Landscape Overhauls: 4 Things to Repair or Refresh Every 5 Years

THE TED LARE LOOK
-adding new river rock to garden

There are plenty of landscape chores we’re used to doing regularly, like mowing the grass, raking, dethatching, and aerating. Sometimes we get so caught up in the day-to-day activities, we forget about the major projects that need attention every five years or so. It’s important to stay on top of these repairs, or else you may have some distracting, unsightly elements taking away from the beautiful plants you’ve worked so hard to cultivate.

Repair or Refresh These Landscape Features This Spring

Make some time this spring to deal with these four landscape overhauls to keep your scenery looking streamlined, lush, and well kept. 

Replace Mulch or River Rock

Mulch needs replacing more often than river rock, but oftentimes you can get away with just scraping a bit off the top and topping it up with a fresh batch. However, it’s worth completely removing all of it every few years and reapplying a new layer—it decomposes naturally, and getting rid of the old stuff will help prevent fungi from forming. If it’s chunky, you can use a rake, but if it’s quite decomposed and mushy, use a shovel.

River rock is much more solid than mulch, but it still breaks down over time, getting crumbly and dusty. Use a shovel and a wheelbarrow to move the old rocks out of the way, and replace it with a new layer of river rock.  

-replacing garden edging

Replace Plastic Bed Edging

Plastic edging helps keep plants, mulch, or rock from spreading and getting too unruly. Over time it can crack—you can either repair small sections by cutting out a section, replacing it with a new piece and attaching it with edging connectors. Alternatively, you can pull out all the old edging and replace it with a new set. 

Since your trench is already dug from the previous edging, it isn’t too difficult to replace. Remove the old edging, insert the new edging, and stomp it into place with your feet so the soil is well compacted around it. Insert a stake every five feet around the edging to keep it in place, then water the ground to get everything settled into place. You may need to fill some spots with fresh soil to even it out and eliminate gaps. 

-adding weed barrier in garden

Replace Weed Barrier Landscape Fabric

You can’t repair old landscape fabric, so if you’re using it in your garden, you should replace it every few years. Here’s how to do it in seven steps:

  1. Measure the area to purchase an appropriate amount of landscape fabric.
  2. Clear any mulch, river rock, or protective groundcover away.
  3. Gently remove and discard the old landscape fabric, being careful not to damage your plants.
  4. Loosen and aerate the soil, and remove any debris like rocks and sticks. Mix in compost and other necessary amendments. 
  5. Lay down your new landscape fabric and make an X with two 6-inch cuts for every plant you encounter. If you’re using multiple sheets of landscape material and need to layer them, make sure there’s a 6-inch overlap. 
  6. Delicately pull the plants through the holes.
  7. Smooth out the landscape fabric and anchor it down.
  8. Replace the mulch, river rock, or whichever protective groundcover you prefer.

If you need help replacing your landscape fabric, you’re welcome to call our landscape pros and we will gladly assist you!

-fresh edge cut in garden

Retrench Your Edging

If you don’t use a plastic barrier for your edging, you’ll need to clean up those edges more often. Here’s how to do it in 6 steps:

  1. Use a flat spade to cut along the bed line, pressing it down vertically into the soil, 4–6 inches deep. Continue all around the garden border edging. 
  2. Once you’ve created your border, go step inside and make diagonal slices into the soil towards the vertical edge so you can remove a wedge of dirt. Do this all the way around to create a sloping trench in the soil.
  3. Smooth down the soil so it slopes away from the cut. 


If you have to complete some landscape repairs in Iowa and you aren’t feeling confident to pull them off on your own, don’t hesitate to call the experts here at Ted Lare! We offer a broad range of landscaping services to keep your property looking lush and lovely.

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