Charlotte Landscape Makeover: How to Select Materials That Last

When it comes to landscaping and gardening, there are no two ways about it, materials matter. To drive home the importance of utilizing proper materials in your landscape, think of it this way, your landscape is like a meal. As ingredients are to a meal, so are materials to a landscape. In the case of making a meal, you always want to try and find the highest quality ingredients to produce the absolute best taste. The better the ingredients, the better tasting the meal. The same logic can be applied to a landscape, as you’re more likely to yield a healthy and thriving landscape if you take the time to research and invest in the proper materials. Whereas low-quality materials, or even materials that might work in one context but not in another, can have long-term consequences for your landscape and/or garden. But how exactly do you find the proper materials? Good question. In this guide, we’ll help outline the best methods for selecting materials that endure and perform.

Understand Your Immediate Environment

Here’s the thing about landscaping, materials that might be good for one landscape can be detrimental for another. For instance, a material that might be considered useful in one climate could be completely useless in another, simply because it doesn’t complement the local ecosystem. Point blank, every climate is going to have its own needs in terms of landscaping, but for the sake of this article, let’s use Charlotte NC as an example.  

Like many Southern cities, Charlotte has fairly mild winters and extremely hot and humid summers due to its subtropical climate. Furthermore, given its subtropical categorization, Charlotte is prone to abundant rainfall. As a result, a material that is suitable for dry or cold climates likely isn’t going to perform as well in Charlotte. Take mulch for instance. In Charlotte specifically, you want to choose a mulch that isn’t extremely water retentive, because highly water-retentive mulch varieties can be compounded by the humidity, causing pervasive fungal issues in the soil. On the contrary, a mulch material like hardwood makes a lot of sense for a place like Charlotte given its properties. Hardwood, made from hardwood trees’ shredded bark (think maples and oaks) is sturdy and is resistant to blowing or washing away. Because of its staying power, it’s ideal for sloped beds and landscapes in wet climates. 

Ultimately, the key is to assess your immediate surroundings and find materials that are complementary to the climate in question. 

Learn How to Use a Material’s Appearance to Your Advantage

Sometimes in the world of landscaping, you can elevate a material’s perceived value just by being strategic and purposeful about its placement. Take for instance the concept of curb appeal. Curb appeal is a metric by which we judge the attractiveness of a property and its surroundings based solely on how it looks from the exterior. Curb appeal can be increased in many ways (think lighting, lawn ornaments, and well-kept garden beds). Ergo, boosting curb appeal is guaranteed to boost the value of your home (both perceived and actual)

You can do a lot with landscaping materials, both inorganic and organic, to improve your home’s exterior, and in a lot of cases, you can do so economically as certain materials are quite inexpensive. The key is to use materials that are complementary to the appearance of the home both in color and texture. Relatively simple projects like adding in some planter boxes or a gravel pathway can completely overhaul a new space, without having to break the bank. 

The Foundation of Gardening Success? Soil 

Novice gardeners can understandably get overwhelmed and confused by the sheer number of landscaping materials that are on the market. And some suppliers might encourage you to buy excess materials all for the sake of making money. It can be tempting to buy anything and everything, especially when you’re first starting and deciding between a handful of different materials that all claim to add value to your garden or serve a crucial purpose in caring for your landscape. In actuality? It’s usually better to invest in one or two high-quality/premium materials as opposed to a handful of decent ones.

Focus on solidifying your base material. In the world of landscaping, that’s your soil. High-quality soil is going to do a lot of the heavy lifting for you, and generally speaking, you can avoid products like fertilizers and other additives that tend to pick up the slack of lesser soils but won’t add a lot of benefit to well-established soils. You can also improve your soil with organic matter like compost, mulch, or manure.  

How can you tell if a soil is of a high quality? Look for clues in texture, structure, color, and pH level. Good soils will have a balanced composition of various particles like sand, salt, and clay.  You can buy relatively cheap tests online that will assess soil for you, providing you with easy and fast results. Although, you don’t have to spend any additional money should you choose to opt for simple tests like taking a portion of wet soil, and observing how it behaves. 

A sandy soil will feel gritty and fall apart easily. A clay soil will feel sticky and hold its shape firmly. Quality soil will feel crumbly and retain its shape but break apart when poked. Across the board, good soil should have a granular or crumb-like texture, indicating that it is able to circulate freely and prevent compaction and erosion. Finally, color-wise, your soil should have a dark brown or black hue, which indicates the presence of necessary nutrients.

Buy Your Materials From a Trusted Landscaping Supply Store

You can take a lot of the guesswork out of finding good landscaping materials by going straight to the source, the supplier. A reputable landscaping and garden supply store, like Charlotte NC’s Andolina Materials, will be able to provide you with all of the materials needed to establish and grow an exceptional garden. While you might have to sacrifice some time and energy finding that landscape materials store that’s just right, the benefits speak for themselves. Not only will you have access to an inventory of premium materials, but you will also be able to consult the employees and staff of the store, who can tell you what to look for and what to avoid in materials. When it comes to gardening, a second opinion, especially one provided by an expert can be game-changing. 

When it comes to landscaping and gardening, there are no two ways about it, materials matter. To drive home the importance of utilizing proper materials in your landscape, think of it this way, your landscape is like a meal. As ingredients are to a meal, so are materials to a landscape. In the case of making a meal, you always want to try and find the highest quality ingredients to produce the absolute best taste. The better the ingredients, the better tasting the meal. The same logic can be applied to a landscape, as you’re more likely to yield a healthy and thriving landscape if you take the time to research and invest in the proper materials. Whereas low-quality materials, or even materials that might work in one context but not in another, can have long-term consequences for your landscape and/or garden. But how exactly do you find the proper materials? Good question. In this guide, we’ll help outline the best methods for selecting materials that endure and perform.

