Fifty landscaping tips
The name Charlie Munger may not be familiar to you, but you've probably heard of his business partner, Warren Buffett. Together, they have made billions of dollars. Munger is considered one of the greatest business minds of our time. A little-known fact is that Munger made his first million in real estate.
He is famously quoted as saying: "Lush landscaping, that's what sells [houses]. You spend money on trees, and you get it back triple." - Charlie Munger
Landscaping not only increases your property value - it allows you to enjoy your entire property!
We've gathered tips from our landscapers and picked the top fifty for you to consider as you start your landscaping project!
If you are looking for a pro opinion or a service provider to help you plan and execute your landscaping, get in touch with one today! You'll be enjoying your new yard with plenty of time to spare before the end of the season!
Keep reading for our top landscaping tips!
- Before you start - sketch. You'll want to make a rough sketch of the area you wish to apply landscape design. You don't have to to be an artist, you have to sketch enough to know where things currently are in the space you are landscaping and where you potentially want things to be. If you want to up your sketch-game, we recommend using a landscape design tool like Smart Draw.
- Use quality products. Outdoor furniture, planters, and hardscaping elements need to hold up in all kinds of weather. This isn't the place to go with low-cost/cheap materials.
- Plant perennials and annuals. You'll have a lot of choices when it comes to perennials, but if you want color almost year-round, you'll want to go with annuals as well.
- Want to save money? Start your project in the winter. If you start your project in the winter, you can often get better deals on things like lumber, stone, and furniture. It's also a great time to talk to a pro to get on their first-serve list come spring!
- Make sure your landscape design has plans for water. Small pools, a trickling fountain, water-pumps will add a focal point to your design and up your curb appeal.
- Start in the front yard. You will get the most return-on-investment with front-yard landscaping.
- If you want a lush green lawn and don't want to wait - go with sod over planting grass. Sod will be more costly, but you'll get an instantly green and full lawn.
- Ask a pro if parts (are all) of your lawn need to be leveled before starting a landscaping project. Adding flowers, gardens, trees, stone walkways, or patios can all cause water to divert in ways that can cause significant problems when it rains, and water collects in your yard.
- Break-up your landscaping project into smaller projects. Landscaping projects usually involve multiple steps and fluctuating budget requirements. Start with a spot in your front lawn that you'd love to see change.
- Ask a pro what grass is best for your yard. Where your home is located, the soil composition and the terrain of your property will all determine which type of grass is best to use for your yard
- When you are choosing trees to add to your landscaping design, you'll want to consider how tall they will eventually be. For instance, a cedar tree that starts at six-feet tall can grow into a twenty-foot tree!
- Check with your country for rules on your landscaping project before you begin. Also, it's best to get a layout of any gas, sewer, or water lines.
- Be sure to check with your HOA before making any changes to your landscape!
- Irises, daylilies, tulips, and wild buckwheat are perennials that you can have as a part of your landscape for many seasons.
- If you are doing any landscaping upkeep on your own, you'll want to make sure you have the right tools; otherwise, you can cause damage that might be costly to repair or re-do.
- Be sure to check the health of your soil before you start your project. You'll want to do a PH test as well as test how quickly water drains into your ground. (You can do this easily by digging a shallow hole and filling it with water to see how fast it drains).
- Add a garden to your landscaping design.
- Know where you are planting and what the sun will do. You'll have to consider how much sunlight different parts of your lawn gets and at what times of day it comes in.
- It's best not to have a patio installed that is larger than 12x14 feet. More extensive patios are harder to maintain and pull in more heat.
- Be sure to think about your landscaping from the inside of your house as well as the outside. Look out through your window and make sure that your landscaping choices will look good from the other side of the window.
- Make sure you are using a good-quality lawnmower. We have some tips on picking the right mower!
- Protect your lawn from bacteria and disease by adding in two or more variations of plants in your yard. Plant-diversity is essential to a healthy lawn.
- It's not just about plants! You can add in rocks, wood, and stone to your landscaping to add some visual interest. Non-living elements will also last longer and require a lot less maintenance.
- Mulch is vital to almost all landscaping. Mulch is beneficial for many reasons; including keeping your soil moist.
- Stick to a simple color palette when choosing which plants, flowers, trees, and grass for your landscape design. Ideally, you'll want at least two colors, but you'll want to be careful not to add too much color, which can be hard to upkeep and be more costly.
- Use different textures in your landscaping. You'll be diversifying your plants as well as optimizing the visual impact of the overall design.
- Plant flowers and other plants think through the needs of each plant and then group them accordingly. If you have two or three plants that require similar watering and sunlight needs, it's best to plant them close together to make maintenance easier.
- Are you looking to decrease the amount of grass on your lawn? Utilize stone and pebbles.
- Rain barrels are a great way to save water and re-hydrate your lawn. You'll also be saving money on your water bill!
- Check your property taxes. Because landscaping projects often increase property value; you could be looking at an increase in your property taxes.
- If you are looking to add some privacy to your yard, consider growing a hedge or adding bamboo plants
- Incorporate walls and fences into your landscape design. Walls can be used in a multitude of ways, even as full-wall planters
- Add lighting so you can enjoy your landscaping as the sunsets and to utilize your lawn as an extended space for your home. Proper lighting is also vital in keeping your home safe.
- Go with curved flower beds for more modern landscaping design.
- You do not have to hire a landscaper for your entire project, but many people find it helpful to talk to a landscape architect to help plan out all of the elements that will go into your landscape design.
- Use anchor plants to bring your entire landscaping project together. Anchor plants are plants that you use throughout your design to give visual continuity.
- Consider which plants you'll have to bring in for the winter or re-pot. If you don't have the means or room to take care of individual outdoor plants year-round, it's best to stick to plants that do not require a cold-season home.
- Layer your flower beds in at least three rows. You'll want your tallest plants in the back and the shortest in the front.
- Have sprinklers installed for the most effortless watering maintenance. We've got some tips on the best way to water your lawn!
- Do not start digging in your lawn until you have contacted your local utility company or "dig safe" hotline.
- If you've got a green thumb, use it! Vegetable gardens are a great way to add visual depth to your landscape design (plus who doesn't love fresh fruits and vegetables?!). Be sure you know what you are getting yourself into before you decide to plant a garden; they take a lot of upkeep!
- Consider physical limitations if you plan on DIY-ing any of your landscaping. You can use raised beds to help if you or a family member is not able to bend down or kneel comfortably.
- Make sure your plants have room to grow. Find out how much your plants will grow, including how much the root system will grow.
- If you are planting on a hill, make sure that you use plants that are drought tolerant. Plants on slopes do not hold moisture because they are at an angle.
- If you are considering an outdoor kitchen, use granite over marble. Granite will hold up better and will withstand heat over marble.
- Consider what creatures and bugs you want to invite to your landscape. If you're going to keep out mosquitos, for instance, you'll want to stay away from high-grass and standing water. If you want to invite butterflies or hummingbirds, you can plant flowers and plants that will feed them, making your lawn a frequent dining spot!
- Peat moss is excellent for giving your plants healthy nutrients they might not get otherwise.
- Add paving stones to create walkways. This will also help to steer people away from walking all over your grass and sticking to pathways instead.
- Make sure any archways or pergolas are tall enough. You want these structures to be at least eight feet tall. You also want to make sure they are not too tall where they look out of place or interrupt the visual line of your design -you want to avoid any jarring changes in heights throughout your landscaping.
- Get your trees inspected and trimmed. If you want to remove a tree, it's a project best left to a pro. Tree removal is dangerous and requires specialized equipment.