19 Things Your Landscaper Won’t Tell You
Add as much as 15% to your home's value with these expert landscaping tips.
Ditch the Mower Bag
Those grass clippings will become food for earthworms and microbes that will help make your lawn green and healthy. Here are some more tips for growing a healthy lawn for your home.
Look at Your Landscape From Inside the House
If you have a room with a big window, make sure it looks good from there too.
Here are some eco-friendly tips to make your yard “greener.”
Don’t Fill Everywhere With Plants and Flowers
“Pretty” Red Mulch Might Not Be Best
It has been found to contain arsenic and other harsh chemicals that can be harmful to children and pets and will contaminate your soil. Psst—If you see white stuff on your mulch, this is what it means.
Hate Bagging Leaves?
You don’t have to. If there’s just a light layer, go over them with your mower and leave them on your lawn. As they break down, they’ll help limit weeds from popping up.
Send a Soil Sample to Be Tested
Dig down six to seven inches deep and then gather two cups of dirt into sample bags. Mail them off to a local agricultural agency to find out what nutrients you need. Can you reuse potting soil in planters?
If You Find a Flower You Like, Always Buy More Than One
Plant clumps of species in odd numbers, such as five or seven in one area, or repeat the groupings throughout your landscape for a unifying effect. Don’t miss these secrets from the garden center.
DIY Landscapers Plant Beds Too Narrow, Close to House
You want to extend your beds out at least one- to two-thirds of the house’s height, if not more.
Weed Fabric is Generally a Waste of Money and Time
I once had a customer whose beds had seven layers of weed fabric, yet she still had weeds. I guess she kept thinking, If I put down just one more layer, the weeds will stop coming.
Here are some natural ways to kill weeds without chemicals.
Most Lawn Fertilizers are 30% Nitrogen, Which is Way Too Much
Look for a fertilizer with time-releasing water-insoluble nitrogen and use it only twice a year on a steady schedule, like on Memorial Day and after Labor Day. In general, well-irrigated and older lawns need less fertilizer.
Watch Out for “Purple Loose-Strife,” or “Lythrum Salicaria”
Though it’s inexpensive and has a lovely flower, it’s an invasive species that will spread everywhere and choke out other plants.
One Inch of Water Per Week Is Ideal
Look at a Color Wheel When Choosing Garden Flowers
Hire a Designer, But Landscape Yourself
If you don’t have a big budget, hire someone to do a landscape design and then install it yourself in stages. That will keep you from making costly mistakes, like putting plants in the wrong spot.
Don’t Plant Bushes, Spruce Trees at the End of Your Driveway
Trees and shrubs planted at the end of your driveway may look nice, but they can block your view of oncoming traffic. Keep your line of sight clear. Check out the top 10 small shrubs for small spaces.
Don’t Overspend and Then Neglect to Maintain Your Landscape
One thing I’ll never understand: people who spend thousands on their new landscapes…and then neglect to water the plants. It happens all the time. Look for these water wise plants that will thrive in a dry spell.
Plant Too High, Rather Than Too Deep
People have a tendency to over-dig, and the roots of the tree or plant can get buried, causing it to suffocate, or water accumulates at the root level and rots out the roots. Here’s the right way to plant shrubs and bushes.
Kids Make Make the Job Take Longer
We know they are curious and want to help, but please try to focus their energy in other ways. And squirting us with a squirt gun? Now you’re really pushing it. Check out 25 secret garden tips we learned from grandma.
Landscaping is a workout, so stay hydrated while you’re out in the sun. And please don’t stand there talking to me with a cold drink when it’s 100 degrees out. Offer me one, too.