Soft Landscaping Starter Guide

Soft Landscaping covers all vegetative aspects of the landscaping installation like trees, shrubs and small tubes. This is opposed to hard landscaping which covers all construction elements like small retaining walls, walkways and features.

The purpose of soft landscaping and plant installation is:

  • To achieve stabilised batters
  • To achieve competition criteria requirements
  • To improve aesthetic vistas
  • To achieve community and client expectations

Construction Methodology

  • Ensure the area is free of debris and
  • Make sure there is adequate moisture content present for
  • The location of landscape work is to be marked and
  • Planting modules, grids and edges of planting beds need to be marked
  • The location of underground services needs to be
  •  Ensure planting has been set out according to landscape design drawings (species, location and plants / m2).
  • Ensure the planting setbacks described in the specifications have been adhered to
  • Each planting hole should first have the mulch cleared from the planting
  • Ensure the plant rootball sits below the existing ground
  • Ensure the minimal excavation is 100mm for each planting
  • Individual plants should be set centre and plumb in the
  • After installation, the soil needs to be compacted to ensure no air pockets exist within the
  • For mature container stock, a water saucer should be created as part of the
  • Mulch surrounding the plant should be respread to taper 15mm from the stem of the
  • Where specified in the design drawings, tree guards and plant stakes need to be
  • Monitoring of plant health needs to take place to ensure plants are free of insect or vermin damage, vandalism and other environmental damage such as wind or water
  • Supplementary water must be provided if required during the plant establishment
  • Ongoing weed control needs to be
  • Failed plants from the establishment period need to be
  • Protect plants with the use of signage or barricading /

Quality Tips

  • Ensure quality of stock meets supply specifications, for example, plants shall exhibit good
  • Ensure the work is undertaken at the optimum time to match seasonal
  • Ensure all staff engaged in planting operations are competent, experienced and skilled.


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