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. It should be uninterrupted by trees and plantings in the middle - for several reasons:
- Turf and ornamentals have different growing requirements. Lawns require much more fertilizer and water than flowers, trees, shrubs and groundcovers do.
- When turf and ornamentals are separated, a powerful landscape technique is utilized called mass/void, providing a mass of each component. This combination is quite beautiful.
- It makes maintenance of each much easier. It's easier to mow the lawn without having to trim around trees and shrubs.
All in all, this approach will make a big improvement in your landscape. As much as it is possible, strive to separate the turf from the ornamentals.
- For more on this topic go to the linked article: How & Why to Separate Turf from Ornamentals.
- For more information on grouping ornamentals into watering zones and a selection of recommended plants, go to the page titled, Water Zones.
Create Water Zones
Group ornamentals into H-M-L zones in the landscape:
- Keep each distinct plant group by themselves: Set watering minutes per zone accordingly.
High – Need regular weekly or biweekly watering
|Hybrid tea roses||Acorus (Sweet Flag)||Cephalanthus (Button)|
|Boxwood||Flag Iris||Salix (Willow)|
|Arborvitae||Carex (Sedge)||Helenium (Helen's Flower)|
|Ferns||Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium)||Lobelia|
|Mod – Plants that grow well with 25 inches of normal rainfall|
|Shrub roses||Chelone (Pink Turtlehead||Japanese Anemone|
|Blue Holly||Oregon Grapeholly||Ajuga (bugleweed)|
|Coral Bells||Astilbe||Siberian Iris|
|Monkshood||Allium (ornamental onion)||Amsonia|
|Aquilegia (Columbine)||Blackberry Lily||Butterfly Milkweed|
|Pladycodon (Balloon Flower)||Phlox||Veronica|
|Woods Pink Aster, Purple, Blue and Purpledome Aster|
|Lo – Plants grow well with no supplemental rainfall|
|Prairie Dropseed||Indiangrass||Big Bluestem|
|Little Bluestem||Blue Grama||most Viburnums|
|Ninebark||Aronia (Chokeberry)||Autumn Fire Sedum|
|Maidengrass||Salvia 'May Night'||Agastache 'Blue Fortune'|
|Catmint – 'Walkers Low,' 'Joanna Reed', 'Little Titch', 'Six Hills Giant'|
Information presented within the Lawn & Landscape Irrigation section of this Water Web site has been reviewed by University of Nebraska - Lincoln Educator John Fech.