Becoming Gardeners

To enable more sustainable landscaping practices, landscapers will have to become “gardeners,” rather than the lawn maintenance technicians of today. The repetitious pesticides applications, mowing and leaf blowing can all be replaced with real plant care and better gardening.

We can not expect the type of knowledge from landscapers that we expect from a horticulturist or a professional garden designer. But if landscapers follow the principle of ‘the right plant for the right place’ they will already have made tremendous progress. Simple actions like checking the soil and the location, talking to the nursery and reading the labels are also important first steps.

Know Before You Buy :

Location and hardiness zone
Soil condition
Weather forecast (don’t plant on hot days)
General design and available space
Possible pests. Deer?
Natural habitat and existing plantings
Neighboring trees
Available time and money

Read the Label:

Common and/or Latin name

Hardiness zone and sunlight requirements

Soil conditions and water need



Expected width and height

Special Requirements?

Pest resistance? Deer proof? Wildlife value?


Always make sure you follow the planting instructions. If you are unsure, there’s tons of information on the internet.