How to landscape your own backyard

Try your hand at landscaping your home with the simple steps listed here for beginners. It is a good way to spend your free time and improve the curb appeal of your home.

Put it down on paper: Make a list of all your needs and wants. Do you want a play area for the kids? Or are you looking at bringing the living space outdoors for a change? What types of plants do you want in your garden? Make up your mind on your basic requirements, making it easier for you to go about your personal project.

Start up front: If you’re wondering where to start a landscape transformation, look no further than your front yard. It’s the first thing that you see driving up to your house, and you can wow guests before they even enter your home. Just remember that curb appeal is important, but no matter how pretty your landscape is, it needs to be functional.

Hardscape first: Do all of your hardscaping projects before you start planting.These can include a porch, sidewalk, driveway, parking areas, decks, fencing, patios, and arbor. Hardscaping usually involves construction, which can compact your soil or damage turf and plantings, so it’s important to complete any heavy work before plantings begin. Give a concrete or stone finish based on your preference and try to the texture of it all balanced.

Soil is key: The planting bed should be made conducive for the growth of plants you have chosen. Adding organic matter such as finely shredded pine bark, peat moss, mushroom compost or leaf mold before setting out plants. Loose, fertile soil will encourage root growth on new plantings and allow them to become established quickly. Clearly, define your turf and bed lines. First, use a garden hose to lay out your bed lines then use orange spray paint to mark the lines.

Backyard living: Your backyard should be an outdoor living area to enjoy. If you need privacy, install wooden fencing or large shrubs around the perimeter to create walls. Decks and patios make great sitting or dining areas when the weather’s appropriate and they create a nice overflow for guests during parties.

Outdoor grill: Grilling stations or outdoor kitchens can be used to cook your meals and not heat up the kitchen. Fire pits and outdoor fireplaces are very popular and allow you to enjoy your yard even when there’s a little chill in the air. Both these options make for easy entertaining or a fun family activity.

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