Lawn and Landscape Irrigation
Processing lawn clippings and tree leaves into the lawn provides nutritional value as well as reduces waste. Generally, turf clippings contain 6-7% nitrogen, 0.5 to 1.0% phosphorous and 2-4% potassium; when returned to the lawn, they can account for a fourth of the lawn's fertilizer applications each year.
Once good soils are in place, create water zones. Water zones are distinct sections of your property which contain plants with similar water needs. Group ornamentals into H-M-L zones in the landscape. Keep each distinct plant group by themselves – set watering minutes per zone accordingly.
Do you have trees growing right in the middle of your lawn? Do you swear under your breath every time you mow, having to trim around them and practice some fancy footwork trying to maneuver the mower around the trunk? If so, perhaps it's time to redesign your landscape, separating the grass and all of the other plants. If you are building a new home, or moving to one with little or no landscaping, you can avoid this maintenance nightmare by simply thinking of turf as a part of the landscape unto itself.
Regardless of the mix, the goal for green minded gardeners is to grow, plant and care for healthy landscape plants and turf. One of the most important factors in the success of these endeavors is getting to know specific needs of the plant material and how they can be combined effectively in a landscape without compromising the needs of each component.