Fundamental Landscaping Tips: Maintaining a Backyard or Garden

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Okay so now you’ve got your garden or backyard all set up. The plants are in place. The flowers are blooming, and the walkways look like a dream. All that’s left is looking at it in awe, amazing your friends and family, and being happy forever... right? Wrong.

Even though your yard is currently sitting as the most appealing asset on your property, it can quickly turn into an overwhelming responsibility -- or worse, an organism that loses health and beauty by each passing second. This is bound to happen -- if you aren’t prepared, at least.

The secret lies in being organized and using a strategic approach to managing your backyard (and property in general). If you can honestly see yourself having this beautiful feat for a long period of time, then exploring low-cost and long-term maintenance options will make or break your garden time. Will you enjoy the rest of your life looking at a grand sight of beauty, or will you get drowned in an overwhelming sense of maintenance and repair?

Read on to get basic tips on maintaining your garden.

Plan it Out

There’s a reason why the planning stage - in the history of everything - always comes first. And the same applies for this garden project. First things first: create a basic map (you don’t need Photoshop or an architect’s blueprint for this) of the yard or garden. Plot approximate measurements for the sides, front, and back. Indicate specific areas you plan on using for specific functions: a veggie garden, a free lawn for the kids to play in, a space for sitting and entertaining guests, and a place for cooking and barbecuing.

Try and anticipate potential problems. For instance, if one spot is prone to mud during the rainy seasons, then you probably won’t want to place a swing set or seesaw for kids in that area. Maybe the section that’s covered by a massive shade, thanks to that tall tree you have, can be a good place to entertain guests, or even hold picnics.

 

A long-term plan like this will avoid potential “natural” problems and instead turn them into advantages on your part. They’ll also reduce the amount of cleaning, repairing, and general worrying that you’ll have to sit through. Remember: being organized and planning everything out will eliminate the possibility of being overwhelmed by any project, big or small.

Schedule Your Gardening Tasks

You might be noticing a trend here: Yes, we LOVE to be organized. But it’s not just to maintain our Type A personalities. It’s all for good reason. The same way you schedule household chores and tasks for inside the house, you should have at least a rugged structure of your yard work for the long term.

We can’t plan everything, that much is true. Work, family plans, and weather disturbances will definitely get in the way. But planning will let you be one step ahead. A weekly plan - or a monthly plan, if you’re up to it - can let you keep on track despite many sidebars.

You can schedule tasks such as grass cutting, bush trimming, and watering for the short-term. But you can go deeper by listing chores for the entire month (or even year!) to be more efficient. For instance, March is the perfect month to perform pruning and digging a vegetable garden, based on the hardiness of plants during that season. Having a calendar like this makes sure you get tasks affected by seasonal events just in time.

Ensure Low-Maintenance Care by Growing Native Plants

It’s easier to maintain native plants because they generally require a lesser amount of watering, fertilizing, and disease-controlling than non-native plants. There are so many plants to choose from, no matter where you reside. Doing this also takes out the guesswork if one plant is going to do well in your local climate and the type of soil that you typically have.

Because of the multiple environmental issues the whole world is facing these days, local garden centers, nature centers, regional government offices, and county extension offices now have more resources available than ever before. You can get advice from these offices to determine which plants, vegetables, fruits, and trees will do extremely well in your own yard.

During springtime, there are a lot of native plant sales held by environmental organizations across the US. This way, you can help do your part in saving the environment, and at the same time, reduce the time and cost of maintaining your garden.

Invest in Equipment and Tools that Reduce Labor

If you’re serious with your gardening, you’ll choose equipment that can save you time and energy with garden work. They don’t have to be fancy, as long as they get the job done.

One example is owning your own Gasoline powered wood chipper, which will get two valuable chores done with just one tool. First, you can use it to dispose of fallen twigs, stems, branches, and even cut-down trunks or stumps of trees. Throw these into the chipper and gather the by-product. That’s the second chore: use these chipped and ground materials and use them as natural mulch. You can apply these on your walkway. You can also use them as a sunshield for your vegetable garden, by placing them on the ground where the veggies are planted.

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