Has your yard been seeing a lot of neglect and despair lately? With spring just around the corner, now is the time to set a plan in motion to boost curb appeal. Whether it’s a financial strain or you just wish to embark on trying your own landscaping art, doing it yourself can be affordable and rewarding. Here are a few tips when it comes to tackling a landscaping project on your own and finding the right tools and materials to get the job done!
Jot Down Details About The Landscape
Knowing what kind of ground you are working on is important before you select the details of your project. Are you looking to add a few ornamental trees to the front yard? Or maybe you want to add shrubs, a paved walk, and perennials to a side area. Either way, it’s important to examine the ground that you will be working on and what type of soil you’ll be digging into. Some general rules of thumb include:
- Obtain a soil test result to learn pH and what type of plants will likely thrive there.
- Is the soil silty? Or is there a lot of clay? This will impact how easy the ground will be to work with.
- How much sunlight does the area get? If it’s an area with a lot of shade-bearing trees, you’ll want to consider this when choosing plants and an overall garden theme.
- Does the landscape slope? If so, you may have a problem with erosion that could affect plant life as well as any decorative stone or pathway that you create.
- Water pooling issue? Do you notice a lot of standing water or mud puddles nearby? If so, you may want to irrigate the area properly before embarking on a landscape project.
- What about the grass in the area? Is it thriving or patchy? Clumps of isolated grass seed or visible soil areas could indicate an underlying contaminant. Check to make sure there are no nearby drain run-offs, an underlying septic field or tree roots disrupting the area.
If you feel like you have a good area to work with, it’s time to start planning exactly what you want your new space to look like.
Garden Styles And Plant Types
Now that you have an area picked out, it’s time to check out plants, trees, and shrubs. The first thing you need to do is gather information and gain inspiration about how you’ll want your garden to turn out. This starts with searching popular garden websites, looking at garden design books and glancing through plant and seed catalogs. When you see a garden style that you like and you think would be a good match for your garden space, write down the name of the plant. From there, find your plant hardiness zone. This will tell you what plants and vegetation will thrive in your area. This serves as a good starting point for obtaining the seeds, roots, and plants that you’ll need to get started.
Gathering The Right Tools
Now that you have a list of plants you’ll want to use, make sure you have the right tools to dig and plant. Mark off the area where you’ll want your garden to be. You may have to use a Rototiller to turn up the existing soil and get it ready for fertilized topsoil and plants. The goal is to have soil that is easy to crumble in your hands, not too mushy and not too clumpy. You also don’t want sandy soil, that will not hold vital plant nutrients near the roots. A shovel or tool for planting is also necessary. Be sure to acquire a small rake to make the soil even and cover up plants after they’re planted.
Planting Perennials And Annuals
You’ll likely want to make perennials the star of your landscaped area. From there you can plant them as:
- Bareroot- a newly formed plant root system, often taken from a cutting of a mature plant.
- Bulbs which can be planted directly into the soil and appear once as an annual, every other season as a biennial or every season as a perennial.
- Established plants, shrubs or trees that are mature and ready to produce.
- Seeds that can be planted in the ground or in soil in a protected and nourished environment.
Vibrant rose bushes, hostas, and peonies are just a few of the thousands of perennial cultivars that you can incorporate into your landscape. They look lovely against a fence or around a fountain that you can use to highlight your yard area. Keep in mind that perennials can take several years to reach maturity. In the meantime, add inexpensive annuals in the spring or early summer to bring instant color and dimension to the area.
Landscaping your yard takes time and careful planning to achieve the right look. With a little planning, you can have the perfect yard in no time.
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