Charlotte Landscape Makeover: How to Select Materials That Last

When it comes to landscaping and gardening, there are no two ways about it, materials matter. To drive home the importance of utilizing proper materials in your landscape, think of it this way, your landscape is like a meal. As ingredients are to a meal, so are materials to a landscape. In the case of making a meal, you always want to try and find the highest quality ingredients to produce the absolute best taste. The better the ingredients, the better tasting the meal. The same logic can be applied to a landscape, as you’re more likely to yield a healthy and thriving landscape if you take the time to research and invest in the proper materials. Whereas low-quality materials, or even materials that might work in one context but not in another, can have long-term consequences for your landscape and/or garden. But how exactly do you find the proper materials? Good question. In this guide, we’ll help outline the best methods for selecting materials that endure and perform.

Charlotte Landscape

Understand Your Immediate Environment

Here’s the thing about landscaping, materials that might be good for one landscape can be detrimental for another. For instance, a material that might be considered useful in one climate could be completely useless in another, simply because it doesn’t complement the local ecosystem. Point blank, every climate is going to have its own needs in terms of landscaping, but for the sake of this article, let’s use Charlotte NC as an example.

Like many Southern cities, Charlotte has fairly mild winters and extremely hot and humid summers due to its subtropical climate. Furthermore, given its subtropical categorization, Charlotte is prone to abundant rainfall. As a result, a material that is suitable for dry or cold climates likely isn’t going to perform as well in Charlotte. Take mulch for instance. In Charlotte specifically, you want to choose a mulch that isn’t extremely water retentive, because highly water-retentive mulch varieties can be compounded by the humidity, causing pervasive fungal issues in the soil. On the contrary, a mulch material like hardwood makes a lot of sense for a place like Charlotte given its properties. Hardwood, made from hardwood trees’ shredded bark (think maples and oaks) is sturdy and is resistant to blowing or washing away. Because of its staying power, it’s ideal for sloped beds and landscapes in wet climates.

Ultimately, the key is to assess your immediate surroundings and find materials that are complementary to the climate in question.

Learn How to Use a Material’s Appearance to Your Advantage

Sometimes in the world of landscaping, you can elevate a material’s perceived value just by being strategic and purposeful about its placement. Take for instance the concept of curb appeal. Curb appeal is a metric by which we judge the attractiveness of a property and its surroundings based solely on how it looks from the exterior. Curb appeal can be increased in many ways (think lighting, lawn ornaments, and well-kept garden beds). Ergo, boosting curb appeal is guaranteed to boost the value of your home (both perceived and actual)

You can do a lot with landscaping materials, both inorganic and organic, to improve your home’s exterior, and in a lot of cases, you can do so economically as certain materials are quite inexpensive. The key is to use materials that are complementary to the appearance of the home both in color and texture. Relatively simple projects like adding in some planter boxes or a gravel pathway can completely overhaul a new space, without having to break the bank.

The Foundation of Gardening Success? Soil

Novice gardeners can understandably get overwhelmed and confused by the sheer number of landscaping materials that are on the market. And some suppliers might encourage you to buy excess materials all for the sake of making money. It can be tempting to buy anything and everything, especially when you’re first starting and deciding between a handful of different materials that all claim to add value to your garden or serve a crucial purpose in caring for your landscape. In actuality? It’s usually better to invest in one or two high-quality/premium materials as opposed to a handful of decent ones.

Focus on solidifying your base material. In the world of landscaping, that’s your soil. High-quality soil is going to do a lot of the heavy lifting for you, and generally speaking, you can avoid products like fertilizers and other additives that tend to pick up the slack of lesser soils but won’t add a lot of benefit to well-established soils. You can also improve your soil with organic matter like compost, mulch, or manure.

How can you tell if a soil is of a high quality? Look for clues in texture, structure, color, and pH level. Good soils will have a balanced composition of various particles like sand, salt, and clay. You can buy relatively cheap tests online that will assess soil for you, providing you with easy and fast results. Although, you don’t have to spend any additional money should you choose to opt for simple tests like taking a portion of wet soil, and observing how it behaves.

A sandy soil will feel gritty and fall apart easily. A clay soil will feel sticky and hold its shape firmly. Quality soil will feel crumbly and retain its shape but break apart when poked. Across the board, good soil should have a granular or crumb-like texture, indicating that it is able to circulate freely and prevent compaction and erosion. Finally, color-wise, your soil should have a dark brown or black hue, which indicates the presence of necessary nutrients.

Buy Your Materials From a Trusted Landscaping Supply Store

You can take a lot of the guesswork out of finding good landscaping materials by going straight to the source, the supplier. A reputable landscaping and garden supply store, like Charlotte NC’s Andolina Materials, will be able to provide you with all of the materials needed to establish and grow an exceptional garden. While you might have to sacrifice some time and energy finding that landscape materials store that’s just right, the benefits speak for themselves. Not only will you have access to an inventory of premium materials, but you will also be able to consult the employees and staff of the store, who can tell you what to look for and what to avoid in materials. When it comes to gardening, a second opinion, especially one provided by an expert can be game-changing.

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