How to Prepare for New Landscaping Installation
Whether you are preparing for a large-scale landscaping installation with new garden beds, irrigation work and hardscaping or simply having sod replaced, there are several things you should know about how to prepare for your new landscaping installation that can help to ensure your project occurs on time, on budget and is executed smoothly. Once you know the day your project is set to begin, plan to implement the following steps at least 3-7 days prior to installation.
Clear the Proposed Work Areas
Prior to installation, you will want to remove all obstacles throughout the area to be landscaped unless you have contracted with your landscaper to remove them. Examples would be playground equipment, pots, chairs, tables, bird baths, trash, anything of personal value or significance.
Most all new landscape installation and construction involves excavating soil and sod grass areas. Your landscaper will need to excavate proposed landscaping areas to create new garden beds, dig footings for stone garden walls and patios or to install new sod. Wet sod is 3 times the weight of dry sod and cannot be removed in nice, even sheets which can more than double the removal time. Plan to stop watering the areas of your lawn that will be traveled and landscaped at least 3 days prior to installation.
Mow the Lawn
Oftentimes, when a customer knows a part of their lawn is scheduled to be excavated, they discontinue all maintenance services in that area leaving the grass overgrown. Most landscaping crews do not come equipped with lawn mowing equipment such as trimmers and mowers. Sod removal techniques will be extremely limited in an overgrown lawn. Removal will be most efficient if your lawn has been mowed regularly and recently.
Stop Lawn Treatments
When excavating your terrain, landscapers will be on their hands and knees digging in your soil. Weed, fertilizer and pest control applications contain harmful herbicides and pesticides, so most landscapers will prefer, if not insist on the excavation areas being cleared of these applications. Depending on the application type, you will want to keep the area clear for at least 2 weeks prior to installation, giving the products a chance to disintegrate.
Remove Mosquito Systems
If you have a mosquito control system installed on your property and part of it runs through the installation area, you will need to drain the system and remove all heads and lines from the area prior to landscaping installation. The lines on mosquito systems tend to be buried just under the soil line and easily pierced with a shovel. Landscaping crews will not have the parts and know-how to repair these systems.
Identify Underground Utilities
Whether you are creating a new garden bed, removing sod or simply replacing plants, landscaping work always involves digging. While landscapers should always dig cautiously, they cannot accurately anticipate what lies under the ground. As long as they have access to your irrigation panel, a responsible landscaper will turn the irrigation system on prior to digging to mark sprinkler heads and verify what does/doesn’t work. Let you landscaper know prior to digging if you have a drip line irrigation system in the excavation area so it can be removed or identified. As for major utility lines, most are found far enough underground that they don’t interfere with landscaping excavation, but some internet and cable wires sit only a few inches under the ground and are not encased within a protective pipe. One week prior to installation, plan to have your underground utility lines marked. Any North Texas resident can call Texas 811 (800-344-8377) or go online (https://www.texas811.org/) and request that their utility lines be marked. This is a free service and can usually be completed within 3 business days.
Installing new landscaping can take a great deal of effort upfront to plan and execute. It’s absolutely worth the investment in the end, but knowing how to prepare for your new landscaping installation project before it begins will help eliminate delays and make the installation as painless as possible.
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