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The Fundamentals of An Efficient Landscape

with David from Taurus Landscape

When people think of what it takes to have a lovely functioning landscape, aesthetics come to mind. The plants are pretty, and the lawn is nice, but only some people realize how to get to that point. So much more happens behind the scenes to create these aesthetics. 

Planning and Bed Preparation

An efficient landscape is a balance of maintenance, water, and nutrients. These three elements working together give us a thriving, efficient landscape. First and foremost, planning and expectations need to be considered. 

Look at the landscape as you would make a cake. The cake portion would be bed shape and bed prep. Nice and smooth bed lines will help complement and confirm your plant selection. With plant bed preparation, you want to be aware of water flow. It is essential to keep water running away from your home and remove low spots where water will collect. The number 1 obstacle is downspouts. Concentrated water from downspouts creates damage by washing mulch away. It also causes excessive water to be deposited directly onto plants.

 With bed preparation, you want to give plants the best growing environment. Organic materials, fertilizers, and proper planting are essential considerations. Think of a plant like a human being. We do not like to be buried; we require food and a happy home. A good rule is this: if you install a plant even with the soil level and place thick mulch on top of that root ball, it's dead. Get ready for a replacement.

Plant Selection

With your planning, you must establish if the area is full sun, part sun, or
shade. Full sun is considered a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight. In the south, 6 hours of sunlight in the summer is different from 6 hours of sunlight in the winter. Base your findings on summer sun positioning. Partial sun could be morning shade, afternoon shade, or filtered sunlight throughout.

Plant selection is one recurring problem we see in today's landscape.
You should make your plant selections based on sun requirements, height and width, and water requirements. An example is planting a plant that will reach 15 feet tall under a 3-foot-tall window and expecting to thrive while it's pruned to death. Know your plant material.


When it comes to maintenance, remember that plants are natural
creatures. In my years, I have never encountered plants in nature that are perfect boxes or circles. So, treat your plants for what they are. Hand pruning to softly shape is better than shearing. Shearing will leave your plants with a woody appearance and foliage only on the outside of the plant. With mowing, know your type of grass. Figure out how short you want to keep it and how often you will mow it. Your warm-season turf can handle shorter heights, but cool-season grass varieties must be kept taller for survival, especially in summer. This is why plant selection is so important.


All plants need food and water to survive. 99% percent of plant problems
revolve around either too much or too little water. A plant will only take up water when needed, no matter how much you water it. Heavy, infrequent water is best for plants because it makes the roots go deeper for water, which will help in our summer heat. Turfgrass can take frequent watering but benefits from heavy, infrequent watering. Another factor to remember is that excess water on plants and turfgrass creates a breeding ground for fungus and weed growth.


If you do it yourself, be aware of what you are using when fertilizing. Time-released fertilizers should be used based on how long it takes to break down. For homeowners, it's usually a 3–4-month feed. With plants, think along the lines of organic fertilizer. There are numerous organic fertilizers based on specific plants and plant groups. Do your research. If you choose to go with a company to care for your landscape with chemicals, do your research. Remember, you will get precisely what you pay for.

A thriving landscape does take work. If you can do it yourself, it's enjoyable and therapeutic. You get to see firsthand the reward of your hard work.

Here at Taurus Landscape, we pride ourselves on creating and maintaining landscapes the right way. Our experienced staff pride ourselves on taking every property, every plant, and every blade of grass as our own. Our staff's number one goal is the experience of a thriving and efficient landscape for property owners. The nuances of installing and maintaining a proper landscape are what we strive for. Our customers' satisfaction is what we strive for. It can come from a personal "thank you" or even just a smile. It's Taurus Landscape every day, 365 days a year.

A thriving landscape is a balance of maintenance, water, and nutrients. These three elements working together give us a thriving, efficient landscape.