There is no better time to get out and enjoy what is the most welcome and inviting season than to plan for and execute a Spring landscape. From the soil to the topography to the touches of your own charm and whimsy, here are some useful California landscaping tips to help you get going:

It All Starts with the Soil

Take the time to evaluate your soil to understand how to water and what plants to buy. Sandy soil holds less water and therefore needs more frequent watering. Heavy clay soil holds more and needs less water, but that means it also holds more of the salts. This can inhibit growth. Plan to compost all your vegetable matter so you have a free method of revitalizing your soil’s health naturally. Once you get started composting, it can be compelling and well worth the effort.

Picture It

Whether you have an existing landscape garden or are looking at open space, picture the space and how you can make the best use of it. As part of your Spring garden tips, it is wise to arrange your plants in a way that works for you rather than making you work harder. Consider the zones in shade and in direct sunlight. Notice how the sun moves through the day leaving areas either in shade or in prolonged daylight exposure. This can affect your plants and how you decide where to put them.

Scale Back Your Pruning

Pruning is necessary to keep growth in check. However, pruning also tends to promote growth. Plan your pruning strategically to give your plants, shrubs and trees the most attractive and natural appearance. If you want to promote growth, prune accordingly. If you want your plants to be less maintenance for you, there are ways to prune for stability and less growth.

Often, when you see square-cut shrubs, they may have an attractive symmetry, but they also have a regular landscape gardener coming out to tend to them. It can take less time to cut them back that way, but it also means a more regular effort to keep them square. Conversely, it is possible to select the right branches to remove that will give the garden a properly sculpted look that you can sit back and enjoy rather than feeling as though you need to get up and grab the clippers.

Irrigation, Soakers or Mulch

In California, you don’t really need to be concerned with irrigation schedules. Then again, you could plan your own in terms of making the most of what your plants and trees require. For some plants, you can have a system of soakers that dribble out the water using less over time. You may also want to allow deep soaking if your soil hangs on to the moisture. In such a case, you are watering less often. Try a mulch in your beds to help hold the moisture and to suppress the growth of weeds. You can also get mulch in colors if that adds to your garden charm.

While it is possible to plant drought resistant plants, a Spring landscape tends to contain more flowering plants for their color and beauty. You may also enjoy fruiting plants and trees since it is the season for most of these. Explore the markets and decide if you want to include plants that feed you.

You can either plant from seeds or from cuttings. You can also start a wide variety of edibles from what is left over such as onions, lettuce, celery, avocado, watermelon and so much more. These plants provide yet another aspect of your Spring Garden tips that can get you hooked on producing your own vegetables and fruits. Just take the time to learn their different planting times.

Companion Plants that Work for You

If you do decide to plant fruits and vegetables, there are companion plants you can locate properly to help mitigate the pests while adding beauty to your Spring landscape. Companion plants add significant benefits including:

  • Maximizing your available space
  • Increasing productivity of your plants
  • Conserving water
  • Pollination
  • Creating a habitat for beneficial insects
  • Making the best use of your soil

Polyculture borrows from the principles of cottage and forest gardens. It is a way to provide compounds to other plants making the most of their symbiotic aspects such as bacteria and nutrients within the soil. For example, a plant with longer roots draws up the nutrients from deep within the soil that shallow roots would otherwise never reach.

Your list of Tips on California Landscaping would not be complete if it did not include suggestions on using your imagination. You can add your own touch of whimsy and charm with a few garden items. The local garden shop and craft stores are stuffed with garden charm. From gnomes to wind chimes to glass orbs, you may want to add one or two items to your garden.

Further, consider making use of the uneven ground or make some of your own. A raised patch upon which to plant some grass gives you an inviting knoll. Strategically situated under a shade tree gives you your own park. There are endless ways to introduce your own brand of magic.