A well-landscaped yard can add to the value of your home and give you extra outdoor living space. It can also be a big project that requires some careful planning. Failure to do your homework before you start digging can result in costly mistakes, damage to your property, and even injuries. Before you start landscape digging up your yard, you should do a few things to make sure the project goes smoothly.
1. Arrange for Junk Removal
The first step in getting a landscape makeover is to clear the area you plan to work on. This may mean hiring a junk removal service to haul away old furniture, tree stumps, and other debris. If you have a lot of junk to remove, it’s best to take care of this before the landscaping work begins.
There are several things you need to do before the junk removal company arrives. First, you must clear a path from the truck to your house so they can wheel the debris out. You should also remove any furniture or other items from where the demolition will occur. A good junk removal company will make your junk disappear in no time, leaving you with a clean slate to work with. Make sure you have enough room in your trash cans or dumpster for all the debris.
2. Know Where Your Utilities are Located
No one wants to accidentally hit a gas line or damage a cable while digging in their yard. Before you start your landscape makeover, it’s important to know where all of your utilities are located. You can avoid them and keep yourself and your family safe.
You can call 811, the national number for utility locating services. They will send someone out to mark your utilities’ location for you. You can also do it using a map or an app like Google Maps. Type in your address and zoom in on the satellite view until you can see the outlines of your house and property boundaries. All the utilities on your property will be marked with little yellow triangles.
3. Get a Soil Test
The type of soil you have in your yard will determine what kinds of plants will grow well there and how easy it is to dig. That’s why it’s a good idea to get a soil test before you start your landscape makeover. This will give you an idea of what amendments you need to add to the soil to make it more hospitable for plants.
You can order a soil test kit from a garden center or online. Once you have the kit, follow the instructions carefully and send a sample of your soil to the testing lab. In a few weeks, you’ll receive a report about the pH level, nutrient content, and other important factors. Use this information to create a planting plan to give your plants the best chance of thriving.
4. Choose the Right Plants
Once you know what soil you have, you can start choosing plants for your landscape makeover. If you’re unsure what to choose, ask for help at your local nursery or garden center. The experts can help you pick plants that will do well in your yard and match your gardening style.
When selecting plants, consider their mature size since many will grow larger over time. It would help if you also thought about how much sun or shade they need and how much water they require. Choose a mix of plants that will provide interest throughout the year, including evergreens for winter color.
5. Design Your Landscape
Once you know what plants you want to use, it’s time to start designing your landscape. You can do this yourself with a piece of graph paper and a ruler, or you can use landscape design software. If you’re unsure where to start, look for inspiration in magazines or online. Once you have a few ideas, you can start sketching your design.
Consider how you want to use your yard when designing it. Do you want a place to entertain guests? A quiet spot to relax? A playground for your kids? Make sure your design reflects your needs.
6. Create a Maintenance Plan
Once your landscape makeover is complete, creating a maintenance plan is important to keep it looking its best. This should include tasks like watering, weeding, mulching, and pruning. You may need to hire a professional landscaper to help you with some of these tasks, or you may be able to do them yourself.
To create a maintenance plan, start by listing all the tasks that need to be completed regularly. Then, break those tasks into weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly intervals. For example, mowing the lawn should be done every week, while trimming the bushes can be done every two weeks. Watering the plants will need to be done more frequently during the hot summer but can be reduced to once a week or so during cooler months.
7. Get Permits as Needed
Before starting any landscaping project, you must check with your local government to see if you need any permits. The last thing you want is to start work on your dream garden, only to have the city come by and tell you that you can’t finish because you didn’t get the proper permits.
Most municipalities have a website where you can find out what kind of permits are required for your project. The type of permit you need will vary depending on what kind of work you’re doing. Some common permits include building permits, zoning permits, and grading permits. If you’re unsure which permit you need, or if you have any other questions about the permitting process, contact your local municipality directly, and they will be happy to help.
Taking the time to do some planning before you start your landscape makeover will pay off in the long run. By getting a soil test, choosing the right plants, and designing your space carefully, you can create a beautiful outdoor oasis that you’ll enjoy for years to come. Don’t forget to make a maintenance plan to keep it looking its best. And if you have any questions, contact your local planning department to get the answers you need.