Tips on designing and installing an Island

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by southerneclipse, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. southerneclipse

    southerneclipse LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    Ok, need to make an island about 12X5 in the middle of a customer's front yard. I have only done maintenance on existing beds so kind of need help on how to charge and also some pointers to get the job done as efficient as possible. I started out doing lawn maintenance but have quickly gotten into the landscape expert but a hard worker and always very particular about my work. I would like some tips from the pros with experience...anything helps. Thanks.
  2. DocClark

    DocClark LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    Well, This question is kind of hard to answer without more details. The big thing will be coming down to what you are using for a border...retaining wall block, curbing, vinyl border, steel border? Whatever border you choose will determine how you install it, whether compacting a base/sand to put block down or trenching for the other stuff.

    Also are we talking a bed that is flat through out or are we talking one that raises to a mound?
  3. PerfectEarth

    PerfectEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,734

    If this is a basic "kidney" shaped bed in the middle of the yard (I hate these)... then the steps are not too hard.

    1. Paint out a nice, flowing outline of the bed edge.
    2. Kill off or sod cut out all existing turf, weeds, etc....clear the area.
    3. Till the existing soil well
    4. Spade-edge the border, nice and deep
    5. Add a landscape mix soil or screened topsoil (amend the ground if needed) to create a subtle "mound"...raise the grade of the bed slightly and grade it out before planting.
    6. Plant it, while keeping a nice grade
    7. Mulch

    That would be the basics. 5x12 is small. You could have this ready for plants in a few hours. A day of labor, nursery plants (marked up)... voila.
  4. PerfectEarth

    PerfectEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,734

  5. southerneclipse

    southerneclipse LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    PerfectEarth, yeah its very similary to what Im doing. You've got some really great work! I read what you recommended and I guess I could rent a tiller or is there something else (cheaper) that would do the job instead? Also, any recommendations on a really good spade shovel? I would have more landscape stuff, but anticipated starting off with mostly mowing...turns out I'm getting more requests for landscaping which I like much more than mow and blow so I'm all for doing the bigger landscape projects...just have to build my equipment list.

    And there will be no border, just edge with a spade shovel and edged with my FC90.

    Misc question, any good books on landscape design for someone starting out?

    Thank you for the input!

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