain elements by
changing the topography of the land. A flat land may create a sense of rest and wondering while
a long undulating land may create a sense of movement hence directing the traffic to a certain
area. For instance in a park, undulating surfaces can be used to direct traffic to a focal point
which may be a water feature or a monument and a flat surface is usually used for relaxation.
The process of Grading Landscapes

Measurement and Design

This commences with developing the contours of the land in order to know which location has a
high altitude. After the contours have been established, calculation of the place to be filled or cut
is determined. Before the landscape is graded, some factors such as drainage system, soil
amendments, installation of irrigation systems should be considered. Also one should know what
should be accomplished after the land has been graded so as to know the pattern of grading.

Removal of the topsoil

Topsoil is the soil which contains humus and rich in nutrients hence important for plant growth.
It is therefore important to remove them and stock piles them so that after grading process is
completed it can be reinstalled.

Soil excavation

Soil excavation is done where a hollow area is required for example if there is a need of
installing a pond or a swimming pool. Irrigation systems should be installed during land grading
since they have to be laid underground to be prevent the disturbance of the soil after it has been
leveled. In many cases especially large scale projects, an excavator is used to remove soil and
any other materials and move them to another place.

Rough Grading

This is a process whereby large amount of dirt is moved in order to create the foundation of the
land. This is when the raised part of the ground is cut in order to add elements like driveway and
walkway.
Installation of irrigation systems

Installation of irrigation system during land grading ensures that the irrigation pipes are laid
underground and this ensures that they will not be disturbed by traffic and machines. Before
installing the irrigation systems, water pressure from the outside of the site should be determined
in order to match the lines and the needs of the site. The most preferred irrigation system is the
pop up irrigation since it remains underground hence reducing the chances of being interfered
with by the machines and traffic.

Lighting

Lighting is an essential element of every landscape. Light is important for the plants
physiological processes like photoperiodism, photosynthesis and phototropism.

Different plant varieties have different response to photoperiod, some are long day plants and
others are short day plants. This determines the appearance of the plants since it makes the plant
to either flower or remain vegetative.

Photosynthesis provides plants with energy and this energy is used for other physiological
processes of the plant.

Phototropism is the growth of plants toward or away from the light. It determines the form of
the plant hence the light should be placed in a position in which plants will have a desired form.

Backfilling Soil

Backfilling of the soil is the addition of the soil where it was excavated, place where the top soil
had been removed and in order to make the land level. Some places may also contain soil not
suitable for plant growth and in that case backfilling of the soil is important in order enhance a
healthy plant growth. Imported soil for backfilling should be tested before use. Some of the
parameters to be tested include soil ph and the nutrients available in the soil. This test helps to
know the type of fertilizer to be used considering the nutrients in which the soil is deficient and
also to know if the ph needs to be increased or decreased in order to fit plant growth.
Finish Grading

This include leveling the ground and smoothening which prepares it to support landscape
elements like lawn, driveway and a foundation for structures like gazebo. Finishing the grading
makes the landscape look more aesthetically pleasing.

Construction of hard capes

Walkway or drive way paving

Grading of the soil to a slight slope is created away from the trunk. Gravel is placed to form a
layer and after this pavement is installed. Vents should be created in the pavement connecting to
the drip lines to take care of aeration and irrigation. Tubing can also be created at the trunk to
help in soil aeration. `
Construction of a retaining wall
Retaining walls are constructed to help in retaining soil from erosion. The number of blocks
required to build the wall is calculated by dividing the area of the wall by the area of each block.
The following are the steps followed in building a retaining wall
Steps 1
Mark the layout and start to dig the trench. The trench should be about four to six inches deep.
Step 2
Level the ground to ensure that the trench is not slopping and ensure that the section of the
retaining wall is level.
Step 3
Ensure that the dirt is kept level
Step 4
Construct the foundation of the wall by placing paver base at the trench, spreading and tamping
it down to make them firm.
Step 5
When the foundation has become level, begin installation of the blocks
Step
Installation of the blocks is done in rows and when a desired height is achieved, concrete
adhesive is applied at the top.
Concrete planters

Concrete planters are majorly created in the hard capes near buildings and are used for planting
shrubs, ground covers and climbers. The inner and the outer surfaces are coated with glue and
the surface covered with aluminum foil. Holes should be formed on the concrete to help in
draining excess water.

A concrete planter before being planted

A concrete planter after being planted


Getting rid of infected plants

A plant with signs of disease infection should be removed to avoid transmission to other plants.
The infected plants should be disposed off well or treated with an appropriate fungicide.

Removal of unfavorable features in from landscape

This includes features which are not included in the plan. This may include trees bushes, paves
surfaces and constructions like walls.

