Whether you’re planning on selling your home or not, investing in curb appeal is never a waste of time or money. If the day does come when you may want to sell your home, it will look fantastic and be ready to put on the market without all the extra work. Ongoing maintenance prevents last-minute panic.
To give your yard a visual boost without a ton of effort, try these four spring landscaping ideas. You’ll boost your curb appeal for sure.
1. Divide summer- and fall-flowering perennials
Have your begonias gotten too big for their beds? Divide and transplant summer and fall bloomers (including coneflowers, hostas, sedums and asters) before they begin flowering. You’ll fill out your flower beds (great for curb appeal), thereby crowding out weeds before they even get started.
2. Weed the garden
This can’t be stressed enough. Weeds just look plain bad, ruining even the nicest landscaping. Now’s the time to pull them up by hand when they’re finally above ground but still small enough that a good yank will deliver roots and all. This keeps weeds from spreading and minimizes your summertime maintenance. If you let weeds get too big before pulling them, you won’t be able to remove the entire root, guaranteeing they’ll grow back all summer.
3. Plant some trees
Planting a tree isn’t a huge effort. It’s one of the best projects you can do for your landscape. A tree is about as low-maintenance as your landscape can get, but the difference it can make to your yard lasts for decades. The key is to choose a tree that adds interest to your landscape in the form of colour, shape and texture. And choose a tree that’s the correct scale for the size of your yard. Small yard, small tree. Huge yard, huge trees. But remember, never plant a tree next to your home’s foundation.
4. Add colour with mulch
Mulch is one of the easiest ways to add both color and texture to the entire yard. There’s a multitude of mulch colours that can spice up your bland landscape like red, black, gold or cedar-toned. Best of all, mulch is an excellent way to control weeds in flowerbeds.
5. Prune spring-blooming shrubs
Keep lilacs and other spring beauties going strong every year by pruning them right after they finish flowering. A little trim this time of year will promote new growth without risking next season’s blooms.
6. Plant cold-sensitive annuals
Once your last average frost date has passed — and the soil temp is 15 to 20 degrees celsius (60 to 70 degrees fahrenheit) — you have the all-clear to get cold-sensitive seeds like marigolds, sunflowers and zinnias in the ground.
7. Add rocks
A gorgeous rock bed is a great way to introduce low-maintenance beauty to your home. But don’t throw just any rocks on the ground. Choose a non-porous stone, like decomposed granite or trap rock, which gives you that classic “rock” look. When you’re choosing larger individual stones, look for smooth, round ones which last longer and don’t produce rock dust.
8. Aerate the lawn
Try sticking a screwdriver or pencil into your lawn: If you have to break a sweat to break the soil, it’s time to aerate your lawn. By creating tiny holes, you’ll give water and fertilizer a more direct route to the roots and, in turn, give them more room to grow. If you aren’t able to rent an aerator, lawn maintenance companies will be happy to do it for you.
9. Buy outdoor power tools
Trim 15% to 30% off the cost of powered edgers, mowers, and more by taking advantage of Father’s Day sales — which typically offer the lowest prices of the year. All these types of tools make ongoing maintenance so much simpler.
10. Start a lawn watering schedule
When the temperature climbs, make sure your lawn is getting enough water to preserve your curb appeal. That means at least 1 inch of water a week for cool season grasses and a half-inch for warm-season varieties. Lawns prefer to gulp rather than sip. So water deeply, up to 30 minutes, rather than frequently. You’ll waste less water, too.
11. Use grub control
Grubs dine on your lawn’s roots. Left to gorge, they’ll kill your lawn. That’s not cheap to replace: up to $2 a square foot to re-sod. Go the preventive route, and spread a lawn grub-control product that will take care of the eggs now — before they hatch and start munching hungrily.
12. Stick to a mowing schedule
Cutting your grass too long or too short, or neglecting to cut it regularly will slowly erode your property’s good looks. To prevent that, you (or your lawn service) should cut no more than one-third of the grass blade per mow. Whacking off more leaves your yard susceptible to pests and disease. You may need to plan for up to two mows a week to stay ahead of growth.