When it comes to making your yard beautiful adding flowers and colors can really make a huge difference. All you really need is a little inspiration and a plan and to be well underway to making your yard a beautiful space to enjoy for years to come. Start off by finding specific areas where you can add plants and shrubs into your existing landscaping. Creating a tree ring is a great place to start and gives you lots of opportunities, as well as fence lines and corners, these are two places that most yards have, and are great places to start. To build a tree ring you will basically build a retaining wall around a tree using cement blocks. Make sure to buy the interlocking blocks and to securely fasten them to each other. If there is an existing tree try to find complimentary plants that will flower in similar colors and have similar leaf textures throughout the growing season.
If your tree is an evergreen, get deciduous plants and plant them in a ring around three. Plant the smallest plants furthest from the tree and any color plants closer to the tree so they are not blocking each other. If you’re very particular about the way your plants look, you can change them out throughout the season, it’s just a bit more work. Moving on to that shrub corner, this is a great place to add character to your yard. If it is going near your house, make sure to pick a tree that has shallow roots, so the tree will not branch out and damage your foundation. Before you begin any project that involves digging make sure to call your local utilities and have them locate any buried cables in your yard. The service is free, and required in most municipalities. It sure beats hitting something you didn’t know was there. If you have mulch laying down where you are going to plant, rake it to the side and get it out of the way.
If there is grass mark the outline and begin to pick it up with the flat shovel bladed shovel. Once you get everything ready to plant lay down some landscape fabric to help control weeds and hold it in place with landscapes spikes. Lay out all of your plants to make sure you like the way the layout looks, then when you’re ready cut an x in the landscape fabric where your plants are sitting and begin to plant. I typically dig 2 to 3 inches deeper and wider than the container my plants are in, but you should check the plant tag to make sure. Put in a layer of enriched soil in the bottom of the hole, then squeeze the outside of the pot and gently pull on the stem of the plant to pull out the entire contents of the container and squeeze the bottom of the roots to loosen them up, put the plant and the hole and fill with gardening soil.
When you’re done with all of your plants cover the entire area with a layer of soil and then with mulch. At that point you’re going to want to soak everything with a solid watering. Water once a day for the first week, then twice a week for the whole first growing season. If you’re feeling ambitious a drip irrigation system will save both time and money and especially water if you’re willing to make the upfront investment. To help your plants thrive the first season add plant food around the base of the plants following the directions on the container. With very little effort you can transform your yard into a nice relaxing area that’s easy on your eyes. Sound like a massive project? Get help from a landscaping professional for the best results with the least effort!
Retaining walls are an important feature in modern landscaping. Whether you use timber, rock, brick, concrete, or another material be retaining wall can help level out uneven ground to create walkways, gardens, or yards. When starting to plan construction you’ll want to decide how high you want your wall to be and what material you want to use to construct the wall. If using wood make sure all wood is pressure treated and rated for ground contact. If your wall is on a good slope you’ll need a plan to deal with the drainage from behind the wall.
One of the easiest ways to build a retaining wall is using interlocking concrete blocks. You’ll want to level out your first row giving the contour and ensuring that they’re all very level. For subsequent rows you’ll just need to stagger the seams of the blocks as you stack. Most blocks will have a lip on the bottom in the back that will prevent the block from sliding forward over the base or lower row. Construction adhesive can help to further ensure that you have no movement in the wall in the future, but again the more watertight your wall is the more carefully you’ll have to plan your drainage. If you must excavate or dig any for the installation of your wall you’ll want to make sure and call your local utilities and have them come out and mark any underground services on your property to make sure that you don’t hit any of them.
