On the surface, landscaping can appear to be a basic project requiring little more than cutting the grass once a week and ensuring that your sprinklers are working. But as any homeowner can likely attest to, your personal greenspace is locked in a constant battle with nature. It is both an ongoing artistic project and a physically demanding effort. We've got some tools and resources to help. Learn from the experts in the field which landscaping contractor to hire or read some quick tips and getting your lawn looking just right. In the right hands, your landscaping will increase the curb-appeal of your home or business.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I have my landscaping professionally maintained?

The average American yard only requires bi-weekly maintenance. Mowing your lawn and trimming any bushes or trees will help to maintain your landscaping and prevent common landscaping problems. However, if you have flower gardens, ponds, and any more delicate plants, then you should probably consider weekly landscaping. Pests and weeds can decimate your beautiful flower beds in no time if left to their own devices.

What is "winterization," and what does it mean for my landscaping?

Winterization is the term that professional landscapers use to describe the process of preparing your landscaping for winter. They may wrap delicate shrubs, lay horticultural lime on your lawn, and add fertilizers designed to keep your plants healthy during the cold, wet conditions of winter. Additionally, you can ask them to lay mulch or erosion control blankets to preserve the contours of your walkways and plant beds. While you're at it, ask your landscaper about green alternatives to rock salt if you're expecting ice and snow. You don't want your relatives slipping in your driveway, but you also don't want to kill the sensitive plants surrounding those paths.

How much should I expect to spend on my landscaping?

The cost of installing new landscaping varies based on the types of plants you wish to use and the extent of your greenspace. Plants that need to be imported, for example, can make a huge difference in cost, as can water features. That being said, the average American spends between 5 to 10% of the total value of their home on landscaping.

What is a fair price for landscaping maintenance?

Costs can vary dramatically depending on the extent of your landscaping and the diversity of the plants within. On average, you can expect landscapers to charge between $50 and $100 per hour. Any additional crew will cost between $25 and $50 per hour per person. Of course, there are some geographical determinants as well, so individuals living in wealthier regions should expect to spend around 20% more per hour per person.

How do I make my landscaping drought resistant?

If you live in an arid region, then water conservation should be an important part of your landscape plan. Drought resistant landscaping typically refers to the use of the local plantlife as a core part of your landscape. Believe it or not, there are tons of regional grasses and flowers that can be combined to create beautiful, artistic effects. Speak to a local landscape expert to find out what local plant life could make your yard environmentally friendly or ask them about using retaining walls and mulch to minimize your irrigation requirements.

How can I make my landscaping environmentally friendly?

If you're concerned about your environmental impact, then making small changes to your landscaping is one way that you can support local wildlife and reduce your encroachment on their natural habitat. Planting local wildflowers and grasses is a great start. However, if you'd rather stick with a conventional lawn, then consider putting out bird feeders and small sources of fresh water to help sustain a diverse ecosystem.

How do I practice sustainable pest control to protect my landscaping?

Making the switch from poisons can be a challenge if those were your primary pest control methods in the past. Fortunately, there is a relatively easy way you can discourage pesky critters from taking over your yard with just a little initial research. The method is known as biocontrol, and all you really have to do is find out what animal naturally preys on the pest you're struggling with. In the same way that you might release a box of ladybugs on your rosebushes to reduce the afid population, you can build bat boxes to reduce insect populations and owl boxes to reduce rodent populations. Not only will your landscaping look more beautiful than ever, but you'll have cool wildlife right outside your windows.

Is there a safe way to treat the weeds invading my landscaping?

Weed control has as much to do with initial planning as it does with regular maintenance. When you're first planting, install a layer of weed guard and cover it with mulch. Not only will this prevent weeds from popping through, but it will reduce water run-off. For those weeds that do make their way through, make sure you remove them at the root and avoid disturbing the surrounding soil. However, if you planned correctly, these will be few and far between.

How do I prevent erosion from ruining my landscaping?

Erosion is a natural process that can't be avoided. Luckily, proper planning can keep it in check. When you're sketching out your landscaping plans, ask your landscaper about erosion control. An expert landscaper will be able to identify the points in your yard that are most likely to erode the next time it rains or snows. Together, you can decide where to use retaining walls, curbs, mulch, and rock to make sure everything stays where it belongs.

Can my landscaping help prevent burglary?

Although this may seem like a weird question, properly maintained landscaping can actually make your home a less desirable target. Research shows that criminals prefer to target homes with overgrown trees or shrubs close to the home, which allow them to move about undetected. Criminals also tend to target houses that use landscaping to shield their home from wandering eyes. Unfortuantely, it also shields criminals from being seen by your neighbors. Consider this when making your landscaping plans to minimize your chances of being targeted.
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