A stunning new home can still look out of place if it's surrounded by barren land. Complete landscaping will complement your home and give you years of outdoor enjoyment.
But just like your new home, your landscaping will start from scratch. So what do you need to do?
Our advice is to have a plan in place before you even start. Do a bit of research to find out which plants go well together and thrive in your climate zone. If you plant them properly and maintain them well, your shrubs, leafy plants, and flowers will make the outside of your home as lovely as the inside.
Let's embark on this journey from start to finish...
Before You Begin
You'll want to take a leisurely walk around your property and get an idea of the lay of the land. How is it graded? Pay attention to the places that are lower because they'll retain moisture better. They're good for plants that need a lot of water, like Creeping Jenny. Areas that are in full sun are good for hardy plants like Blue Flax.
The roots of your plantings need water, especially when they're first becoming established. You'll need to do some minor grading of your own to make sure they get the most benefit from being watered. Framing beds with crossties and adding extra topsoil will allow the water to go where it's most needed. Water in the early morning and early evening because there's a lot less evaporation then.
Look up your planting zone in a gardening guide or online. You'll find many suggestions about decorative and easy to care for plants. One of the best tips is how to place them in your yard according to the amount of daily sunlight they'll need. This is when finding out which plants are complementary will also be a big help.
Some plants not only thrive on the same amount of water and sunlight, but they're beneficial to each other. For example, nasturtiums attract beneficial insects for other plants when they're planted together. They also produce beautiful (and edible!) flowers. Part of the fun of planning the landscaping of your new home is making a grid map of where you want everything to go.
Getting it in The Ground
When you do your homework on the plants you choose, you'll find out how tall they grow to be at maturity. It adds interest to arrange plants of different heights, and it's important to put the taller plants in the rear so that the shorter ones aren't hidden.
When they're full grown, the shrubs next to your new home should be at least a foot away from it. This allows you to get back there and work, and it prevents deep shade and dampness that can cause mildew on your home's siding.
The landscaping on your new home isn't going to look much like the finished product when you first put it in. You'll have to leave enough space between plants for them to grow and fill out. Sometimes it's hard to have patience, but your yard will look much better for giving each plant room for a healthy root system.
Once everything's in the ground: mulch, mulch, mulch! Don't line your beds with plastic to prevent weeds, because mulch will do the job. Breathable mesh or newsprint is okay, though, if you're trying to smother existing weeds.
Maintaining Your Creations
Fertilization and Weeding
Fertilize twice a year; in early spring when everything starts growing again and in summer when plants can get stressed by heat. Too much fertilization can cause spindly growth and stunted roots. Once trees and shrubs are well-established, you can cut back to once a year for them.
Pull weeds as you go – don't let them get too dense. If you make a habit of walking in your beautiful green yard and pulling a few weeds here and there, it will seem like less of a chore. And that thick layer of mulch over everything will also keep weeds to a minimum.
In the fall, remove any dead blooms from flowers in your yard. Remove dead or damaged branches from trees and shrubs. This gives more energy to the root system during the cold season.
In the spring, a good trim prevents woody plants from trying to turn into unmanageable shrubs. After you cut back, blanket your flowers and bushes with extra mulch to help them weather the cold winter. Some people cover particularly delicate plants with a thick layer of plastic to hold in heat over the winter months.
One of the most useful extras for new landscaping is an in-ground sprinkler system. It will eventually pay for itself in savings on your water bill. That's because it targets the water right where it needs to go with less waste. And it automatically waters at the right time of day for the least water loss.
Compost is an extra that doesn't have to cost a lot, either. At first, you'll have to pick up a few bags at your local home improvement store. As time goes on, though, all of the shrub trimmings and weeds you pull will turn into excellent compost for your property. Adding kitchen waste like coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable peels, and egg shells will make it even richer.
Enjoy The Fruits of Your Labour
A basic plan is all you need to get started on sculpting the kind of outdoors you desire. Landscaping your new home can be a labour of love and a reflection of your personal taste.
Each year gives you a chance to re-evaluate and make changes that will continue to make your property beautiful and enjoyable year-round. Start small, use these tips, and you'll be on your way!
With a thriving yard, you can create the ideal outdoor living space. Whether it's adding outdoor accessories to perfect your patio or something more elaborate like installing a fire pit, creating those spaces will allow you and your visitors to truly appreciate your completed landscape.