Yards are an oasis to homeowners. They provide an escape from the busy surrounding world. Landscaping your home can create an aesthetic appeal and even add value to your home. By hiring a professional lawn and landscape company to work with you to accomplish your lawn care goals, you can increase the value of your home, up to thirteen percent. Most people believe that landscaping requires a hefty investment upfront; however, this is not always the case. Landscaping on a budget is very possible, especially if you have a well thought out plan going into it.
Lawn Care and Landscaping
Finding the right lawn care regimen and landscaping design that suits the aesthetic aspect of your home are challenging missions to accomplish. However, they are extremely necessary and can add so much value to a person’s home. Finding the right lawn care and landscaping companies to work with is crucial to the success of your lawn.
Check reviews of the company online and ask plenty of questions. Are they licensed and insured? How long has the company been around? How much time do they typically spend on projects? You have the right to know the answer to all of these – it’s your lawn, your life, and your money.
Landscape Drainage Solutions
Having improper drainage can be detrimental to a yard. Many inexperienced designers and landscapers may overlook how a yard is going to drain out excess water. This causes unnecessary ponding on rainy days and even flooding of the entire yard. This can drown the plants in your yard, not to mention causing water damage to your belongings if it seeps into your home. This is why it’s important to find a landscaper that has the experience and the knowledge necessary to ensure that a situation like this does not occur.
3 Common Problem Lawn Drainage Problems
- Hardpan – A hardpan is a layer of waterproof substance, usually clay that lies below topsoil, disrupting drainage and causing water to stand. If your yard has a hardpan layer, you’ll want to ask your landscaper about yard grading. This will put your yard at a certain slope that will allow water to drain properly. Also, you might want to ask your landscaper about creating a piping system underneath your yard. This can help move water straight to the storm drain instead of pooling in your yard.
- Elevated Water Table – If you live in a low-lying area, you might have a high water table. This can cause your plants to become over saturated with water, cutting them off from oxygen, and die. The solution to this problem is either get plants that love water or raise the planting area of your yard. The latter solution is the most expensive, but definitely effective.
- Surface Water – In areas where clay soils are prominent, pooling of surface water can become a big problem. Typically, landscapers and designers grade the yard so that it slopes in a way that allows water to flow to the storm drain; however, errors sometimes occur during the grading process. A great solution to this problem is a French drain. It collects water and supplies a place to go underground through the watertight soil.
Talk with a trusted landscaping company in your area to learn more about what you can do to improve the drainage of your yard.
Front Yard Landscape Ideas
Having an aesthetically pleasing front yard can increase the curb appeal of your home tenfold. It is always a good idea to have a plan in your mind on how you want your front yard laid out. Thankfully, many landscaping experts are able to visualize your front yard landscaping ideas and create the yard of your dreams.
I do have a few suggestions on where to start when coming up with a concept. Be sure to allow paths for easy access to the entrance(s) to your home, so that people aren’t constantly stepping on your hard work. Walkways should be at least 36 inches wide, however 40-55 inches is better so that two people can walk side-by-side.
Also, for a really cool visual effect, make one end of the sidewalk wider and progressively narrow it. This will make the walkway look longer or shorter (depending on which end is wider and which is narrower). Be sure to keep any fences, shrubs, or walls under two feet. This will ensure people don’t feel crowded when walking through your yard.
Your beautiful yard design is completely up to you, so talk with a landscaping expert to see what ideas are reasonable.
Landscaping Ideas on a Budget
We all desire our lawn to be beautiful and peaceful. But what if you’re on a budget? Not to worry; there are plenty of landscaping projects that can be completed on a budget.
4 Keys to Landscaping on a Budget
- Carefully assess your lawn to decide which parts you like most and which you like least.
- Create a priority list that will allow you to focus on the parts of your lawn that are most important to you.
- Try to purchase your desired plants when they are toward the beginning of their life, rather than when they’ve matured. This can end up saving you a lot of money.
- Be sure to check the level of maintenance required for each plant you’re interested in. Maintenance cost can add up, not to mention the extra labor needed. Consult with a local landscaper to see what the best options are for you and your lawn.
There are plants that you can select that will give your lawn a clean, sharp look. For instance, boxwood shrubs might seem boring, but they can give your yard a nice look year-round. A nice perennial can give your yard a nice pop of color without strenuous maintenance.
Landscaping for Beginners
Watching landscaping renovations on TV, they make it all look so easy. Many people think, “all I need is to gather a few friends. We can handle this.” However, landscaping isn’t easy. It can be an overwhelming process for any homeowner, especially if you’re a beginner.
