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In the landscaping world, just like any other profession, there are those little things that “do it yourself” guys do that make the pros cringe. They are our “nails on the chalkboard” experience.   I, like many of my colleagues, have my personal pet peeves. Let’s go through a few of them and hopefully you can gain some insight as to how a professional landscape designer looks at your landscaping.   By avoiding or correcting your landscape mistakes you will have healthier plants as well as knowledge that can give your home that extra something. This will make your neighbors stand up and take notice and hopefully show some of the guys who call themselves “pros”, why these things are not helping to achieve the goals of good landscaping. The topics we will discuss include:  Green Meatballs; The Green Necklace; A Whole Lotta Nothin; Seeing Red; The Minnie Pearl Syndrome;  Crape Murder; Runway Lights; Volcanoes; and The Real Thing.  We will be addressing these issues over the next several newsletters.   This month we will tackle “Volcanos”

These are the big mountains of mulch frequently piled at the base of the tree. In addition to the health aspects of this common mistake, there is the aesthetic issue to consider. It does not look natural to have a giant “ant hill” at the base of every tree. Some folks do this because they pile up the soil that comes out of the planting hole.  Then they just cover it with mulch.  Others do it because they have seen it done by others.  There seems to be a notion that this is to be done to Crape Myrtle Trees.  Why? I can’t say, except it has been seen being done by others.  For some reason our local folks  seem to think that Crape Myrtles need all this extra attention.  They do not!  Especially egregious is  the abhorrent insistence that they be “pruned” every year.  We will talk about that next month.  I am convinced that many landscape companies do this just to sell more mulch. Proper mulch depth should be 2″-3″. When mulching around trees, the mulch should not be piled against the tree trunk. Mulch against the tree trunk can cause disease and insect infestation, and even death. Mulch that is too deep will smother the roots. Roots need oxygen to function and when they don’t have it they die, and in turn the tree dies.

To be continued…

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