When you are re-doing the landscaping in your yard, or preparing a garden of some sort, a little bit of prep can go a long way!
Go Over Plan/Count the Cost - Look at the area you are going to plant in or redo and decide what plants you want, and where you want them to go. Next, decide if you will need any other items such as mulch, rock or dirt. Estimate what it all will cost and adjust to your budget accordingly.
Put it in the Calendar - Plan for a few days for your project and get it on the calendar. If you are going to be planting new plants, you don't want it too cold OR wait until the heat of summer to plant, unless you really want to baby the plants, because extreme temperatures can kill them. Working in landscaping or a garden will take more than one day to get it worked out in general, so be prepared.
Collect Supplies & Tools - Purchase what you need before you start on the project. If you are unsure of the amount of something you will need (such as mulch) it may be better to under purchase than to buy too much of something and not use it. This is especially important when you are purchasing plants for the project. Plants need room to grow and over planting may ruin your garden or landscaping because the plants won't do their best. Keep in mind what tools you will need and don't over buy in this area either. Some items (like a tiller) can be rented for a day, which will cost considerably less than buying one, especially if this is your first try at gardening! I just container garden and all I generally need is some gardening gloves and a small hand shovel. If you are doing a big project, do your research first to see what you will need!
Prep Outdoor Areas - The last step before actually planting your garden or landscaping is to prep the area by either cleaning old, dead plants out, or preparing the area for a garden by tilling ground, or pulling up the old landscaping you don't want. This step WILL take longer than you think! I tend to get excited about the new things I am going to be doing and think that the clearing out will go quickly. Not even in my container garden is it that easy! Sometimes plants have more roots than you realize and one big shrub can take a day or more to get out (unless you are a professional), so be ready for some hard work!
Each time you plan and execute an outside project, you will learn a little more of what (and what NOT) to do. Be patient with yourself. Gardening or landscaping can be a lot of trial and error. The weather, the plants themselves and sometimes other outside forces (like deer or rabbits) can make a garden awful one year and then the next it be growing so fast you can't keep up! Start small and work your way up to bigger projects, that way, you won't have spent a ton of time, energy and money on something that maybe didn't quite work. You can always add something different next year!
Until Next Time!
Jen Lush--Associate Broker and Amatuer Gardener Photo Credit: Benjamin Combs