You love your new home, but the view of the backyard is empty and bleak.You know that you need trees and shrubs, but just how do you begin? The first step is to make a plan!

Take a Walk: Walk your property line to view your home from all perspectives. Decide if you'll need a screen of some sort for privacy. Locate areas for shade trees. Take a look from inside your home out to your yard. It's important to have an enjoyable view for the winter.

Determine Your Usage: What do you want to do in your yard? Do you need a play area or space for a vegetable garden? What about entertaining areas? Hardscapes and lighting need to be considered when planning your design.

Check Your Soil: New homes are notorious for having compacted dirt and very little topsoil. To have healthy plants and turf, you need healthy soil. Get your soil tested. Add topsoil and the needed organic matter.

Create a Monetary Budget: Everyone has a budget to adhere to. If you plan to be in your home for awhile, remember that plants grow. Bare root trees are very economical and easy to plant. Smaller shrubs mature within 3 years. A few vegetable seeds can produce an abundance of produce.

Create a Time Budget: Be honest about your skills. Many DIY projects are manageable, but know when to call a professional. Hardscapes and lighting may need professional installation. There is no such thing as no maintenance gardening. Your independent garden center can suggest low maintenance plants, though.

Draw a Plan: Getting a plan on paper helps to solidify ideas. Bring it with you to your garden center, along with pictures of your home. Call 811 to identify underground lines and note them on your plan.

Do Your Research: Become familiar with landscape and gardening terms. Learn the mature sizes of trees. Browse magazines and the internet for plant  and garden bed ideas.

After all that planning, it's time to get dirty!


See Also: