Last week, we talked about why you should leave your big landscaping projects to the landscaping pro's, and ditch the DIY when it comes to your landscape. If you missed that blog, check it out here. However, we understand there is a certain amount of pride and joy that comes from working in your yard. So, we wanted to provide you with a list of landscaper-approved DIY's that don't require fancy skills, a big budget, or too much time for you to complete! Without further ado, here is our list of 10 landscaping DIY's that you can--and should--do yourself.
#1: At-Home Compost
There is nothing better for your soil or your plants than fertilizer, and where better to get it than from right at home? Most people stray away from at-home compost, believing that it will smell bad, be difficult, or be too messy and gross. However, if you compost the right way, it can be easy and clean (for the most part)! Home-grown compost is best for your soil because you know exactly what is in it, and where it came from. More than that, it's organic, and contains everything that the soil needs to be a good home for your plants. Composting also cuts back on your food waste, instead turning it into something purposeful for your garden. Comment down below if you'd like us to write a blog about how to make composting at home simple and clean!
#2: Simple Steppingstones
Adding pathways and steppingstones from one area to the next in your yard makes it a more welcoming place. Lucky for us, there are ways to create lovely walkways without learning how to pour cement or level ground! We suggest avoiding using wooden pallets to create pathways; although this seems like the easy way, and lots of DIY sites will tell you to do it, eventually those pallets will become moldy and attract unwanted worms and pests. Avoid the mold and bugs and create a simple stone path instead! Our favorite type is flagstone, which can be purchased at home improvement stores like Lowe's and Home Depot for less than $7 a stone. Placing these in your yard will give it a trendy look, while keeping the budget low and work at a minimum.
#3: Simple Edging
If you love the look of a garden bed with an edge, but can't spend the money to have it done professionally, do not fear! Although a DIY edge will not be as lovely and permanent as a professionally-done edge, it will still give you the clean look you are searching for. Use one row of flagstone, bricks, or even river stones to create a simple border around your garden beds. We suggest two things when it comes to DIY-ing a garden bed: avoid stacking stones and bricks, as this will most likely fall and crush your plants; and avoid plastic edging. More often than not, plastic edging tends to look kitsch, and does not complement your flowers the way more natural edging does.
#4: Cover Up Your Units
Those pesky A/C units and garden hoses can be the the little things that ruin your perfectly-cultivated landscape. If you have wood, nails, and a drill (or even a hammer!), then you can create a DIY A/C or hose box to cover up those eyesores. Build your own wooden fence, up-cycle old shutters to create a cover, or even plant shrubs to create a natural fence around them. There are so many ways to DIY a cover for your A/C unit or hose, and it will be the icing on the cake for a lovely-to-look-at landscape!
#5: Laying Mulch
Laying mulch is another DIY that people assume is messy, but is actually very simple if done the right way. The key to laying mulch properly is clearing the weeds from the area you are going to mulch, and ensuring that you have a defined edge of where your mulch will end. One important factor in laying mulch is to make sure that you rake your mulch after laying it in order to create an even layer around your plants and flowers; if you do these three simple things, laying mulch should be simple and clean! Apply mulch to your garden and trees in the beginning of the summer, as well as before winter to ensure that your plants are retaining nutrients and moisture all year round. Remember to water your mulch and replace it every year, and your plants will be warm and well-fed every year!
#6: Hiding Fencing
If you are stuck with staring at your neighbor's unappealing fence, or you cannot afford to put in or change your own, a simple solution is to hide it! Planting large shrubs or bushes can add a natural element to your landscape, while replacing that unattractive fencing or lack thereof. Consider planting hedges, or large flowering bushes like hydrangeas, peonies, or even roses! You can train climbing hydrangea to cling onto your fence, concealing it even more. Surround your landscape with a lovely, natural fence with this simple DIY--all you have to do is plant the flowers!
#7: Planters and Pots
If you're feeling that you love your landscape, but need a simple and easy change, then we have your solution: planters and pots. Adding pots for your plants is the simplest and easiest way to change up your already lovely landscape, and all you have to do is replant your flowers! Remember to keep your yard uncluttered, and avoid adding in too many pots or planters. Adding two potted flowers on either side of your front door creates a welcoming and clean look, as well as adding potted flowers next to a deck post or a backyard bench.
#8: Outdoor Lights
If you have a pergola, a gutter, or even a tree in your backyard, you have a space to hang up lights. While you should leaving climbing on roofs and tall ladders to the professionals, you can easily hang up lights in your backyard without using nails. Use gutter hooks or clips, adhesive strips for smooth surfaces, and mini light clips with electrical tape. Adding outdoor lighting to your backyard makes the space more nighttime-friendly, and allows you and your family or guests to enjoy your outdoor space for longer periods of time. Maybe after hanging those outdoor lights, you'll be inspired to have a fire-pit put in to enjoy your space even more at night!
Up-cycling seemingly random items from charity shops and thrift stores can add a little bit of whimsy and interest to your garden. Use old mason jars and spoons to create a simple wind chime, or replant your flowers in old wheelbarrows, watering cans, birdcages, or even nightstand drawers! Use old wooden pallets to create window flower boxes, or put lights in old bottles to create adorable lamps. If you have a little creative side, make your way to a local thrift store to find a simple DIY that can add your personality to your garden.
#10: Clean, Clean, Clean
Our last DIY is the most simple, because all it involves is some soap, water, and your own two hands. Sometimes all your landscaping needs to make it look nice and clean is a good cleansing. Weed your garden, mow your lawn, and trim back any shrubs to make your greenery look neater, and simply wash down your walkways and siding of your house to create a sparkling background for your landscape to shine. A clean palette will give your yard a refreshed and new look, while still working with what you have.
We hope this blog gave you some inspiration for your landscape, and that you'll get out there and start DIY-ing! Remember to leave your bigger landscape projects to the pro's, but that there is always something that you can do in your landscape to add your personality to it. Take pride in your yard, and try these DIY's to create a new and refreshed look for your landscape, and remember to tag us in your projects on Instagram or Twitter with the hastag #PLGKC.