First things first, you’ll need to set a budget. This will help limit your options, preventing you from going overboard since the costs can add up very quickly. However, don’t set your budget too low or you won’t be able to purchase many things and your yard will look unfinished and sloppy.
Next, you’ll want to create a list of things you want and things you need. Have an idea in your mind what the space will be used for. Will there be children playing in the yard? Will you be entertaining adults? Are there plans to put in a pool one day? This will allow you to determine what you need and where you need to put it. If you plan to have a pool, don’t put expensive plans in that area. If you have children and plan to let them play in the yard, avoid plants that have sharp edges or thorns, such as rose bushes, agave, yucca, etc.
Lawn Care Tips
A person’s lawn is the source of so much fun and enjoyment throughout the entirety of a year. It’s a place where you watch your kids grow while spending time with great friends. So, it’s important that you find a regimen that will keep your lawn vibrant and inviting.
One of the peskiest problems lawns face is when there are patches of ‘bald spots’ throughout your lawn. While sodding the area is the fastest way to solve this problem, it can begin to add up quickly in cost. In recent years, a technology known as hydroseeding has quickly gained popularity. This method takes grass seed (that matches the type of grass in your lawn) and mixes it with fertilizer, wood fibers, and binding agents. There are lawn care and landscaping companies that are highly equipped in hydroseeding services, who can ensure that it is applied correctly and thoroughly so that you can have the lawn of your dreams.
Lawn Maintenance Schedule
Lawns require a variety of different maintenance procedures throughout the duration of a year, with the exception of the winter months.
– Early Spring
This is the time where you dust off the mower, making sure it survived the winter, and dig through the garage to find those gardening tools. In this time, there might be hedges that need reshaping and trees that need to be trimmed. Landscaping companies are more than equipped to do this and make your yard look beautiful.
– Mid Spring
This is the time of year where you’ll want to remove anything in the yard that has died – grass, leaves, branches, you name it. You’ll also want to test the pH of your lawn. There are kits you can purchase at lawn care stores or you can have a landscaping professional come do it for you.
By this point in time, your grass has begun to grow again, so you’ll want to make sure that you are cutting the grass at an appropriate height.
– Late Spring
This is when you’ll want to fertilize your lawn. The pH of your lawn will determine what you add – if the pH is too low, you’ll add lime; if the pH is too high, you’ll add sulfur. Thankfully, there are landscaping companies that specialize in this incredible service.
Ah, summer has arrived. The kids are out of school and the weather has warmed up quite nicely. Because of all the work you put into your lawn in the spring, you and your family are ready to enjoy it. During this time of year, you’ll want to continue mowing, cutting no more than 1/3 of the stem. Also, when you water your lawn, it’s best practice to completely soak your lawn once a week (rather than little teases throughout the week). Be sure to water your lawn in the early morning so that your lawn doesn’t steam.
By this point of the year, there might be spots in your grass that have begun to thin due to the intense heat of the summer. Early to mid-fall is the best time for a person to reseed their lawn. Also, if you fertilize your lawn more than once a year, the fall is a great time to do it. This allows the grass to take in the nutrients before the winter.
By following this general guide, you should be able to keep your lawn healthy and happy throughout the year.
How to Maintain Lawn With Dogs
Dogs are human’s best friends, but they can be a lawn’s worst nightmare; especially if their urine has a pH level of 7 or more – this would be considered basic on the pH scale. This high pH level can cause your lawn to burn. A dog’s urine should be somewhere in the range of 6 to 6.5 on the pH scale (slightly acidic). To correct this problem, put your dog on a low-card, grain-free diet. Also, be sure that you are keeping your dog plenty hydrated.
Another way to protect your lawn is to create a designated ‘potty area’ in your yard, possibly on a patch of gravel or mulch. There are ways to train your dog to do its business in a designated area. If your dog is un-trainable, like mine, fence off a small area for them or just walk your dog several times a day so they can go in a different area each time. In addition to urine, number two can do a number on your lawn. Be sure to pick up after your dog at least a few times a week.
Watering your lawn on a frequent basis helps dilute and wash away any urine that has built up over the week. Following these tips will help ensure that your lawn and dog can live in perfect harmony.
Lawn Upkeep Tips and Tricks
Dog urine isn’t the only thing that can cause problems in your yard. One of the biggest headaches that homeowners who have a lawn face is the weed problem. Weeds fight your grass for space in your lawn and attempt to completely take over the space. Tackling this problem on your own is a difficult task to accomplish, unless you’re a lawn care specialist.
