The Glamourous Landscaping Checklist For Your Yard
October 20, 2020
Regardless of whether you’re moving from winter into spring, or fall into winter, landscape maintenance should be added to your to-do list around the home. There are times of the year where you’ll have to do some bigger maintenance projects, such as preparing your yard for winter, or spring when you’re ready to plant a garden. However, you should also be performing general maintenance throughout the year to keep your yard and landscaping in tip-top shape. It’s not just for the looks. Landscaping can up your home value by as much as 14%, so if you’re thinking of selling in the future, make sure you’ve kept on top of it. Here are some of the most important tasks to add to your landscape maintenance checklist throughout the year.
The first few tasks on your landscape maintenance checklist should be lawn and garden care. Your lawn is generally the first part of your landscaping that is noticed when it comes to curb appeal. Even if your house is renovated and new, an unhealthy or not well-kept lawn will drag down the value of your home. Here are some basics to add to your landscape maintenance checklist in regards to your lawn.
Generally, a good rule to follow is weekly mowing for your lawn. This varies based on your location and grass. Some lawns may need to be more frequently mowed, some may only need mowing every 10 days to two weeks.
Another general rule to follow is to never cut more than one-third of the grass blade at once. If you cut more than that at once, you could negatively impact the health of the grass. Longer grass is also better at retaining water. If you follow these tips, you’ll keep your lawn as healthy as it can be. This means that if you have any projects where you have to dig up portions of your lawn, such as plumbing projects, your lawn will bounce back faster than it would otherwise.
The best time of year to fertilize your lawn is during spring and fall, or when the temperature is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. There are a few different options for fertilizing. You could use grass seed to enhance the thickness and growth of your lawn, you could use fertilizer or mulch to provide nutrients to your lawn, you could also aerate to improve airflow to the roots for better growth.
Part of caring for your lawn is also maintaining your sprinkler systems. Whether you have a built-in sprinkler or prefer an attachment to your hose, you need to make sure your lawn is getting watered and that your system is working well. Sprinkler maintenance includes “winterizing” your system. You’ll need to drain the pipes and turn off any timers so they don’t start up again. Once spring comes, restart the timer and turn back on the master valve.
Next on your landscape maintenance checklist should be garden care. After your lawn, the plant life in your yard will do wonders to boost curb appeal and make your outdoor space better overall.
You’ll want to start with flower beds around your home and the perimeter of your yard. Start by weeding and removing dead leaves and debris. This will already make the area look cleaner and give you a better idea of what you’re working with as far as your plant’s health. You can then lay down landscaping material, such as mulch, to prevent future weed growth. It can also help the ground retain moisture if you live in a dryer climate. Again, a lot of plants do well if you prune and care for them in late fall or early winter so they will be revitalized and ready to grow in spring. This includes cutting back bushes and branches, and pinching, or cutting the heads off of flowers.
In spring when you’re ready to plant new plants, keep in mind the time and attention you can give to them as well as the location in your yard. Some plants need more attention and if you don’t have the energy or time to care for them, you should avoid those and they will quickly die and won’t be pleasant to look at. You also need to take into consideration the light levels you get in different parts of your garden. Some plants need full shade while others like bright indirect or direct sunlight. Talk with the gardeners at your local garden center for suggestions on the best plants to put in your space.
Another item to add to your landscape maintenance checklist in regards to garden care is fixing up the structure around your garden. Whether it’s a fence or taller wall check on it throughout the year to make sure it’s holding up to the elements and protecting your garden for critters. Letting this structure go uncared for can quickly create a large eyesore in your landscaping. After winter, make sure to repair any broken sections. You may consider repainting and removing any rust that accumulated. You could even replace the structure to add to your curb appeal. If you’ve got a metal fence, consider custom iron gates at the entrance to create a beautiful addition to your garden.
Shrub And Tree Care
Tree and shrub care is important throughout the year for your plants, but never as important as it is at the end of fall in preparation for winter. That’s why you should add shrub and tree care to your landscape maintenance checklist.
