Categories
Landscaping

Tips for Preparing a Planting Bed

Tips for Preparing a Planting BedTips for Preparing a Planting Bed . If you are preparing beds for landscaping around your house this article should simplify the process for you. I say that because of everything that is written about this subject, some of it is accurate, some of it is just plain wrong, and much of it is much more complicated than it needs to be. I like to think of myself as Simple Simon. I find the easiest, yet most effective way to do things, and they work.

Let’s assume that the area where you are planning your bed is now planted in grass. How do you get rid of the grass? Chemicals or no chemicals? Chemicals are easy, so we’ll look at the chemical method first.

My favorite chemical for killing grass and weeds is RoundUp, and used properly it is effective. Rule number one: Read the label on the package, and mix the chemical exactly as recommended by the manufacturer. Rule number two: Assume that every plant that the RoundUp touches is going to die. It is a non-selective herbicide.

The first thing you need to do is mark out where your planting bed is going to be. Spend some time on this step. If you are landscaping around your house, give careful consideration to what is going to be planted in the bed, and then decide how large each plant is going to be when fully mature.

You can keep plants trimmed to a certain size, but be realistic when you make these estimates. Trust me when I tell you, this is the number one mistake made by Do-it-Yourself landscapers. People are just afraid to make those beds large enough.

Typically, a bed should never be narrower than 42”, and corner beds should be 12’ in diameter. Islands. If you make those little tiny island beds that I see everywhere I am going to come over to your house and snap you with a wet towel! The island bed in your front yard should be 20’ to 40’ long, and a minimum of 12’ in diameter on at least one end.

The easiest way to mark out your planting beds is to buy a can of marking paint at the hardware store. Unlike most spray paint, this only works when the can is inverted, and it is designed specifically for painting lines on the ground. They even have cans that spray chalk instead of paint. I’ve always used the paint, it holds up better if it gets wet.

Once you have the outline of the bed established and marked, mix up some RoundUp and spray all the grass and weeds inside the bed area. Do not put RoundUp in a sprayer that you intend to use for other purposes. You need a sprayer that is dedicated for the use of herbicides. When applying the spray, be very careful not to let the spray drift onto the grass and other plants that you do not want to kill.

To minimize spray drift, adjust the spray nozzle so the spray pattern is narrow and the droplets are larger. A wide, fine spray pattern is sure to drift outside of the intended area. Also keep the pressure in the sprayer quite low. Pump it just enough to deliver the spray. High pressure causes the spray to atomize and drift. Apply just enough spray to wet the foliage. If you have liquid dripping off the blades of grass, you are applying too much. More is not better.

Once sprayed, be careful not to step in the area that has been sprayed. Many people have had golden footprints across their lawn because they forgot and walked through what had been sprayed.

This is the difficult part, and the part that many people do not get, so pay close attention. The only way that the RoundUp can possibly work is if you leave it alone. Did you get that? Once you apply the RoundUp, don’t do another thing with that bed for 72 hours. That’s three very long days. I know you’re anxious, but this is the price you pay for not planning ahead.

RoundUp is a systemic herbicide, which means that it has to be absorbed by the plant, then translocated throughout the plant. It takes three days for that to happen. If you go digging and chopping, you might just as well skip the spraying step. Go build a compost bin while you’re waiting.

After three days the weeds and grass are going to look as healthy and happy as ever. Don’t let ’em fool ya. They’re as dead as dead can be. Providing the RoundUp didn’t get washed off by rain within the first 24 hours of the waiting period. Now you can dig and chop to your heart’s content.

However, the only digging that I do is to go around the edge of the bed and strip the sod back about 15”. Just peel off about 1” and flip it into the center of the bed. This makes it easier to edge and mulch the bed if you get the sod out of the way. Now for the non- chemical method.

Mark out the outline of the bed as described above, explains point fort point faible entretien . Strip the sod back 15”, just like above. Since you aren’t using any herbicides I would dig down about 1-1/2” when removing the sod from the edges. Take the sod you stripped back and lay it in the center of the bed upside down and pack it down firmly. Now take newspaper or brown paper grocery bags and cover the entire bed area. Use 9 layers of newspaper. No matter what method you used, chemical or non chemical, you are now ready to fill the planting bed with topsoil.

Put 8 to 12” of good rich topsoil in the bed. Make sure the soil is higher in the back, closest to the wall, so the water drains away from the building. If you are creating an island planting make the center of the bed the highest point. Make sure the topsoil you buy is well drained and rich in organic matter. Buying topsoil is a tricky game, you’ve got to be careful and shop around. Topsoil is one item that you do not want to order over the phone, sight unseen.