Planting site survey

Surveying of the planting site ensures that the plants growth is not inhibited by some hazards.
Such may include construction materials like pieces of stones, plaster or mortar, chemicals
spillage like oil from motor vehicles which increases the alkalinity of the. Plant growth may also
be restricted by compacted soil and hence the soil should be loose to allow for root growth.

The soil should be well drained in order to prevent suffocation of plant root system which will
eventually cause plant death. The drainage of the soil can be improved by tilling deep in order to
increase the soil aeration of the plant and allow for infiltration of water.
PLANT SELECTION

Plants should be selected and their arrangement should be suitable to their functions. When
doing plant selection, one should emphasize on the following:

o Choose plants which are not easily susceptible to pest and diseases.
o Choose plants which match the conditions of the site
o Choose plants which are easy to maintain

Before selecting the plants to buy, existing vegetation features should be determined so that
native plants are protected. Plants which are retained are those that are beneficial.
Proper selection of the plants ensures that the plants become healthy and in good condition.
Plants are normally sold as bare rooted, in containers or as balled and bur lapped. In most
occasions, small plants are sold in containers and after they have been planted in the ground they
grow vigorously since their roots are no longer restricted by the space. Before transplanting, the
roots must be checked to see if they have kinked or circled and in such cases they are trimmed in
order to allow for further growth.

Selection of turf grass

Some factors should be considered when selecting turf grass and they include;

o The location at which the turf will be planted for example shady or sunny
o The appearance desired to produce. Different turf grasses appear differently for instance
there are some which are smooth looking and others rough.
o The desired use of the turf grass - Turf grasses can be used as a lawn or in playing fields
and hence before selecting any grass one should consider their use.

The plants should be planted as soon as they reach their destination to avoid losing excess water
and wilting.

To keep these plants from wilting especially the bare rooted, they can be placed in a media like a
moist sphagnum moss in order to prevent them from loosing excess water without being
replaced. For balled and bur lapped the roots can be covered with sawdust or any other media in
order to conserve water.

It can also be placed in a shade to keep them moist. For plants in containers, continuous watering
should be done.
PLANTING
Planting in Individual Holes

While planting, one should consider the size of the plant at maturity so as to avoid their
congestion when they mature. Spacing of the plants depends on the plant species. Also one
should consider the size of size of planting hole with the root ball. Too big planting hole will
cover the vegetative part of the plant and may suffocate the plant. Too small planting hole will
leave the dome of the roots exposed or squeeze the roots which will prevent the growth of the
plant.

When planting plants which are in containers or polythene bags, the containers or polythene
should be removed first before panting. After they have been planted in individual holes, one
should press gently with hand on the soil to make them firm. It is then watered to keep it the
firm.

Fertilizer can be added to individual holes according to the plant type and considering the
nutrients available in the soil. After the plants have well established, a top dressing fertilizer can
be applied to provide nutrients to the plants.

Mulch is eventually applied to the surface at a layer of 7 to 8 cm.

Tree Staking and Guying

Plants which needs to be staked and guyed are those with have weak stems, those which are
frequently disturbed by traffic and those which have bend stems. Staking and guying prevent the
plant from breaking or being uprooted by blowing wind. Plants with a wider diameter can be
supported using more than two stakes considering the canopy size.

The stakes are placed at the perimeter of the planted tree and placed firmly on the ground. After
about 5 months, the guy and stake wires are removed to prevent injuries to the plant.

Caused of tree failure

Decay

This is when the wood cell wall of the tree breaks down and stops producing nutrients and
energy for living organisms. It takes a long time for a plant to decay since it first starts from
discoloration and wounding. It may be caused by too much water, insufficient aeration or fungal
infection in the plant.
Cankers

This is dying of a plant part and is majorly caused by fungal infection.

Cavities

Cavities are formed when a plant is attacked by insects, fungal infection or wounding and it falls
off leaving an exposed part of the main plant.

Exposure to external factors

Tress may be exposed due to their location. Most tress which suffer from exposure are those
planted at fences, near roads, structures and those in open area where they can easily be blown
away by the wind.

Unstable roots

Roots become unstable if the new plant was not planted properly. When transplanting, one
should consider the size of the roots and the planting roots. The roots should be covered fully
into the planting hole and firmly pressed to ensure that the plant is firmly held in the soil.

Root girdling

These are the roots which grow around the trunk or around other roots. Such roots will restrict
the transportation of water and minerals to the plants and will eventually cause plant death if not
treated.

