Landscaping tips from the pros

From mulching to trimming to designing, Village Green in Wapakoneta knows what works — and what doesn’t — in landscaping services.

Co-owners Gretchen Sheely and Blaine Kohler said they frequently dish out advice for homeowners, whether they are seeking do-it-yourself advice or professional services.

Remembering to prepare the landscape is just as important as knowing the right flowers and shrubs to plant, Kohler said.

“As far as getting all of the leaves out of your beds, getting your roses cut back, getting your perennials cleaned up and ready for the growing season, cutting back your grasses if you haven’t done that yet,” Kohler said. “There’s a million and one things to do before the grass greens up.”

He said cleaning up the space will prevent disease, fungus and help the overall health of the landscape plants.

“It was great to have it for the winter for a little bit of protection,” Kohler said, “but at this point in the season you have to get it off or stuff will start growing too early and you’ll run into some problems.”

The two owners said they see homeowners making the similar mistakes in their landscapes. One of the biggest mistakes is planting a shrub or tree, without taking into consideration the size at maturity, too close to the house.

“When the plants start small they don’t give them enough space, so down the road when things mature, it kind of turns into a problem,” Sheely said.

Kohler said landscapers need to read the tags on plants to see what diameter trees will grow to. While it may be difficult to part with an already planned landscape, he said there is a drastic difference between trees with 10 and 20 feet diameters.

“People say ‘well, I’ll keep it trimmed,’” Kohler said. “That cracks me up. Then it becomes a maintenance nightmare.”

He said he always asks people how much maintenance they are willing to do. While less expensive, some shrubs may not be worth the hassle.

“There’s cheaper versions of barberries that grow really fast and you’re trimming them three to four times a year, or there’s a Dwarf Pygmy Barberry that every other year is sufficient,” Kohler said. “It’s worth doing a little research.”

Many times people do not consider which side of the house a plant will thrive better on, whether that means putting them in direct sunlight or a more shaded area.

For the full story, see the Saturday, March 29 edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.