Beginning landscapers often want to redo their backyard but aren’t really sure what they want to do with it. One option is to hire a professional landscaping company to do the job for you. Not everyone has the funds (or desire) to do this, however, and your backyard is the perfect spot to start with do-it-yourself landscaping. If you want to tackle your backyard landscape on your own, here are six quick tips to get you started.

1. Plan Ahead

You can’t just run to your local gardening store and grab a bunch of random items, hoping everything will come together. Before anything else, you want to develop a detailed plan on what you actually want in your backyard’s design.

Consider where you want flowers or other plants, and which type would go best where. Also take into consideration any lawn décor or functional animal pieces (like birdbaths, feeders, or houses) you will want to include.

2. Check for Water Runoff Areas

You’ll want to check your lawn for any sloping or small hills. These areas are prone to water runoff and, at the bottom, water accumulation, which can cause erosion over time. Plan to level these areas enough that the hill or slope’s grade is decreased to one percent or less.

If these areas aren’t leveled off, the grass and dirt will become eroded and any landscaping efforts will be for naught. Standing water at the bottom of these slopes will also attract pesky bugs like mosquitoes.

3. Pick the Right Plants

Not all plants will grow in all climates, so it helps to know which ones will grow in your area. A quick Google search will tell you which plants grow in your state and the specific area, as well as when. The Farmer’s Almanac Online is a great resource for beginning DIY landscapers.

Another quick note is that some plants will grow in your area, but are considered “exotic.” Unless you have a green thumb and a long history of gardening, exotic plans should be avoided. These require extensive care to grow because they aren’t native to your locality. This means that the amount of sunlight, nutrients in the soil, and other key natural requirements won’t be met.

4. Avoid Clutter

There are many wonderful pieces of lawn décor that you could use in your design, but using too many of them will only cause the yard to look cluttered. You want your backyard to look open and appealing, not like a cluttered tripping hazard. A general rule is to limit yourself to one lawn décor item per one hundred feet. Hanging bird feeders or birdhouses attached to trees don’t count in this estimation.

5. Use What You Already Have

Consider what your yard looks like now, before you’ve done anything to it. Look at what is already growing, and take note of your yard’s shape. A great landscape design will work around the natural appearance of your yard as much as possible. Not only will working with your yard’s natural appearance be aesthetically appealing, but it will also be much easier to care for.

Little Creek Landscape Design can help you make some choices to take your landscape to the next level. Call us today to see what a difference a professional landscape designer can make to your home.