If you’re building with posts you can secure them to the ground using four foot sections of rebar that you drive down through the center of the post, or you can dig holes to drop the post down in and fill with concrete. If you cut any of the wood you’ll have exposed untreated wood and it’s important to treat that so your posts don’t rot from the inside out. Once you have a single post level you’ll want to use that post for the template for the rest of the wall to make sure wall looks even. If you’re building a long wall it’s absolutely essential to stagger your seams to help give your wall extra strength. If you’re fastening your timbers together make sure to use a fastener rated for the wood and treatment so they do not deteriorate over time. Installing a retaining wall is quite a bit of work you only want to do it once. A hammer drill will make the process of installing long fasteners go much faster and will be well worth the investment. A nice touch on timber walls is to bevel the ends at 45°along the slope, this will get a very smooth look to your wall and help you prevent accidents from sharp points.
Make sure to leave enough room behind your wall for stone at the base to help with drainage, as you will not want water sitting against your timbers. A tip to help keep your stone from clogging with dirt is to cover it with filter fabric, this will allow drainage but prevent dirt from clogging drainage. Perforated pipe on top of your filter fabric will also help direct water around the edges of the wall. If the wall is protecting a structure from runoff it would be wise to get the opinion of a professional landscaper in your area.
Perennial gardens are low maintenance choice to spice up your yard without requiring a lot of time down the road for upkeep. Perennial gardens only need to be planted once and then they will come back year after year. Choose a nice open location to put in your perennial bed and decide whether you want full sun or full shade plants and choose your location appropriately. The second step is to actually sketch out the diagram of how you want the bed to look. This will give you a general idea of what you can do and help you remember when you actually get into it. When you go to pick your plants you want to make sure you pick plants of varying height. This will give you more excitement and depth to the garden. Taller plants add drama and help your garden to have a layered look. A great all around plant for this is the sunflower, or another popular one is roses. Then you want to have a medium level, something like ornamental grass.
Put your smaller plants in the front so that they aren’t covered by the larger plants in the back, and will help you keep your edging. When you get ready to start working the soil make sure to turn it and amend it. A very good substance to amend it with his rich compost and make sure you makes it thoroughly with the soil so the soil is very easy work and very plantable. The compost will not only improve drainage and texture, but will also help feed the plants. Once you have the soil mixed you’ll want to even out with a rake to get ready for planting. This is a great time to add a drip irrigation system such as a leech hose, it’s very easy to drop right down the middle of your bed. A common problem is crowding, you’ll want to make sure that you leave enough room for the plants to grow. Keep in mind that perennials will get larger every year so while your garden might look a little sparse the first year it will not the following years.
Plants so that in 2 to 3 years there will still be plenty of room. Start by putting all of your tall plants in the row then follow up with your medium plants, and lastly. To get your plants out of the pot squeeze the sides a little bit and then turn it upside down and the plant should slide out with the root ball. If your roots are nice and compacted break them out around the edge to encourage them to grow outward. Plant the plant so that the depth is the same as it was when it was in the container. After you get all of your plants in the ground, mulch around them thoroughly, this will help conserve moisture, and prevent weed growth. Visually the mulch ties the look together in between all the plants. Be sure not to cover up the crown of the plant but do get it as close to the base as possible, this will help ensure the best growing conditions for your new garden. When you’re done make sure to soak thoroughly at least once a day for the first week, and then throughout the season a few times a week. An afternoon of work that you will enjoy for years to come, perennial gardens are great investment in your yard.
Mowing your lawn as well as a professional landscaper is possible for even the most amateur lawn mowers with a few tips from the pros. To begin always pay attention to what you’re doing, mowing the lawn is not a time for daydreaming or surfing your phone. You’ll also want to make sure you have the proper safety equipment such as eye protection or goggles, and often overlooked, hearing protection to help prevent sustained noise damage to your ears.Most lawn mowers produce more noise than a jet engine at the distances most people are exposed to them, meaning lawn mowers are more damaging the persons hearing than a jet engine assuming you’re not an employee of the Airport. Your eyeglasses should be an ansi rated for impact protection a good pair of these can be found easily at any home improvement or hardware store for just a few bucks. You only get one pair of eyes let’s keep them both working.
