Although the idea of doing your own landscaping may be intimidating at first, this is a realm of do-it-yourself work well within the capacity of most handy homeowners. Educating yourself just a little on the possibilities available to you can help you bring even ambitious landscaping ideas into reality. These general landscaping tips will get you off to a great start:
Begin the plant-selection process by learning all you can about your local climate and how it affects plants. Grasses, bushes, and trees will all thrive or struggle depending on how well they are suited to your region. Key points to consider include the length of your local winter, average temperatures, and the amount of rainfall you typically get.
Highly-sloped areas of ground require special consideration. You should select drought-tolerant species for use on slopes whenever possible. The steep angles will hold less water, and plants on an angle will receive more sunlight. In effect, plants on a slope are living in a more arid climate than those on flat ground.
Break down your landscaping into smaller sub-projects
A great way to make your landscaping project more manageable is to break it down into smaller sub-projects. With smart divisions, you can spread a grand landscaping plan out over several years. Not only are the individual steps easier to handle, but this sort of staging can save you money. If you try to complete an ambitious landscaping job all at once, you may need to take out a loan (and thus pay interest) to pay for it.
If you have any known drainage issues, you should fix them before you start planting. Waterlogged soil can make your ground unhealthy for your chosen plants, exposing them to risks like root rot. Fixing drainage problems after you've moved on to other landscaping tasks can get extremely expensive; in the long run, it is far cheaper to make sure your drainage is right at the outset.
Plan any automated irrigation system carefully. Make sure it is laid out to deliver water to all of your plants. Don't let it waste water, though; keep sprinklers from getting too close to walls, patios, and other areas where water isn't needed. An added note for after your system is installed: Remember to shut the system down after heavy rainfall when your plants have already gotten all the water they need.
Drip irrigation delivers water to your plants continuously
Consider drip-style watering for some or all of your landscaping needs. Drip irrigation delivers water to your plants continuously, but because it is portioned out in tiny doses, the system is more water-efficient than conventional sprinklers or manual watering. That also means it's cheaper to operate, and installation is easy, too.
If your region has high temperatures and minimal rainfall, xeriscaping is a consideration-worthy alternative to traditional landscaping. In xeriscaping, water-thirsty grass is replaced with attractive rock beds for ground cover, and color and focus are provided by hardy desert plants. A properly-designed xeriscape is attractive, distinctive, and easy to maintain. It can also take a big bite out of your water bill!
Whenever possible, shop for your landscaping materials online. Internet suppliers allow you to seek out virtually any conceivable product and also compare prices instantly. This can translate into significant savings on a lot of critical landscaping tools and materials; you will often find that online shopping provides significantly better deals than your community's local stores.
Include water gardens in your landscaping plans
When laying out blossoming plants, do not rely too much on perennials. While perennials can be beautiful, they usually only bloom for relatively short periods. This can give your landscape an incomplete, empty look outside of the plants' blooming times. Add some annual plants to your planting to create a more flexible layout. Annuals bloom all season long, giving you a consistently attractive display.
Many homeowners like including water gardens in their landscaping plans. Note that a water garden often calls for more than just installing a water feature like a pond or a fountain; specialized plants and support equipment are usually required. If it's possible in your community, work with a store that specializes in water gardens. They'll be happy to share the expertise you need to make your water garden a success.
Hopefully, the tips provided here have made the idea of tackling your own landscaping a little less intimidating. And this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to useful online landscaping advice! Keep on learning, but don't be afraid to get started on your own landscaping plans.
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