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Justin White, Landscaping Lessons │5 landscaping resolutions for the new year – Santa Cruz Sentinel – kechambers

Justin White, Landscaping Lessons │5 landscaping resolutions for the new year – Santa Cruz Sentinel

Turn your renovations into resolutions!

A new year brings new opportunities, fresh ideas and changed habits. But what about your landscape, shouldn’t that get an update too? Your outdoor environment can be just as important as the inside of your home and deserves a revitalization too. Think of the next 12 months as a clean plan for developing happier, healthier patterns in your life, starting with spending more time outdoors. Here are five landscape decisions you could make in 2021 to encourage more outdoor activities.

1. Achievable Supplements

Winter is the ideal time of year to make landscape plans. Since many plants take time to establish their roots, build your design now and choose what types of additions you want by the start of spring. Prepare your garden for success by picking climate-friendly plants that not only survive but also last much longer. Put fresh mulch in areas that need a little freshening up or add low-maintenance, native plants that are easy to care for. Try to be aware of the items that you would normally throw away as trash, like pallets, old wheel barrels, glasses, etc., and incorporate them into your landscaping instead. Be creative and efficient using what you have on hand. Sometimes just changing the layout or color scheme in your garden is enough to achieve a necessary renovation. It’s simple additions and changes like these that will allow you and your family to spend more time outdoors without leaving big dents in your wallet or calendar.

2. Grow your own goals

There are many advantages to growing your own garden. In addition to investing time outside of grooming, you also need to eat healthier and reduce food costs. There is something satisfying about sowing your own food, watching it grow, and taking the first bite. You will start your year organically proud with local fresh fruit and vegetables!

3. Choose your drainage

We haven’t received any significant rainfall this winter season, but I can assure you that the storms are coming. It is important that you check and inspect your drainage system before the big downpours occur. Do you have water under your house after the big rain event? It may be time to install a French drain to reduce water collection under your home. Another potential problem is clogged drain lines leading to backups that can potentially flood your landscaped areas or worse your home. Make sure to tighten your drainage system for the first month or two of the new year.

4. Invest in irrigation

If there’s just one area you want to invest money in your landscaping this year, let it be an irrigation system! With water conservation becoming increasingly important, an irrigation program is extremely beneficial. Drip irrigation systems reduce wasted water and slowly trickle it into the areas needed. Technology is constantly evolving and there are now systems that you can easily monitor from your phone or tablet. Smart controls can even capture rainfall and soil conditions to automatically adjust flow as needed. Another helpful feature is a flow sensor and master valve combination that turns off your irrigation in the event of a leak and alerts you – this is a must have for your second home or if you travel frequently. The return on an irrigation investment is high as it saves water, time and money for years to come.

5. Bring the interiors outside

Make additional use of your garden and transform it into another room in your house. Take the inside outside by building a community or cooking area. With an outdoor refrigerator, sink, countertops, wood stove, grill, and even a TV, you have a functional, fun outdoor space that you and your guests can use year round. Add a fire pit for chilly evenings or find comfortable furniture for game nights. Whether you are basking in the morning sunlight or under a starry sky, an outdoor “living room” will serve its purpose year round.

Above all, promise to make the best use of your nature. Promise to have a coffee on your deck every Saturday morning, devote your daily yoga to under the sun, or stare at your lawn once a month. Whatever encourages you to break up inside and take in more fresh oxygen, determined to do more of it in 2021!

Justin White is the CEO of K&D Landscaping, headquartered in Watsonville, California, and was named Business of the Year 2020 by the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce. White is also the current president of the local chapter of the California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) on the central coast. He is involved in several nonprofits across the community. For more information on landscaping, outdoor and gardening requirements, contact K&D Landscaping at

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