14 Apr 2015
A well maintained landscape is a true enhancement to any home. Here's Landscape Architect Allan Darwent of Talma Mill Studios, as he explains what's needed to have a landscape in good condition.

A well maintained landscape is a true enhancement to any home, Landscape Architect Allan Darwent of Talma Mill Studios explains what's needed to have a landscape in good condition.

When looking after your landscape the key points of focus should always be irrigation techniques, pruning and pests and disease control.

Let’s start with irrigation. When irrigating your landscape, the types of techniques you adopt should depend on the type of plants you have in your landscape, as irrigation is plant type specific. Just like humans, plants have different needs. Some plants like the Elephant Ear, needs a lot of water in order to remain healthy. However, plants like the Bougainvillea, which seem to thrive in harsh conditions, doesn’t need to be watered very often.

Irrigation also depends on weather conditions. We here in Trinidad and Tobago know all too well about the harsh dry seasons. During that time, you will have to water your landscape more frequently however, during the rainy season watering can be reduced. It is also important to note, that plants should be watered early in the morning, so that they have time to dry off. If you wet plants too late in the evening, when it's getting closer to nighttime, the plants will soak up too much water allowing fungus to grow.  

Now for pruning. Pruning is the selective removal of specific plant parts. You can prune for a number of reasons; to improve the look and health of a plant, to control the growth of a plant, to prevent potential damage, to train young plants or to encourage flowering and fruiting.  The thing about pruning is that if not done correctly, it can lead to over pruning which is a common problem faced by the DIY gardeners.  

Read our article “Methods of Pruning Plants” for information on correct pruning techniques.

Pests and diseases are another concern of landscapes. Here in the Caribbean, some of the most common types of landscape diseases are funguses, which are most times caused by watering plants too late in the evening or not cleaning gardening tools properly. Some common pests are sap-sucking insects, mole crickets and Bachac ants, which can be controlled by using Bachac Bait. 

 Home & Garden Caribbean Lifehack: It should be noted that landscape can enhance the look of your home, however, you should not treat it the same as the tiles laid on your floors or the paint on your walls. Your landscape is a living organism and requires attention to do the things it is intended to do.


For more on Landscaping read “Adding a Flowerbed”.