Ten Landscape Do’s and Don’ts for 2021

1. Don’t top your trees.  Period.  It’s a fairly well known fact you should not top crape myrtles, but this also applies to all trees with only a very few exceptions.  Fruit trees for purposes of production and harvesting ease is one example when topping is ok.  Flowering and fruit trees that are being trained for espaliering is another.  

2. Don’t mound up mulch around the base of your trees.  The crown of the tree should never be covered over with mulch.  If you want to mulch your trees, use the donut approach.  Mulch up to a couple of inches of the crown of the tree and stop.  Here’s a great article to help:https://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu/faqs/how- much-mulch-should-i-use-around-a-tree/

how much mulch should I use around a tree

3. Do prune damaged or dead limbs in your trees, and any limbs rubbing up against each other should have the smaller or weaker branch removed.

4. Do Mulch your flower beds to reduce weeds and conserve water.

5. Do use ground covers for “green mulch” to control weeds and protect against erosion. 

6. Do add perennials in your flower beds for color from year to year without having to replant each season. This is a great list to help get you started in North Texas:

7. Do use a mulching mower.  If your grass is tall enough that it  leaves debris on the surface of the lawn, use a bag  to collect the clippings. Dispose of the clippings in a compost pile.  (This should only be done as long as you haven’t treated the lawn with a herbicide or pesticide in the last month.

8. Don’t use herbicides to kill weeds.  If it will kill a weed, it will kill your grass flowers, shrubs and trees if misused.

9. Don’t use pesticides.  Find organic ways to treat particular infestations of unwanted pests.  Commercial pesticides will kill all insects including bees and butterflies.  You’ve heard of the butterfly effect, right?  Oils are one way to get rid of unwanted pests.  Check out this info:
https://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu /library/farming/using-Oils-as-pesticides/

10.  The last Do is pick the right plant for the right place.  Know the mature size of the plant you are planting and what kind of conditions it grows best in.  Example:  Don’t plant an oak tree three feet from a foundation, or a shade loving Acuba in a sunny location.

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