Avoid needless spending to stretch your garden dollar

By Tom Dominguez

Many New Mexico homeowners are unfamiliar with the art and technique of gardening, and spend needless dollars each year on landscaping.

Although dollars spent on landscaping can pay big dividends, the trick is to stretch those dollars and make the most of the money invested.

Here are some money-saving dollar-stretching suggestions for you to consider:

l Purchasing the biggest trees is not always a wise investment when landscaping your home. These big trees are often set back drastically during digging and transplanting, and may take years to recover from transplanting shock. Many times, a smaller tree will re-establish itself more rapidly, producing a nicer tree in a shorter time period. With the money you save buying smaller trees, you can get a good start on the rest of your landscape. High-quality trees are a good investment.

Although there is a time and place for ‘fast growers’, do not overlook the dependable oak varieties, cedar elm, bald cypress, and Chinese pistachio. They will last longer, and you will have fewer insects, disease, and pruning headaches in the meantime.

l Beware of door-to-door tree trimmers who insist that topping your tree is a good idea. Topping trees opens up large wounds, leaving them vulnerable to insects,