WITH A LANDSCAPE PLAN
Decide what you wanted or needed. Lawn, xeriscape,
trees, desert plantings, boulders, aggregates or combinations
are possibilities. If aggregate or rock is used, different
rock colors and sizes add both dimension and contrast.
Make a simple sketch of your yard. Consider investment
costs of both material and labor to remove (old) and
install (new). review maintenance time and costs including
irrigation or watering.
Ask the experts at Whiting Brothers about your concerns,
questions, or problems.
MEASURE, MEASURE, MEASURE
It is important to estimate the surface areas of a
project. This applies to both grass and rock designs.
"Square off" each area on the yard sketch.
Measure the length and width of each section. Then multiply
lenght X width of each section. This provides the surface
area (to be covered). These caculated surface areas
or the original yard sketch measurements can be provided
to the material supply company or the landscape company.
You, the home owner may specify material depth or the
supplier may recommend material depth. Typically, 1/2
inch or 3/4 inch rock is installed at 2 inch depths
and soil or lawn mix should be 3 inches deep. Generally,
depths less than 2 inches are inadequate. Depths greater
than 3 inches are unnecessary and costly.
ROCK AND SOIL DEPTH
Whiting Brothers recommends a 2 inch of depth (minimum)
for rock 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch rock. If the rock used
is 2 inch to 4 inch cobble or "chunky", a
minimum depth of 4 inches is recommended.
Chats or 1/4 minus rock are used around planting areas,
walkways, or driveways. A 2 inch depth is recommended
for planting areas. 3 inches of chat for walkways and
4 inches for driveways properly compacted will provide
a solid base.
If grass is planted or sod is installed we recommend
installation of 2 inches to 3 inches of premixed soil
or mulches. We also recommend that the exisiting base
soil be roto-tilled or aerated to permit better moisture
Ground preparation is very important. Weeds should
be pulled or sprayed with weed killer and removed. Sod
should be dug out or cut out with a sod cutter. Attempting
to install rock or new lawn over or on top of old lawn
will excessively elevate the new installation. This
may result in drainage problems and material spillage.
If a lawn is planned, the EXISTING SCALPED soil should
be tilled 3 inches to 4 inches deep before installation
of new soil bases.
Lawn fabric should be installed after the old sod and/or
weeds have been removed. Do not use plastic as a weed
barrier. Plastic does not permit passage of water. As
a consequence, water will pond in low areas. More importantly,
rock will puncture the plastic when walked on. Punctured
plastic will allow weeds to grow through holes. Also,
heated plastic ages quickly, becomes brittle, and literally
Lawn fabric is tough, does not puncture easily, allows
water to pass through, blocks weeds and grass regrowth.
Lawn fabric is significantly more expensive than plastic.
However, fabric is well-worth the added investment cost.
WHAT ABOUT TOPSOILS?
Las Vegas soils are considerably different than soils
in other areas. A certain amount of salt, much like
table salt, is present in our native soils. Also, our
native soils have problems with excessive salts, are
very alkaline (high PH), have boron toxicity, and low
Premixed soils such as Ferta lawn mix with 35% organic
material or Ferta Super Gro with 50% organics will address
basic lawn and garden needs. A soil test will provide
necessary information to help develop an ideal soil
environment. A basic test provides soil composition,
nutrient levels, presence of other key elements, and
recommendations to improve or correct the subject soil.
Contact the Las Vegas Valley Water District, Desert
Demonstration Garden at 702-258-3205 for assistance.
GLOSSARY OF TERMS AND PRODUCTS
PREMIXED SOILS AND ORGANICS
LAWNMIX - A premixed soil to use as is. Use on top
of existing soil at a depth of, at the very least, 2
inches deep preferably 3 inches deep.
SUPERGRO - A premixed soil for the garden, planting
trees, shrubs etc. Richer than Lawnmix.
NUTRIMULCH - Composted turkey manure to be used as
a soil conditioner.
SOIL VS. SAND
SAND - Loose, gritty grains of disintegrated rock.
SOIL - The surface layer supporting plant life.
ROCKS, BOULDERS ETC.
SIZED, SCREENED ROCK- To be used as a decorative ground
CHAT - Used as a driveway or walkway…also used
as a ground cover in planting areas or on mounds.
BOULDERS - Large pieces of rock used as accents