Amping up the landscaping in your front yard is a great way to increase your home's curb appeal. In your backyard, you can get really creative and turn the space into an outdoor oasis. Some homeowners love doing this sort of thing themselves, but if you have an especially elaborate design in mind (or you simply don't have a green thumb) you should consider hiring a pro.
If you choose to go the latter route, ImproveNet can connect you with up to four landscaping contractors in your area for free! So will you be handling this project yourself or turning things over to a professional? Read on to make an informed decision.
DIY or Hire A Pro
Weighing the choice of whether to go with a professional landscaper or the DIY route often comes down to which you possess more of: money or time. If you have more money than time, a professional landscaper might be the best way to go. On the other hand, if you have time to spare and need to save a few dollars, designing and implementing your own landscaping solution can be a fun way to get out in the sun and commune with the plants.
Additionally, more complex landscape strategies with extensive paths, watering requirements, fountains and other elements may be too labor-prohibitive for a DIY project. If you want a large landscaping project done in a single season, hiring a professional is often the only way to go.
Landscaping shouldn't be seen as a one-shot fix the way a fixed pipe or electrical issue is. Successful landscaping requires regular maintenance, especially during the growing seasons of spring and summer. While some landscaping solutions are less labor-intensive than others, they usually all require more maintenance than most home improvement projects.
Grass needs to be mowed, gardens need to be weeded and harvested, trees need to be pruned and shrubs need to be kept in check. Depending on the size of your property, this could be a weekly or even daily project. While this is incredibly rewarding, some simply don't have the time. Gardeners or professional landscapers can make it easier to maintain your ideal landscape without you having to put in the time.
If you plan on doing DIY landscaping and gardening jobs, the first step is to get yourself a set of good tools. Depending on the quality of your soil, you may need a good spade shovel, pick-axe, bow rake and hand trowel at the very least. For gardens or orchards, you will almost certainly need to till the soil before the growing season begins. This will aerate your landscaping bed and make it more amenable to the plants you plan to place.
Different landscaping strategies require different timetables for implementation. Landscaping differs from most home improvement projects in that it may require several seasons to look exactly how you want it. This is both frustrating in the beginning and rewarding when your home's landscape finally looks how you imagined. Its growth will mirror the deepening of your relationship to your house, neighborhood and community.
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