The main reason that pruning and caring for your trees and shrubs in early winter is for their overall health. If you perform branch removal or cut back and shape the plants while they are dormant, they will be revitalized and ready to grow healthier in spring. It’s also good to trim back large branches that hang over your house or parking areas to protect your property during any winter storms. Finally, pruning in early winter can prevent certain pests and diseases from affecting your tree.
As you prepare to perform shrub and tree care, consider hiring a tree care service to do the work or even just to consult with about which steps will be best for your plants. You can use either power shears or hand shears to trim back your plants. If you opt for power shears, may sure to take extreme caution or get help using them. It’s better to be safe than sorry as this tool can be dangerous if used incorrectly.
Pests can wreak serious havoc in your yard if you don’t take the proper steps to keep them away. Pest control should be an item on your landscape maintenance checklist that you check off, but continue to look into periodically throughout the year.
The most natural form of pest control you can apply to your landscaping is in the form of plants. There are specific plants that ward off certain pests and can make your outdoor experience in your yard more pleasant. For example, lavender works to keep fleas and mosquitos away. However, it does attract bees. Lemongrass and marigolds are also a great plant to use to ward off mosquitos. If you’re trying to keep pests out of your garden, you may consider planting alliums or fennel to ward off slugs, snails, and cabbage worms. You can also consider releasing ladybugs in your garden to eat aphids and other plant pests. You can find them at your local garden center.
You may also find yourself dealing with pests such as ants. If you spend a lot of time on your back patio and eat out there, any dropped crumbs can attract thousands of ants. Depending on the severity of your problem, you can either handle it yourself with at-home tricks and tips or hire an ant extermination professional.
If you opt to handle them yourself, you will need to first look into what form of bait will work best for your situation. You’ll need to identify the type of ant so you can determine which removal process will work best. You can try liquid bait which is toxic for ants and will kill the entire colony. You can also spray with an insecticide, just make sure to keep pets and children away from the area for the recommended amount of time.
Another important item on your landscape maintenance checklist should be pavement maintenance. Throughout the year your sidewalks and driveway will take some damage. Whether it’s cracks due to tree roots growing under them, or just general wear and tear, you should make sure to keep up with repairing these issues. Not only does damaged pavement look unsightly, but it can also be dangerous, causing falls that can really hurt you or visitors.
If you have large patches of pavement to repair, you may consider talking with a landscaping contractor about what your best options for repairs and materials are. Some material holds up better than others, and depending on your climate you may be better off with some options than others. Concrete and cement are the most common options, but some homeowners choose to opt for bricks, limestone, or stone tiles.
Your gutters may not seem like they would be considered an item on your landscaping maintenance checklist, however, their care can have a large impact on certain elements of your yard and landscaping. Gutters that don’t properly drain cause leaks that flood parts of your yard and can go so far as to damage your roof and the siding on your home.
Make sure to clean out your gutters periodically to make sure they are clear and working properly for drainage. Leaves and other debris will collect in them if you don’t have gutter covers, so make sure to get up on your roof and clean them out. You can use a hose with a spray nozzle to clear out of a lot of the gunk that builds up. You can also use a scoop to clear out clusters of debris. Make sure to wear thick gloves as bird poop and mold can be in your gutter and you don’t want that getting on your hands or getting into any cuts or scrapes you may have.
You should also check on the downspout as well to make sure it isn’t clogged. Run a house down it at full pressure to dislodge any clogs and make sure that water can run easily through it into the drain.
The final thing to make sure you have on your landscape maintenance checklist is general cleaning throughout your yard. This means clearing out built-up dirt, debris, or trash that is uncovered when the snow melts and when spring comes, pulling weeds during spring and summer, and raking up fallen leaves and branches during fall and early winter. The more you stay on top of cleaning, the easier it will be throughout the year. It’s better to clean periodically than wait until the end of the season when you have a lot to do.
As you check these items off your landscape maintenance checklist, you will be happy with the beautiful and “glamorous” progress your yard has made. These aren’t necessarily meant to all be done at once or within a short window of time. You can spread them out over the warmer seasons. Some will need to be done more than once and should be added to a more frequent to-do list. But as you perform each of these tasks and keep up with the maintenance, you will be rewarded with a beautiful yard that is great to look at and adds value to your home.
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