Soil conditions

Different soils have different properties hence different structures. Some soils have small
particles while others have large. Unfavorable soil conditions may cause plant failure. It is
therefore important to test your soil before planting on them and if the soil is not favorable, it is
advisable to replace it.
LANDSCAPE MAINTENANCE
Care of newly planted ornamentals ensures the plant remain healthy. Landscape maintenance
involves ensuring that the landscape is kept clean, healthy and environmental friendly. When
doing landscape maintenance, the following should be done to ensure sustainable landscapes

Ensuring that the landscape is cost effective

Ensuring that the landscape serves it function

Should be appealing to the eye

Should be environmentally friendly

Easy to maintain

Landscape maintenance involves the following activities:

Watering /irrigation

Waste and pollution Management

Pest and disease control

Application of fertilizers

Weed control

Mowing

Mulching

Watering

During the establishment of newly planted plant, regular watering is very important. The plant
roots should be have optimum moisture i.e. not too much or too little. Too much moisture will
cause water logging and plant roots will be poorly aerated. Determination of the water moisture
of the soil will assist in knowing the water requirement of the plant. It can be done using a
moisture meter or by feeling the soil using the hand.

The frequency and amount of water required by the plant is dependent on the type of the plant
and soil. Different soil types have different water holding capacity and hence it should be
considered when watering. On the other hand, young plants require frequent watering than older
plants. Also indoor plants and ground covers require regular watering than trees and shrubs.

Irrigation

Select a suitable irrigation method depending on personal preference, size and nature of the
landscape. Popup irrigation system is appropriate for areas where there are a lot of activities. Pop
up irrigation reduces the chances of pipes being broken. Automatic timer irrigation system
minimize run off therefore it is best used where there is minimal human monitoring. Irrigation
should be done slowly to reduce excess runoff.

Waste and pollution Management

Waste Management

Collected waste like dried leaves, sticks should be disposed in a predefined. Collected waste
should not be disposed in a water way as they will block the passage of water. Clippings, leaves
and other waste should not be left in the planters, near the buildings or in the landscapes.

Excessive use of high nitrogen fertilizers should be avoided to reduce overgrowth of plants
which would require regular mowing

Pollution Prevention

The following approaches will help in reducing pollution

Selection of plants which requires less water, this reduces the frequency of irrigation
hence reducing the pollution caused by irrigation pumps.
Implementation of programs like integrated pest management which ensures reduction of
chemicals use.
Practice landscaping techniques which ensures pollution prevention. Such techniques
include natural landscaping and xeriscaping.

Pest and disease control

Pesticides should be used when there is severe pest problem.


Pesticides should be mixed away from storm drains
Pesticides should not be applied if it is raining or is about to rain
When applying the pesticides, you should not spray against the wind
Chemicals should be used and handled according to the instructions given in the label.
Reading of the label before using any chemical is of great importance.
Area sprayed with pesticides should be blocked to prevent unauthorized access to the
place. A sign post should be placed to alert visitors and those who are not aware that the
area is restricted.

Integrated pest management for turf grasses

Appropriate establishment of turf grass reduces the maintenance cost. Use of pesticides to
control pest and diseases cause environmental pollution and therefore the use integrated pest
management helps in reducing this problem. Scouting is required before any action is done to
determine the pest type and population; this also helps in identifying the pests present and also
their life cycle. After the pests have been identified, action threshold is set and regular
monitoring is done to ensure that the pest population does not exceed the threshold. In case the
pest population has exceeded the action threshold cultural and biological control should be used
as the first option as it has less impact on the environment. If the infestation is severe, use of
pesticides can be used as the last resort. Scouting records and the method of pests and disease
control used should be kept for future reference.

Integrated pest management involves use of practices which include:

1. Uses of cultural practices to reduce the pest population below a certain threshold -
Cultural practices include proper sanitation, mulching and pruning which ensure the pests
breeding places are destroyed.
2. Management of the soil - soil is can contain some disease causing pathogens. Soil borne
diseases are majorly fungal diseases such as bacterial wilt.
3. Biological control biological control is the use living things to control pest. Plants
which repel pests can be planted near the plants susceptible to pest hence protecting them
from being attacked by the pests.
Fertilization

Before application of any fertilizers to the plants, soil nutrient content and ph should be
determined in order to determine the type of fertilizers to use. Newly planted plant should
benefit from fertilizers which have balance nutrients for example 17:17:17.

After determining the nutrients available in the soil, purchase appropriate fertilizer with the
nutrients in which the soil is deficient of. Toxicity of nutrients will cause adverse effects on the
growth of the plants. During application, follow the application guidelines indicated on the
fertilizer container or bag. The fertilizer should be broadcasted at the perimeter of the tree and
not at the planting hole. For turf grass, the fertilizer is broadcasted at the turf grass field and
irrigation is done to dissolve the fertilizer (if they are not in liquid form). During broadcasting
over the plant, the foliages should not contain any water and after application it should be
watered. Regulations and all local laws governing the storage, use and disposal of fertilizers
should be followed.

