Do It Yourself Landscapes: Ideas, Tips And Advice For Texas Landscaping

Landscaping in Texas can be challenging. For best results, learn the climate and soil conditions of your area, and use plants that like those conditions.

Texas has a wide variety of climates and soil. The most important things to learn about growing plants in your area of Texas are what your climate and soil are like. What is your hardiness zone? Do you have alkaline or acid type soil? Is it sandy soil or does it have lots of clay in it? These are the questions you will want to answer.

Join a garden club in your area to learn more about local growing conditions. Purchase books on growing plants in your area of the state. Texas is so large that there are several different hardiness zones and many different types of growing conditions.

Look at local nurseries to see what plants they have growing best. Most nurseries have native plants labeled "native to Texas". These are the plants that will take the most abuse. Native plants don't mind drought conditions or heat, both of which are common in most parts of Texas. Nurseries will also have plants that like the sun, located in the sun. They will have plants that prefer shade, located in the shade. Be aware of these things when you visit a nursery and purchase plants. After you purchase a plant or plants from a nursery, take them home and let them slowly get used to their new home before you transplant. This will prevent transplant shock. After you transplant your new plants, you will need to water them well, while they are getting established.

Some plants, such as herbs, are not necessarily native, but have adapted so well that they are very easy to grow in Texas. Many herbs come from the Mediterranean, which has a similar climate to Texas. Put herbs in your landscape and you will have many years of easy, low maintenance plants. Herbs will give you pleasure in many ways, such as the aroma and the many varied uses they offer.

Plant both perennials and annuals for a good variety of plant material. Variation and diversity of plant material will bring in more beneficial insects and also help prevent plant diseases. Be aware of your plants condition. Walk among your plants and look them over to see if disease or insects are becoming a problem. Check to see if they need more water or maybe a certain plant would do better in a different location.

Every yard has microclimates. The humidity, temperature etc. will vary in different areas of your yard. If your plants prefer moist conditions, then locate them in more shady areas or in areas that do not tend to dry out as quickly. When you purchase a plant and the plant tag says "full sun", that usually means "dappled shade" in Texas. Full sun, in the state of Texas, is very hot and intolerable to most plants. Some plants like the heat, but be sure yours can take it, before placing it in "full sun".

If you live in a rocky area, you will need to remove as many rocks as you can before planting. You will most likely not get rid of all the rocks, so your best bet may be to build raised beds in those rocky areas. Add some good compost and topsoil to your raised beds and mix it in with some of the already existing soil.

It is always a good idea to mulch, for many reasons. Mulch will keep weeds to a minimum and also save water. So mulch, mulch, mulch. Choose the right plant for the right location and water deeply. There are many resources for gardening in Texas. The Master Gardener program has a hot line in most counties to answer all of your gardening questions.

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