Landscaping a horse farm is important to give it that final, polished look. But one key to successful yard design is to balance the needs of the business, the animals and the aesthetics. How can you do so? Here are 5 tips for any size horse farm.
Install a Perimeter Fence
An fence, such as from Hunt's Fencing, surrounding the entire property is good not only for safety and security but also for the best overall look. An attractive fence on the outside – along with a matching, thematic gated entrance – brings your whole farm together and creates a great first impression. It's also a protection against wandering critters, escaping animals and intruders.
Landscape With Animal-Friendly Plants
What you place inside the perimeter fence is largely up to you, but be sure you avoid plants and trees that can harm horses. These include such plants as oleanders, lilies, milkweeds and hyacinths or trees like the black walnut and red maple.
Also, choose plants that are hardy – especially in areas where they might be trampled by animals or people. Chrysanthemum, calendula and peonies are solid, tough flowers that look good and can take a beating. Finally, native plants tend to be easier to maintain and require less water, so they are usually your best bet.
Place Gravel or Mulch Near the Barn
You'll save yourself a lot of maintenance and energy by avoiding heavy landscaping and dirt around your barn or other high-traffic areas. A perimeter of gravel, mulch or hardscape around the barn will help keep things clean and aid in diverting water runoff away from the barn. If you want to dress up the barn, consider hanging pots or containers and fun yard art instead of organic greenery in the ground.
Use a Fire Plan
When designing your landscaping and hardscaping around the barn, be sure to include some basic fire protection features. Many "defensible space" wildfire protection systems suggest that you put two zones around buildings.
Zone 1 focuses on removing any potentially ignitable material (such as wood piles, dead branches, unnecessary vegetation and tree limbs. Zone 2 (between 30 and 100 feet) is for minimizing a fire's ability to move quickly by trimming grass and adding spacing (both vertically and horizontally) between trees and shrubs.
By putting into practice one or all of these tips, you can help ensure that your horse farm will be both beautiful and practical to enjoy with your equine friends.