Weed control

Weed control involves the removal of unwanted plants in the landscape. Weeds should be
removed from the lawn, under trees and shrubs, along the walkway, at the curb or in the planters.
If weeds are not removed in the lawn or under trees, they will compete for nutrients with plant
thus causing nutrients deficiency in the landscape. Weeds should be disposed away from the site.
To prevent the weeds in the turf grass, pre emergency herbicide can be used or if the weeds
infestation is severe, a selective herbicide can be used. When applying herbicides, ensure you the
recommended type, it is also good to check with the local authorities on permitted pesticides.
Care should be taken to ensure non-selective herbicide is not used as this would lead to total
plant loss.

The following are methods used in pest control

1. Target the weeds which are problematic first


2. Bed mulching during winter, fall and spring
3. Avoid too much fertilization
4. Control weeds while they are still on their young stage before they reach their maturity
when they can reproduce and produce more weeds.
5. Regular mowing, hoeing and tilling to reduce the weeds in your landscape if possible,
flame weeders can be used along the pavements, at the edges of the buildings and at the
fence. This should be done very carefully to avoid destruction of property.

Mowing

Different grass species have different mowing height to attain their aesthetic value. Some are
mowed high while others are mowed low.

When a turf grass is mowed too high:

They visual quality is reduced


Roots will be deeper and can obtain water from the ground being able to tolerate drought.

When they are mowed too low:

The plant will be weak since some processes like photosynthesis are impaired with and
plants will have insufficient energy.
They become susceptible to weeds
Will have few leaves due to slow growth

When mowing the turf grasses, mowing pattern should be considered as it affects the appearance
of the turf. Frequent mowing and mowing in the same direction may cause the turf to lean on one
side and the mower will not be able to cut the upper part.

Mulching

Mulch can be done using straws, composted leaves, shredded bark, chips from wood, pine
needles or cotton seeds hulls.
Roles of mulching

Conservation of moisture by minimizing evaporation around the plants


Smoothening of weeds
Cooling the plant roots

How to mulch

1. Use leaf mulch or any type of mulch to cover around the plant (planting hole), cover 2 to
7 centimeters.
2. The mulch should not touch the tree trunk or else it will rot
3. Ensure that you have not over mulched, a few centimeters is enough to keep water.
4. Ensure a mulch patch is visible to prevent people from stepping on it.

Pruning

This is the removal of some plant parts. The plant parts removed include roots, branches and
buds. The importance of pruning include

Improve plant health


Removing dead parts of the plant
Giving the plant a good shape
Protecting from risk of falling branches

Thinning of the crown and canopy

Thinning helps in increasing light penetration on plants and protects the tree against
environmental conditions such as wind.

Inspection

Irrigation systems should be periodically inspected to ensure application of the right amount of
water i.e. ensuring that there is no runoff and the plants get enough water.

Equipments such as mowers, vehicles for transport and pesticides equipments are inspected to
ensure they are in a good condition.
Measuring of soil Ph

Determining the soil ph helps to know if the soil is fit for plant growth or not. Correct soil ph is
important since it has an influence on the activity of microorganisms in the soil and nutrients
availability to plants. If the soil ph is low, it means that the soil is acidic and it can be increased
by liming. If the soil ph is too high, it means the soil is alkaline and it is recommended to
increase the acidity by adding sulfur. Also some fertilizers can help in increasing the soil ph.
Soil ph can be tested using a ph meter or in a local soil laboratory.

Protocols employed in landscape maintenance

Appropriate construction practices

Appropriate construction practices ensures that turf grasses, plants and other features in the
landscape are protected hence preventing soil erosion and preserving the soil structure

Arrangements of elements

The designs in which landscape elements are arranged affect its maintenance. For example
planting tall plants too close to the driveway would make the maintenance difficult since such
plants should be pruned on a regular basis to prevent branches from falling to vehicles and
people.

Usage of Geotextiles to control Weeds and to stabilize the surface

Use of geotextiles in the landscapes helps in designing low maintenance landscapes as it reduces
the use of herbicides for weed control.

Usage of durable materials in constructing the structures of the landscape

Materials used in walkways, driveways, patios, trellis and in construction of other features
should be durable for easy maintenance
Treatment of places which can easily ware out

Such places include:

1. The interface between the lawn and pavement


2. Interface between turf area and shrubs
3. Interface between plants which require different intensities of sunlight

CONCLUSION
Landscaping requires patience and flexibility. After planting the landscape, one should wait for
the plants so as to enjoy the beauty they create. At their younger stage, plants are not attractive
because they have not grown flowers or have not showed their form. Flexibility is applied by
changing what had been designed earlier in order to fit the changes which may occur. For
example if one had designed a landscape in that the water used for irrigation is from rain
harvesting but there is little rainfall, then they should adjust and get a pump to be used in
irrigation.

HAPPY LANDSCAPING