Spring is the perfect time to get outside and review and renew your landscaping. This article features 10 spring landscaping projects you can do yourself in a day or weekend.
Don’t Forget Curb Appeal
Walk down to the street or the end of the driveway and take a look at your front door. It may be a selling point when you put your home on the market, but it also leaves a first impression to everyone who walks by. Replace or repaint worn shutters, clean the front door or repaint if necessary, and clear away any leftover winter decorations.
Clean concrete patios, decks and siding
A good cleaning will make almost anything look new again. That goes for your concrete patio, deck and siding on your house. If you have a pressure washer it is the cheapest and easiest way to clean these surfaces. Test a small area of your wooden deck first so you do not damage the wood. You may need to use cleaner for each particular surface, but in many cases a scrub brush with a long handle and elbow grease is all you need. You can rent a pressure washer from the big box hardware stores, or a rental center.
Replant Dead Grass
Nothing looks worse than brown spots on your lawn. Spring is a great time to replant those dead areas. Garden center staff can help you choose the correct grass seed for your location. You will also need a rake to take away the dead grass, a pick to loosen the soil, some twine or string to mark off small areas at a time so you do not over seed, some fertilizer, and hay. The hay will keep the birds from eating the seed. Plant grass as directed, and water lightly to soak the seed. Continue to water regularly and in 14 days seedlings will appear.
Plant a Tree, shrub or evergreen
Nothing adds instant appeal to your landscape like a new tree, bush or evergreen. To add color right away, choose a spring flowering tree like a crab apple or tulip tree. For fall impact pick a bush that’s leaves turn a vibrant color in the late fall. Burning bushes are a popular choice, with their bright red foliage. If you want all year interest an evergreen is your best choice. They are available in many varieties and sizes, and many are uniquely shaped. Remember to purchase extra soil, a tree stake, and a spacer. You will need a spade to dig the hole twice the width and the same height as the root ball or container. Most garden centers have detailed instructions available when you purchase your tree. Remember to water consistently for the first two years.
Add Bark Chips or Decorative Stone around Landscaping
If you already have bark mulch around your landscaping you have a choice each spring to either add new bags of mulch or remove it all and add decorative stone to your landscaping. Decorative stone is a big investment up front, but it lasts for years and only needs to be raked and wet down to look fresh each spring. It is available at most garden centers by the bag, or cubic yard. A cubic yard will usually cover 100 square feet. Buying by the yard and having it delivered is the smartest way to go when you have a large area to cover. The stone is available in a variety of colors and styles and prices vary according to stone choice. You will need to clear the area to be covered by removing old bark chips, weeding and reapplying landscaping tarp. A wheelbarrow, shovel, heavy metal rake and manpower is all that is required to get a whole new look. Once the stone is in place, usually 2-3 inches deep, you will need to wet it down to clean it. Yearly maintenance may include adding a bag or two in spots where the stone has shifted.
Adding a decorative edge
Adding a decorative edge not only looks clean, it also makes it easier to mow around your landscaping. Decorative edges are available in a wide variety of materials from plastic to rubber and brick. A garden center or hardware store will have a large selection each spring for you to choose from. You will need to measure the area you want to edge around to determine cost of each option. Garden center staff can help you with the DIY information. You will need a spade, some soil and sand. A level is recommended when laying brick.
Solar Lighting adds instant light to the night
Solar lights are a quick and easy way to add interest to your landscape at night. They are available everywhere these days from the corner grocery store to local garden centers and big box stores. Solar lighting is a huge trend in gardens right now and the price of the lights can range from $1.50 each to hundreds of dollars for a full set. Lights come in a variety of options from brass, and chrome to wrought iron. Note that you may only get one season out of the cheaper lights but they are easy to install and move when you want to shift the interest to another area of your landscape. All that is required is a mallet or a heavy hand to push them into your soil. Make sure to remove any papers covering the battery or they will not light.
Perennial Gardens are a money saving option
A great way to save money in your landscaping is to invest in perennial plants. Perennials are plants that will come back year after year, and many offer beautiful foliage along with vibrant flowers. You will need to determine where you want to plant your perennials before going shopping. There is a big difference between plants that grow in the sun and those that flourish in the shade. The best place to shop for perennials is your local farmers market where the selection will be plants that are zoned for your climate. You can ask the farmers what your climate zone is, or check sites such as www.garden.org/zipzone to determine your zone. You should buy perennials that flower at different times of the growing season so that your garden has blooming interest all summer long. Check for height growth of flowers to know which flowers to plant in front of others. Note that many perennials will spread so you should leave room for them to cover as the seasons go by. It is easy to uproot plants and divide them into more plants each spring. Many varieties are very hardy, and will divide easily at any time during the season. Ask your local farmer or garden center staff for help, many are very knowledgeable in what they sell. They will also give you the best advice on how to plant each plant. You can also go on websites like www.bhg.com/gardening/plant-dictionary/perennial.
Annual Plants bring instant rewards
Nothing will give your garden the pop of instant color like a beautiful flowering plant. Annual plants are, just as their name implies, plants that will last only one season. There are a wide variety of plants available in an array of glorious colors. Garden centers, hardware stores, big box stores, grocery stores and the farmers market all sell flowers in packs or planters. Look for healthy plants that have a number of buds to make sure your plant will bloom for a long time. If you are looking for ideas on what plants look good with each other or how to arrange plants in a planter or container go to your local garden center for ideas. Most will sell already made planters and you can copy those ideas when shopping for your own flowers. Annuals can also be added to perennial gardens that may have nothing blooming at this point in the season, or for low to the ground color. Hanging baskets can be made or purchased and add nice color to a blank wall or fence. Websites like www.hgtv.com, or www.bhg.com are full of ideas and how-tos.
Create a focal point in your landscaping
Adding a small water feature, fire pit, or even a bird bath will add an instant focal point in your landscaping. A multitude of options are available and can create interest or add interest to an area of your landscaping that is in need of a little lift. Glass balls, ceramic statues, wooden benches, bird houses, and trellises are just some of the things that are easy to add. Planter boxes filled with annual plants are a great way to add appeal to a fence, and even look terrific on the mailbox post. Seating areas in remote corners where nothing seems to want to grow also enhance your landscape. Be creative, the options are endless.