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Installing trees, plants and mulch

To ensure your plants will thrive, you'll need to properly prepare your soil. Plants flourish in loose, nutrient-rich soil–and because the soil in Southern Nevada is neither of these things, you will need to do some preparation.

You'll also want to use your landscape plan to identify where your plants will be located. Mark the locations with temporary paint or marker flags and take a good look at the visual once you're finished to ensure you've placed plants and trees where they will have plenty of room to grow.

Installing plants

Desert plants can be added to your landscape at any time of year, but fall is the best time to ensure plant health. Planting involves more than digging a hole and dropping a plant in the ground.

Staking trees

The trunk of a healthy, well-developed tree should be strong enough to hold itself upright, but trees in open areas may need staking, especially if the area is particularly windy.

Applying mulch

Use a layer of one to three inches of mulch, depending on your preferences. Don't allow mulch to make direct contact with the plants, forming a ring about two to three inches around plants instead.

Tree care during conversion

Even with careful planning, a tree's root system is often disturbed during a landscape conversion or other construction project. Roots left behind lose the temperature buffer and water source provided by the lawn and the sprinkler system, which leads to drying and additional root loss. Follow these tips:

  • Convert during the cool season
  • Identify and protect major roots
  • Use weed killer and a de-thatcher to remove grass around trees
  • Establish a protective barrier around the tree to avoid damage
  • Avoid trenching under the canopy
  • Use a drip system to supply water under the canopy and out to the drip line
  • If a weed barrier is needed, use landscape fabric
  • Install mulch correctly