Many people believe the best part of owning your own home is having your own yard. You can create a garden if you please or focus on lush trees. This allows you to create an outdoor space to spend time with family and friends in comfort and be surrounded by beauty of your choosing. However, creating a beautiful back/front yard requires the knowledge of landscaping plants.
Knowing what landscaping plants are best for you depends on many factors. They include the climate you live in, the ascetic you're trying to attain, and many more. Below, we are going to dive into what you need to know about landscaping plants so you can create the yard of your dreams.
What are Landscaping Plants?
Landscaping plants are plants that generally require little to no upkeep and help with the visual appeal of your yard and home. Trees, flowers, shrubs, and even vines and cactus can often be landscaping plants.
When choosing to landscape plants, you have to be carful. Should you place a tree in a spot it doesn't belong, it could ruin the appeal of your yard, as well as your enjoyment of it. You must consider the placement of any plants you decided to incorporate into your yard.
Types of Landscaping Plants
There is a long list of plants that are great for landscaping. Trees are a common one. Easy to care for, and often even easy to plant, trees can create great yard appeal. They also require little care and can stand most weather.
There are also ivy and vines, which also hold up well to lots of different weather and requires little maintenance. You will occasionally need to trim them back and make sure it isn't clinging to anything you don't won't torn down. Ivy and vines are strong and can pull things down if not watched.
There are many different types of flowers that you can plant each season to keep your home festive and beautiful. Flowers do require a bit more work, often needing to be watered, feed and cared for daily.
How Do These Plants Help the Visual Appeal of Your Yard?
How a house looks from the outside defines if a home feels inviting when the prospect drives by or views pictures online. How your house appears also affects the value of not only your home, but those that surround it. Doing your part to keep things, at the very least, neat and tidy is beneficial to everyone on the block.
Pretty Houses Sell Fast
It's also been shown that homes with well maintained yards not only sell faster, but sell for more. According to landscape economist John Harris, the landscape of your home can affect the price by up to 28 percent.
That's especially true for landscaping that includes mature trees. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, 98 percent of realtors believe mature trees have a strong impact on the sell ability of homes listed for more than $250,000.
If buyers don't like how a house looks from outside, they often won't step foot inside.
A well-maintained yard also helps protect the environment, as retaining walls can prevent erosion and reduce the amount of soil that ends up in waterways. Proper grading and drainage can reduce storm water runoff and help prevent flooding. Planting native trees, flowers and plants not only provides a sustainable environment for local birds and wildlife, but helps combat climate change.
How to Plant and Care for Landscaping Plants
The first step to planting your landscaping plants, after choosing your plants, is to choose where to plants them. Choosing a good spot where your plants will thrive is key. Next, you must dig appropriate sized holes for your plants. They need to be deep enough for your plants to take root and not be easy knocked over.
You'll also want to make sure they can get adequate sunshine wherever they are planted. You'll also want to make sure they can get watered well, whether it's from the rain or you and your trusty hose.
Taking Care of Your Plants
The first step to taking care of your plants is watering them. It's best to water your plants in the early morning or later evening. Since it's cooler out during these times, less water will evaporate and your plants will get the full benefits. You'll also want to really stature the soil around your plants. The water should seep down to at least 3 inches into the ground.
You can check your soils saturation by sticking your finger into the soil. Also, keep in mind that the larger the plant, the more saturation it will need to reach down to its deep roots.
With newer plants, you will want to water them every one to two days. You want to make sure that the soil is constantly moist for the first month. This way, your plant is getting the nutritions it needs to thrive. Many plants can even go three days before being watered. After about a month, your plant should be established and able to survive without so many watering.
If you live in an area that rains frequently, you'll be able to go even longer between waterings, especially if you have many established plants which only need watering once a week.
Trees and Shrubs
You'll want to deep water your trees and shrubs once a month. This is when you turn your hose on low and allow it to slowly trickle into the soil for about two hours. You won't need to water the tree or soil if you've soaked down into the root system.
Fertilizing and Mulching Plants
Choose a fertilizer that will help your soil keep the correct pH. Apply this fertilizer around any plants regularly to get them the nutrients they need to grow. A neutral pH is seven on the pH scale. Your local plant nursery can give you recommendations about what kind of fertilizer to purchase for your landscape.
Use quick-release fertilizers for smaller plants. Pour a little directly onto the soil, according to the directions on the label. These plants need to be checked often to ensure they are getting enough water and nutrients, but only once a week.
How to Use Fertilizer
Spread the fertilizer evenly over the plants. If your pH test shows that your soil needs nutrients added to it, set down fertilizer right away. Keep the fertilizer about 1 in. (2.5 cm) away from the plant’s stem or trunk on all sides. Make sure the fertilizer is flat. You will need a layer approximately two to three inches distributed around each plant. The fertilized area should be two to three times the plant’s width.
Spread an organic mulch over the area to protect the plant. Choose a natural mulch, like ground pine. Cover the soil with a layer 2 to 3 in. deep. Spread the mulch as far as the plant’s leaves or branches reach. You don't have to mulch all plants, but it can help. It is especially useful for larger plants. Mulching insulates plants from extreme weather, holds in water, prevents weeds, and protects the plant from damage. You can apply your fertilizer on top of mulch.
Weeds and Bugs
When you discover weeds, make sure to pull them up by their roots; otherwise, they will grow back and twice as many will grow. If you need to get down to the roots, you can also dig into the soil with a trowel. Be careful to avoid your plants roots. Tough weeds may force you to use a hand cultivator or trowel to remove them, as they have a large tap root. Cutting and mowing isn’t effective since it doesn’t reach the roots.
Look for any insects on the plants. You can usually spot bugs infecting your plants. Flip over the leaves, looking for webs, tracks and other telltale signs like bite marks and wilted spots. When you notice these things, head to the Internet and search your symptoms to find the best solution.
Not only is landscaping your yard a great investment into your home, but it's also great for you personally. Having a lovely yard sets your family up to spend outside together, it also encourages you to host more. If you have a nice spot for it, your more likely to invite others over. Socialization is good for humans and their mood.
Speaking of good for people, when you are actively working in the garden, playing catch with your kids, or enjoying a barbecue with friends and family, you increase your physical activity, which is good for your body. Being outdoors can improve your mood and relieve stress, unless, of course, your yard is a mess. In that case, it might actually cause stress. However, since you'll be improving your yard, that won't happen to you.
Whether your landscaping for curb appeal or creating a yard you want to spend time in, choosing the right landscaping plants can be a fun way to create a space your proud of. Just remember to keep in mind the tips above about choosing your plants, and you'll be set.