Having a great landscape design in Bethesda Durham NC can make or break your home’s curb appeal. But having a home with curb appeal doesn’t have to be the end game. For many homeowners, having a yard that looks picture worthy is more than a goal, it is a passion. However, for those who want the beautiful yard but possess minimal knowledge of how to achieve that look, it can be an intimidating challenge.
Fortunately, having a gorgeous yard does not require a degree in horticulture, but is does mean either doing a lot of homework or either bringing someone in to do the work for you. If you opt to do the work yourself and lean as you go, then having some helpful hints from pros both around the country, and especially in your region, can be a big help. To get you started, here are some landscaping tips from the pros.
Don’t just get stuck on a beautiful yard for a specific season. Think about what your yard will look like from January through December, then plant accordingly and think with yard maintenance in mind. With this thought, be sure to include a variety of shrubs and trees that will remain green all year long.
What should You Avoid When Landscaping in Bethesda Durham NC?
Even if you're not in possession of the greenest thumb in the neighborhood, you are no doubt aware spring is a critical time for your yard. Making sure you are properly prepared for the (gulp) mowing season is important if you'd like those neighbors to spend the summer staring at your grass with envy.
Here are a few steps to take in the upcoming weeks to ensure your grass is ready to go.
Fertilizing: Depending on climate, the time between February and April is one of the key times you should be "feeding" your lawn each year. Spring fertilizing helps strengthen roots before the heavy growing period that is just around the corner.
Try and figure out which kind of weeds (like crabgrass) you struggled with the previous year and find a weed-and-feed that is best suited to your needs.
Weeds: When the soil reaches 55F degrees and stays there for a few days your old pal crabgrass can start to creep up.
You'll want to think about a pre-emergent herbicide. There are a number of options - Tupersan, Dithopyr, and Pendimethalin - with each ranging in terms of cost. Keep in mind that some of those will impact when you are able to plant seed, if that is part of your plan this season.
This is also the time for attacking dandelions when they start to arrive. Whether you spray or tackle them by hand, make sure to get them take care of before they produce seeds.
Raking/Mowing: It sounds like a no-brainer, but cleaning up your lawn in the spring is important to get rid of dead grass and other debris. When your lawn is both thawed and dry, spend some time either with your rake or your bagging mower. Put that mower down to a lower setting and get rid of all the excess yards waste. If you do a good job bagging now you should be able to mulch the rest of the year.
Seeding: Fall is the best time for overseeding, but you may now be noticing pets and/or kids have created a number of unsightly bare spots.
If you go this route, one option is to apply a "starter" fertilizer to those spots. A month or so later you'll want to follow that up with a nitrogen fertilizer. Keep in mind, however, that you won't get the same results as you will if you wait until the fall.
The majority of yard projects can be handled on your own without any outside assistance. But if you have physical limitations or find you are unable to get the desired results, a good idea is to seek out a trained professional.
Hiring a Lawn Care Professional
A beautiful, well-maintained lawn is the pride of most neighborhoods. The way your grass looks depends on the way that you take care of it. There is some basic things that you can do to help keep your grass healthy and beautiful. Mowing, watering, feeding, aerating and scarifying are all important steps to follow for basic lawn care. The well cared for lawn can also add value to your home if you are trying to sell. Curb appeal is very important to homeowners so read on to help learn the basics of lawn care.
When mowing your lawn the most important thing to remember is the height of the grass. You should never cut more than one-third of the height of the grass blades. Make sure to always leave the grass clippings on the yard because this will provide fertilizer for your grass. You should be mowing your lawn at least once a week but an ideal situation would be mowing more than once a week. Keep your mower blade sharp and never mow in the same direction. You should also never mow your lawn when it is wet. Wet mowing will cause clumps of clippings and that can breed bacteria. Choose your type of mower by the size of lawn you have. A small lawn that can be done in half an hour or less is best done with a walking mower. Larger lawns will require a ride-on mower.
Watering your grass is important to keep the grass healthy and looking beautiful. When you water your grass it should be done early in the day. Avoid watering your grass too frequently. When the yard is watered be sure that it is done so there is a good soaking so it will not have to be done for a while. Watch the weather and if it is going to rain then you don't need to do any watering.
Lawn feed is another important part of maintenance to keep your lawn looking beautiful and make it the envy of the neighborhood. Before feeding your soil you should have it tested to see which nutrients that is missing from the structure of it and what you need to be adding. In the spring you should be adding a spring/summer fertilizer. This is a lawn feed that is high in nitrogen and is low in phosphates. In the autumn you will use a lawn feed that has low nitrogen and high phosphates. There is also a mixture of fine sand, ammonium and iron sulfate that can be put on your yard to prevent the growth of weeds and moss. The sand is usually applied in the late spring.