Thankfully, there is a weed control lawn service near you that is fully equipped to tackle the weeds. Weeds begin to emerge in the spring and early summer month. By treating your lawn in the early spring, a homeowner can prevent a rampant epidemic of weeds in the summer. These landscaping/lawn care companies have the equipment and experience necessary to eliminate those pesky weeds, applying only the necessary amount of treatment to your lawn.
Why are Gardens Important for the Environment
Gardens can be an incredible source of fruit and vegetables for you and your family. In addition to the health benefits of gardening, there are environmental benefits of planting a garden. Planting a garden helps reduce the amount of carbon dioxide being produced in the atmosphere, converting it to oxygen that is essential to sustaining life. It also means that you won’t have to travel to the grocery store to purchase vegetables or fruit, saving excess carbon emissions from being excreted into the environment. Plants also help remove toxins, bacteria, and chemicals from the ground.
Having your own garden provides many benefits to your health, the environment, and even save you money. There are many different landscaping companies that can help you figure out where in your yard is the best place for a garden and also what to plant in it.
Landscaping a New Home
Congratulations on your new home! Once a home has been built, it can be difficult to picture how the landscaping should be laid out. Where should the trees go? Should I plant shrubs or flowers along the walkway? Your mind is probably racing with a million questions like these. A good place to start on planning the landscape of a new home is to create a budget for the project. It is good practice that you spend no more than 10% of your home’s cost on the landscape. So, if your home is $300,000, then you should spend around $30,000 on the landscape. This doesn’t have to be spent all at once; it can be spread out over time so that you don’t break the bank.
Since this is such an overwhelming task, working with a professional landscaping company can help ease the burden of the entire process. For a reasonable price, these landscapers will create a design for your yard with a list of any trees, shrubs, flowers, etc. that you might want to purchase. They can offer designs that will help benefit the health of your plot, offer an aesthetically pleasing look, and provide a drainage system that will keep your yard from flooding. With all of that work that you put into your new home, it is important to provide that same level of attention to the landscaping. According to a study done by Virginia Tech, landscaping can increase the value of your home by 12.7%.
Landscaping Around House Foundation
When it comes to landscaping around your foundation, there are several different ways that you can actually benefit the foundation. Any plants that are planted near the foundation should be well mulched. This can help keep moisture away from the foundation.
Also, be sure to slope any beds away from the foundation; this will help keep too much water from seeping under the foundation.
When planting by the foundation, always keep in mind the maturity size of the plant – place them as far away from the foundation as their maturity size. When planting a bed near the foundation, don’t cover it completely; leave about 3 to 4 inches under the top of the foundation.
Do not plant trees near the foundation. Trees should be planted at a distance that is 1/2 their mature canopy width. Roots can cause serious damage to the foundation of a home, so if there are any trees that are dangerously close to the foundation – they should be removed by a professional.
Biggest Landscaping Mistakes
- One very common mistake that many people don’t think about involves the grass. People think that having a lawn covered in grass is a must, but are unwilling to mow it each week. This can lead to overgrown yards and even fines from the city.
- Another mistake is the lack of color in the fall. Landscapes get a lot of attention in the spring and summer months, but not typically in the fall. When planning out your landscape, be sure to include plants that will provide a fall foliage that will add a pop of color to your yard.
- If the fall is neglected, then it is likely that the winter is even more neglected. Many yards are mundane and boring in the winter. A few plants that you can add to your yard to add that spice of color are as follows: Red twig dogwood, birch trees, Plume grass, Viking black chokeberry, Winterberry holly
- Another mistake that people can make when it comes to landscaping is neglecting to water their yards. Keeping your plant fully hydrated can feel like a full-time job. Before purchasing any plant, always check with an expert to see how much water they need. Then, decide on whether or not that’s reasonable for you and your lifestyle. When it comes to watering your yard, an irrigation system can be a wonderful tool. You can program your irrigation system to water your lawn in the early morning hours without having to wake up that early.
- Finally, another common mistake that homeowners make in their landscaping is planting on a slope. When rainwater falls, many plants can get erode away, leaving an absolute mess in your yard. Constructing a retaining wall can help prevent this problem from happening. Talk with an expert landscaping specialist to see what your options are for your inclined yard.
Landscaping and lawn care are two factors that play a huge role in the value of a home. They provide an escape and oasis that’s enjoyed by the entire family. Putting together a plan of action on what type of landscaping you want can save you and your family a great deal of money. Landscaping companies are ready to work with you to create this plan and give you the oasis of your dreams.