What kind of yard projects are you planning this year? If you begrudgingly said you planned to work on your parking strip, you are not alone. The parking strip typically runs between the sidewalk and the street. It’s difficult to keep the grass looking good, hard to irrigate properly and seems to have the highest concentration of weeds in such a small area. Here are some tips to tame the parking strip beast and get it looking as good as the rest of your yard.
This area is narrow and water from your sprinklers either over waters it, causing an increase in weeds or under waters it, causing the grass to look patchy and dead. So how do you figure out what will be the best to plant there? Start by talking with your neighborhood association, homeowner’s association or check the city code to see if there are any requirements.
Because it is difficult to water, using a drip irrigation system in lieu of traditional sprinklers will help you have better success. This will reduce the amount of run off from the sprinklers and it also means more water will be absorbed into the ground, not just evaporate into thin air. Drip systems work very well when you utilize it with a xeriscaping landscape plan.
Grass is hard to maintain in a park strip, so why not think about planting some water wise plants instead? By finding native grasses, flowers and trees that require less water than other species of plants, you will decrease the need for excess water. Start by lining the park strip with weed barrier fabric and then follow up with a thick layer of mulch around the plants. This will help retain moisture and keep weeds to a minimum.
When you’re planning your park strip design, keep in mind that this area will see a lot of foot traffic. When people access your home, chances are they will walk across the park strip if they can. Be careful not to over plant it so if someone does walk on it, it kills the plants. Have enough hard surfaces like flagstone, gravel or bricks to give visitors easy access to your home.
The bottom line is this is part of your yard so why not make it look as good as the rest of your property? There are lots of resources online to give you some good ideas for design concepts and which plants to use. Get creative and come up with a park strip design that is not only nice to look at but also is functional as well.