You may see your new yard as a blank canvas, but make sure you consider your options before you start digging. So, you’ve finally had your bid accepted and you’re looking forward to getting to work on the vision you have for your new yard! Well, the bad news is that the green lawn covers dreadful soil and unsightly pipes and wiring that have been covered for years.
While the good news is that there’s still plenty of time to salvage this. The weeds haven’t overrun your yard yet and there’s still plenty of green life left in that grass. Here we will cover five guidelines to help you improve your yard and create an outdoor space you can enjoy for years to come.
Get your beds in order
Whether you have new top soil or old dirt that has been used to fill patches, your ground will need some work to become fertile soil.
It would be nice to have an endless supply of free compost, however, it does take some time to naturally build up organic compost from the grass trimmings alone. The alternative is to buy bags of compost, with packaged cow manure (a popular choice).
Another option is mushroom compost. However, this can be harmful to young seedlings and any plants and flowers that are sensitive to salts, such as camellias and azaleas.
Work out the lay of the land
You may want to start planting the vegetable garden you always wanted as soon as you move in, but you must make sure you know where is suitable. Does the spot you have in mind receive enough sunlight and does it have suitable drainage to keep it safe from puddles?
First, I would suggest that you sketch out a diagram of your yard. This will help you to visualize what you want and identify potential problem areas. Make sure you highlight the areas that get plenty of sunlight and the areas that are mostly in the shade.
Don’t worry if your diagram looks a bit messy. As long as it helps you to successfully plan the layout of your garden and you can understand what you have drawn.
Get rid of any unwanted builder plantings
The builder plantings that are in your new yard may look harmless enough, but they may very well grow into monsters that cause you a hassle later on.
Make sure that you properly identify all of your existing plants, and judge whether they are suitable for you. A tree that drops messy leaves on your lawn, or fruit that requires harvesting can be a lot of work. If you leave them to their own devices, they can block drains and even stain your paving slabs or driveway.
Trees with weak wood may snap at a later date and damage your home. While an invasive species of plant may take over your whole garden. Some species of plant are fine when they are in the right location. However, if you think that it may grow too big or is located too close to your home it is best to have it removed.
Plan for the future
What is your biggest priority in your yard? Maybe it’s having friends and family come over to enjoy the evening?
Try to picture yourself, your kids, partner, and your family or friends, 10 years in the future. What will the priority in your yard used for then?
It might be very tempting to go the extra mile and completely revamp the whole area with a hot tub and quality landscaping/additions but don’t break the bank if you don’t have to. Think about whether or not these additions will be suitable for you and your family in the future? You can have the garden that you have always wanted, but will you want the same things when your life situation changes in the future?
Make a start with groundcovers and some mulch
Weeds are unavoidable in the garden. But poorly maintained lawn and garden beds that need attention are the perfect breeding ground.
Mulch is great for keeping the soil moist, so start with a two-inch layer of mulch. Make sure that you gradually phase out using mulch eventually, as it can be expensive and even take nutrients away from your soil.
Introduce creeping phlox or another groundcover species like mondo grass around the edges of your borders when you plant a new bed. Groundcovers suppress weeds and can save you lots of money and effort as time goes by.