1. Size is everything. Mature plant size is the number one item people
tend to ignore when selecting plants. Plants need a few years to reach
their mature size. Often people don’t want to wait several years for a
landscape to fill in, so they will space plants too close to each
other, or to the house, the sidewalk or street. Space plants according
to their mature size, not the size they are at the time of purchase,
and be patient.
2. Believe the plant tags. Plant tags are not just for marketing and
attracting attention. They provide valuable information from the grower
that needs to be noted by the buyer. These plant tags usually note plant
characteristics such as mature size and spacing, as well as site
requirements such as soil type, light and moisture.
3. Know your soil. Think of soil as the foundation of your landscape
and get to know it by taking soil samples. The University of Minnesota
will test your soil for a small fee and report what your soil contains
and is lacking. Select plants based on your soil type.
4. Watch the sun. Consider how the sun moves across your landscape. A
plant requiring “full sun” typically needs six or more hours of full
sun per day. “Part sun” means about 3 to 6 hours a day, “full shade”
means the plant receives no direct sun throughout the day. You may want
to sketch your landscape and note the hours of sunlight that various
5. Locate plants according to water needs. Xeriscaping refers to
designing areas of landscape that don’t require supplemental irrigation
and uses techniques such as hydrozoning (grouping plants in a landscape
according to moisture requirements), minimizing turf areas, efficient
application of water and plant selection. Although we live in the land
of 10,000 lakes, gardeners and landscape designers need to be diligent
about conserving water. Thinking about using less water in your
landscape will lead to better plant choices.
Thanks for reading
Have a great day