If doing anything more than mowing feels daunting, know that there are ways to keep outdoor maintenance more manageable. Consider the following tips for caring for your yard, no matter your level of experience.
Don’t know your spades from your shovels or you want a second opinion on your ground cover? When you’re drawing up your plans for your lawn, look to local landscape supply stores or big box stores to point you in the right direction, whether it’s finally tackling that weed problem, or determining the best trees and flowers to plant — and where to plant them. You can also look to online tutorials or research home and garden shows in your area for additional ideas.
If you’re not yet sure where to start, scheduling a consultation with a landscape professional might be the way to go. Many landscape companies will spend an hour or two with clients for a fee, leaving them with a bit of gardening knowledge and a starting point.
Armed with information and a few gardening tools, you’re almost ready to start getting your hands dirty. But first, create a schedule and break the job down into smaller tasks so it doesn’t feel so overwhelming.
Tackle the lawn first. Is it salvageable? If it’s unhealthy, uneven, and full of weeds, you might want to remove it and start from scratch. If it’s just overgrown, consider mowing, adding soil, and overseeding.
Next, find your borders, and use a string trimmer or edger to clean them up. Adding a fresh layer of bark helps differentiate the yard from the flower beds and does wonders to improve the appearance of your property.
Then, you can choose a few colorful plants, a bush or two, or a small tree to add depth and color.
Rent or borrow tools instead of buying them — at least initially. It’s hard at first to know what you’ll use often and what you might only use once or twice. Check online for a neighborhood tool-sharing site that lends out tools for a small fee.
You can also ask for help. Sometimes friends and family members respond surprisingly well to requests for yard help if there’s the promise of pizza and beer at the end of the day.
Sometimes all the encouragement in the world won’t change the fact that you just don’t want to do it yourself. If you’ve recently upgraded to a new, bigger space, it can be challenging to adjust to the extra tasks at hand, or maybe you simply have no interest in gardening. Consider bringing in a landscape professional to get you to a place where all you need to do is the occasional maintenance.
Do your research, and make sure to get more than one bid from different landscaping companies. Prices vary, and you may find that you connect better with one landscaper’s aesthetic than another.