The order in which you mow your lawn can greatly impact how well it looks in the end and how easy it is to do. Begin with things like edging. You’ll want to alternate directions each time you mow, this will allow your grass to stand up straighter and not get trained into leaning a certain direction from being mowed the same directions time. After you finish mowing you can use your trimmer and finish up all the places that you were able to get with the mower. You use the trimmer after the mower because the mower will give you the correct height that you need to trim the edges to.
When you’re done you’ll want to follow all this up with a blower and blow the trimmings and clippings back into the yard. This will give you a nice clean look as well as mulch and help feed the yard with the clippings. Blowing off the driveways and hard services is one the most important steps needed to give the yard the clean look of a professionally and landscaped yard. Depending on how bad the condition of your yard is in, it might take several weeks of repeated mowing being consistent in changing directions before your lawn starts action look at the lawn and not a big mess of weeds. But if it does look like a big mess of weeds, you’ll want to mow consistently for a while which will weed out the weeds and give your grass the opportunity to really take hold. If you do have tall grass raise your mower deck on your first couple of passes because you don’t want to shock the grass by cutting into short it means you’ll have to mow more often butcher in result will be much better and your grass will be healthier because of it. If this sounds like too much work for you local yard services are not very expensive and maybe a great alternative to doing maintenance on mowers and trimmers and the time in keeping your yard maintained. Whatever you end up doing, make sure you keep your yard under the length required by your municipality or your homeowners association, to avoid any embarrassing trouble with them.
It’s been a long summer and is time to clean up and start getting ready for fall. We want to take care of things now before they create larger problems for us later this winter. Here’s what you need to do to get ready. Whether you have a rockscape, grass lawn, or other feature, you’ll need a little work to get ready for fall. Put in the work now and you’ll have an easy and rewarding fall with a great landscape.
Clean up debris
Clean up any dropped leaves, grass clippings, or other organic debris that may have accumulated over the summer in your garden beds. This includes weeds. A clean garden will help to prevent disease as well as promote growth. This cleanup will help to you if you a fresh clean canvas to work with as well as help you identify any problems that may be occurring with plants in your current guarden.
Mow, fertilize, Aerate
The three steps are necessary to keep your lawn areas in tiptop shape. Before you mow make sure to lower your lower deck as low as it will go. This will help to stimulate new growth. The ideal time to cut grass is when the blade length is that least 3 inches. Cutting when the grass is shorter than this can shock the grass, causing delayed growth. When you’re done mowing it is time to fertilize. Use a balanced mix of nitrogen potassium and phosphorus. This will not only help with the color of your grass, but will help root growth and assist in cold weather hardiness. You’ll want to fertilize once more in November to get your lawn ready for winter. You can also for leisure plants in November but they don’t need the double dose that you give your lawn and will only need to be done once. Next you want to aerate your lawn using a manual aerator. The cells breakup compacted soil and introduce oxygen into the ground. This will also help to reduce runoff on yards with slopes, and helps fertilizer and nutrients get down to the roots. Aeration is one the best processes we can do to help with plant health and growth. Fall is the absolute perfect time to do it for both turf and ornamental plants in your landscape. If possible use a narrator that pulls a core out, this will give room for plants to grow into holes and go deeper and establish better root bases. Deeper roots will assist with water conservation when you get into drier times of the year. For landscape beds a deep water irrigation tool will assist you in getting deeper holes down to the roots of larger plants.
Check your irrigation system
None of the weather is cooler and water restrictions are coming back into place, it’s a good time to check your irrigation system. Inspect and replace any cracked tubing in drip irrigation systems. Bury lines in mulch to help protect against frost and freezing when the temperatures drop. Clean up any clogged nozzles, and flush out the lines through the end cap at least twice a year. If you have turf don’t forget to inspect the sprinkler system in your lawn as well. The best time to do this is after mowing to make sure that no heads were accidentally cut. Go to your sprinkler control station and manually activate each zone and check for leaks. This is also a great time to check for alignment and make sure that you’re watering your lawn only, and not wasting water on pavement or structures. You can do the same test with the drip system, perhaps adding a few minutes if you have numerous heads to check.