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Landscape Design

NE Ohio Garden
Your Landscape Concierge!

Do It Yourself Landscaping

It’s easy to landscape your own home in 7 easy steps:


Have a professional design your landscape. A good landscape designer will take into account aspects such as maintenance requirements, exposures, drainage, overhangs on the house, and more than just the artistic look of the landscape.

Bed Preparation

  • Before your plants are delivered, prepare the bed area by outlining it. This can be done by cutting an edge with a sharp spade. Making curves or long sweeps are easy by using a garden hose to form these lines.
  • Remove all sod within the bed and discard it. A sharp spade works great for small or hard-to-get-at areas. A sod cutter from a tool rental outlet is handy for larger areas.
  • Rototill or spade up area to a depth of about 6 inches then, if necessary, add topsoil so that the bed is raised 4-6 inches above the sidewalk or lawn. A raised bed ensures good drainage for the plants specially when subsoils are heavy clay. Do not use "mixed" topsoil, as these "mixed" topsoils usually inhibit drainage.
  • The landscape bed should slowly slope away from the foundation of the house. Don’t forget to pack the bed slightly to be sure that too much settling won’t occur later causing the bed to end up too low.

Setting Plants

Set plants in bed according to the planting plan and make adjustments if necessary.


After the plants have been arranged, complete one section of the landscape at a time. For example, if the landscape bed is 75 ft. long, dividing the bed into three sections would work. This way, the planted plants will not go too long without water. This is especially important on a hot, sunny day. Follow planting instructions carefully as you go.

Weed Prevention & Mulch

  • When finished with each section, smooth the bed out with a garden rake. Be sure to keep a slope away from the house.
  • Apply Preen® as directed and then mulch immediately. Mulch should be about 1 ½ - 2" around the plants and about 3" deep in more open areas of the bed. Remember, annual flowers do not like heavy mulch. 
  • Mulch Calculator


  • Water the plants thoroughly to settle the soil around the roots. Watering the entire planted bed will activate the weed preventer (Preen) and create a "reservoir" of moist soil from which the plants may draw water. Be sure to wash the weed preventer off the plant’s foliage if any is lodged on them.
  • Most container-grown plants should be watered every 3 days for 3 weeks. A balled and burlapped plant usually will require a thorough watering once each week for 3 weeks. After 3 weeks, water only when necessary. This watering schedule is only a general guideline. Cool, wet weather such as in early spring will decrease the need for watering’ whereas, 90 degree weather may increase the need for extended watering. Remember when plants need water, water thoroughly. When they don’t, leave them alone as too many frequent unnecessary waterings will rot the roots.


  • Fertilize the plants with an all purpose fertilizer such as Plant-tone at the fourth and last watering of the 3 week watering period described in the watering section.
  • An acid fertilizer such as Holly-tone would be good for Rhododendrons,   Azaleas and all other acid-loving trees and shrubs. Plants planted in the spring should be fertilized once each month until August 1st (July 1st for Rhododendron and Azaleas and their relatives.) Late summer or fall planted plants should only be fertilized once at the end of the 3 week establishment period.
  • If annuals are planted in the landscape, they may be fertilized all summer every 3-4 weeks with a liquid fertilizer or a granular fertilizer such as Plant-tone.  Or, you could fertilize just twice with a slow release fertilizer such as Osmocote.
  • Be careful not to fertilize or water trees or shrubs near the annuals if they do not need it. Soft lush growth on trees and shrubs late in the season is undesirable.

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Dayton Nurseries, Inc.
3459 Cleveland-Massillon Rd.  Norton, OH 44203



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