Aerating is usually done with a piece of equipment known as an aerator. The lawn aerator is run over the grass the same way as a mower but instead of cutting the grass this piece of equipment actually pulls out plugs of dirt and grass. Aerating will help your grass build a better root system and will help with compacted soil and thatch grass. An aerator is a good investment for the care of your yard and to help your grass look healthy. Leave the soil plugs on the grass so that they can provide fertilization as they decompose. Aerating can also be done by wearing cleats onto your lawn and just walking around.
Scarifying is like exfoliation for your yard. You are going to take away all the bad stuff and get down to the nice, new, healthy grass. Scarifying your yard is removing the dead material from your grass. You can do this by using a rake but a scarifier can reach further than the rake and can remove more waste. The scarifier reaches between the grass blades and removes the decaying matter without damaging the blades of grass. Using the scarifier is as easy as using a rake. Before you start scarifying you need to remove any living weed, fungus or invasive plants. You also need to kill any moss that is growing in the lawn. Autumn is the best time to do the scarifying because the soil is moist and warm. The reason that this needs to be done is because the dead and decaying debris that is laying on the grass will eventually smother it and kill it out. Using the scarifier will keep your grass healthy and disease free.
Your lawn is the first thing that a visitor to your home will see. This is the first impression that they get of you so it is up to you to make it a good one. It may take an investment of some time to make this first impression a good one but it will be worth it. A well-maintained lawn shows that you care about your surroundings.
One of the most important aspects of landscape design, and this definitely applies to small spaces, is creating a front entrance that is inviting and curb appeal that is attractive and adds value to a home. Even if your front entrance is small, you can have a beautiful front entrance. Even if you have no front yard - your curb appeal can be maximized with careful planning and thought. You can easily use what small space you have to create a large impact on how the façade of your home feels and looks. An inviting and beautiful front to a home will increase neighborhood pride in ownership. It'll add literal desirability to your home which adds value, important if you're selling it. And most importantly, a small, beautiful front space will bring you home each day with a smile. Here are three simple tips on how to create maximum appeal with your small front yard and space.
Use vines! Vines are a small space's best friend. In typical design, it's easy to add impressive dimension by layering objects based on size, and this is especially important when it comes to landscaping the front yard. Taller objects are behind shorter ones, which creates dimension and can make an area appear larger than it already is by taking advantage of vertical space when horizontal space is limited. In an area that may not fit large trees and shrubs that add vertical elements to a front yard, vines can be substituted and can have the same effect. Use trellises that are specially designed to support vines of size, or sink trellises into the ground or in pots to support smaller vines. We love Clematis because of its beautiful and long-lived flowering. Place vines in the rear of your design, along walls and porch columns. Train them to grow around doorways. Allow them to take up as much height as they can, which will add a large visual element to your small entrance.
Pots, pots, pots! Another way to add size to small spaces follows the same principle as adding vines, but instead with pots! Pots are made in all sizes- from very large, to tiny. Use varying sizes of pots to create visual depth in an area that doesn't have a lot of actual depth. Place larger pots behind smaller ones in groups, and don't be afraid to fill them with perennials that you often see in large landscapes. Many perennials will live just fine in pots. Grasses are a wonderful choice in pots and do well in pot culture. There are many sizes of grasses, and they are all excellent choices depending on the size of the pot. Try layering medium pots among a display with this lovely Acorus Ogon Grass. It's bright yellow variegation will brighten up a small space without much work. The 'Chip' series of butterfly bush is another great perennial for pot culture, and their small size makes them ideal for small spaces. 'Blue Chip' will play well with the Ogon grass in a pot display in full or partial sun. Layer in pots of annuals too- often found in pretty, ready to display pots for purchase.
Opt for smaller ornamental versions of the big things. One simple example - Japanese maples. Even if you have limited ground space, there's likely a cultivar of these amazing small trees that will be able to grace your front area. Some of these trees can even be grown in large pots - which is essential if you live in an area where it may get too cold to keep most Japanese maple cultivars outside year-round. We love the Japanese Butterfly Tree, which tops out at a small 10 feet in height and sports lovely color in foliage all year-long. You can trim Japanese maples to take on that open, gnarled, and layered characteristic that we all picture well-kept Japanese maples as, or you can allow this cultivar to grow and fill out as it pleases for a lovely, balanced look. It's small and unobtrusive size will make it perfect for most all small spaces, and will easily add a pop of color where you need it most.
For more ideas on adding small size plants to your small yard, check out our Small Size Plants. We hope these three ideas help you create a big impact in your small front yard space. Build a beautiful front yard with these three ideas and you'll soon have the front façade of your dreams- even if it is tiny!