I want to make a portion of my yard a 0scape environment. How do I prepare the area so that the grass/weeds to not take over? What tools will I need to make the soil acceptable? What time of year is best to plant new plants for this area?



First of all, I highly recommend that you read through the USU Extension publication titled "Waterwise Landscaping" by Terry Keane. It's available inour office as a paperback book, but also available online athttp://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/publication/EC_458.pdf
This publication gives a very good overview of how to design and plan a Water-conserving landscape, plus it includes some plant lists categorized byplant type and typical water demands.
It is too hot now to plant anything. Wait until daytime highs are 90 or less; then the plants won't be so stressed. Late summer and early fall arethe best time of year to plant woody plants and hardy perennials. Mulch is important to help keep soil temperature moderated around new plantings, plus it retards weeds greatly.
Soil amendment may be unnecessary if you are choosing to plant native species that are suited for your area, but if the soil is compacted it must be loosened somehow or a raised bed built above the compacted layer. Here is a link to the Utah's Choice webpage; it includes information about the Utah's Choice native species and the nurseries that are participating to sell those plants.  I think this information will help you get started.   

Posted on 1 Aug 2007

Maggie Wolf
Horticulture Agent, Salt Lake County

Other Questions In This Topic