Landscaping Tips * Landscaping Ideas * DIY Landscape

10 April 2019

Don't you love walking into nurseries when they are bringing all of the plants and flowers out??
As we're getting into landscape season around here, can I share some tips that I wish we would have done or known as we self-installed our landscaping? We've already talked about what we wish we would have done with our house, so let's take it outside:

1. While you are deciding what to do, put down landscape fabric over the areas so just have to cut out holes where you want to plant. Otherwise you'll have massive weed beds (like we did!

2. My neighbor, Lisa shared this with me when we were talking about lessons we'd learned while landscaping: buy bigger trees and smaller bushes. Bushes grow so fast! Buy the less expensive $8-$15 ones and put the money into bigger trees since they take longer to grow.

3. Speaking of trees -- be sure to some protection around the bottom with mulch or rocks or at least some plastic protection at the base. We couldn't figure out why our trees in front weren't growing! My Dad was visiting and showed me:

The boys had been hitting the base of the tree with the lawn mower and so it stunted the growth. Now we put the plastic protection or the concrete tree rings with mulch to protect them.

4. Keep a landscaping folder. Put all of your receipts, tags from trees and bushes with the dates. Most stores have a 1 year plant guarantee so if they don't make it you can return them. It's also helpful to remember the names and see what works and what doesn't.

5. Use drip around trees and in flower beds. It's so much easier to run little lines to individual trees and plants instead of wasting water with sprinklers and adjusting them each year. (We really need to cover our hoses)

6. If you have a slope, don't use small rocks, they will slide right down.

We learned this the hard way and had to replace all of the small rock with larger rock that stays put.

Also, if you have any areas that you don't want ANYTHING growing like a rock driveway, pathway, or firepit, use heavy black plastic. Every landscaping fabric we've used from Costco's to professional landscape quality has let weeds through and we had to replace those and put down the heavy duty black plastic with rock on top.

7. Take pictures, talk to people in nearby neighborhoods that have more mature landscapes about what works and what doesn't and what that beautiful tree in their front yard is. I don't trust the deer resistant signs at nurseries -- look at the number they did on this pine this winter! This one will be covered with burlap next winter.

Well, that's what we've learned! What would be your #1 landscape tip? 

Happy planting!

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