This is what you are looking for when buying topsoil:

Topsoil that is rich in organic matter will be very dark in color. If the soil is light in color it is probably just filled sand. The other thing you’ve got to watch for is how well drained the soil is. Topsoil that has a clay base is poorly drained and sticky, and your plants will not be happy at all. They might even die if they are too wet. Once a clay-based topsoil dries out it gets very hard.

Today most topsoil is run through a screener to remove the clumps, rocks, roots, and sticks. There is nothing wrong with buying unscreened topsoil, especially if you’ve visually inspected it and have found it to be of good quality. Actually, really good topsoil shouldn’t have to be screened, but there is little of that quality topsoil to be had.

When you visit the yard where the soil is stockpiled, scoop up a handful of the topsoil and run it through your fingers. If it seems to be grainy, it is probably good soil. But if it appears to be tiny round balls that can be smashed between your fingers, it is probably a clay based soil that will trap water during rainy seasons, and get as hard as a rock when it’s hot and dry.

Pay attention to how the soil is screened. Some machines just shake the soil over a set of screens to separate the debris, and others actually shred the soil. If the soil needs to be shredded, you don’t want it. Look closely at the pile that the raw soil is coming from, says Cleveland landscaping . If the soil in the raw pile is as hard as a rock, that’s what the screened soil is going be once you get it in your beds. If it appears to be fairly loose, it’s probably good soil.

Put 6-8” of topsoil in your beds. You are now ready to plant. Did you notice that I didn’t get into rototilling and all kinds of extra work? Nor did I suggest that you add bone meal or any of those other goodies that the garden centers sell. I skipped the part about checking the pH too. pH is important, but I’ve found that good topsoil almost always has a suitable pH.

I’ve got a confession to make. In almost 30 years of growing, planting, landscaping and the like, I’ve never tested the pH of the soil on any project that I was working on. Is that smart? I don’t know, but I’ve been successful in my efforts, and I have landscaped several hundred homes and grown tens of thousands of plants.

It’s something to think about. What I’m really trying to say is don’t get caught up in too many details, and be careful who you take advice from at those garden stores. Many of those salespeople were flipping burgers last week.

Tips for Preparing a Planting Bed Tips for Preparing a Planting Bed Tips for Preparing a Planting Bed Tips for Preparing a Planting Bed

Categories
Accounting

How CPAs Can Help You

cabinet comptable brest How CPAs Can Help YouHow CPAs Can Help You : CPAs, or Certified Public Accountants, can help you in your individual or business accounting and tax preparation in many ways. With the laws surrounding accountancy such as generally accepted accounting practices for businesses, and tax laws that change every year for individuals, hiring a CPA to perform your accounting services needs is the best way to ensure that your accounting is error free in case of IRS or other audit.

CPAs are Certified Public Accountants,

certified by the Board of Accountancy. These CPAs can perform a variety of services to small businesses, large corporations, or individuals. They are accountable to government agencies for their ethics and business practices, which ensures that you the consumer are protected from fraudulent activity by CPAs, and giving you security in knowing that your accounting is in good hands.

CPAs can perform general accounting, audits, or tax services.

CPAs must have a college education in accounting, and an examination prepared by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). A CPA can be self-employed individuals acting on their own behalf and that of the CPA’s clients, or they can be employed within a public accounting firm in tax or audit services.

Having a CPA prepare your business or individual income tax return

is a great way to avoid errors, not to mention the prying eyes of the IRS and an audit. A CPA must undergo continuing education as accounting and tax laws change from year to year. Therefore, only a CPA can ensure that your tax return is completely accurate. Not only is accuracy important to the IRS and in case of an audit, but it is important to your immediate financial future as well. Because a CPA has intimate knowledge of tax laws and available exemptions, a CPA can make sure you get the largest refund possible.

In the case that you are chosen for audit by the IRS,

your best bet to come through the audit cleanly is to have a CPA by your side. A CPA is as familiar with tax law as the IRS representative performing the audit. Because of this, the CPA can negotiate a lower penalty, help you avoid penalties, and help you claim the deductions you deserve. You should contact a CPA as soon as you have received an audit notice from the IRS, because the CPA can help you prepare for your audit and gather the necessary information. Then, the CPA can walk into the audit interview by your side, completely in charge and confident of the outcome of your audit.

If you own a small business,

a CPA can also help you determine what business taxes are required by your local, state, and federal government. In addition, the CPA can help you set up a double-entry accounting system that includes a journal and ledger. The CPA can also help you to set up a standard chart of accounts for use with your ledger. All of these tools will help you stay organized and ready for tax time and any possible audits. The CPA can also use the information from these tools to create financial statements for your business, which will then help you to make business decisions, make comparisons with competitors, discover industry and company financial trends, and prepare financial reports and business plans for purposes of investors and bank loans.

Whatever the financial service required, a CPA is your best bet. With a CPA, you have the security of a licensed, monitored professional along with the peace of mind that all of your accounting is accurate and ready for any possible audit.

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