Prepping the Yard
The construction of your new home may leave a few ruts in your lawn from large trucks or some patches of dirt in your grass. This is common with new home construction as large trucks can compact the soil, but no worries, you can fix this with a few tips.
You may be able to repair any ruts in your yard without buying grass seed or soil if the grass is on the rut. You can lift the existing grass by digging below the roots with a shovel and lifting the turf in large sections. Using tools like a sod cutter may be helpful in this process and can be rented at a local hardware store. Once you lift the grass, you can break the soil loose. Sometimes that alone can raise the soil level to be even with the ground without needing to add extra soil.
If the rut is too deep or there are holes in your yard, adding soil may be necessary. If you have compost, you can mix compost with soil to help the grass to root better in the rich mixture. If you do not have compost, mixing sand with the soil can also help.
If your grass is a little bare, you can reseed your lawn. There are two main tips for seeding grass:
- Know what kind of grass to seed based on the climate you live in. If you live in an area that has hot summers and the winter doesn't get very cold, you should look at warm weather grass, such as Bermuda grass seed. If you live in an area where the summers don't get very hot but the winters get very cold, you should look at cold weather grass, such as Fescue grass seed.
- Know when to seed to get grass to successfully grow. The type of climate-specific grass you select will determine the best time to seed. It is best to seed warm weather grass in the spring and into summer, whereas cold weather grass will grow better if seeded in the late summer or fall.
Creating a Landscape From Scratch
There are a lot of landscaping ideas for planting flowers to accent certain lawn features. For you, it might be landscaping around a pretty tree, flower beds around the front of your porch, landscaping your walkway or creating a nice outdoor seating area with landscaping around it.
First, select the areas that you would like to landscape, and then you can begin the landscaping process.
- Select the area you want to clear for planting.
- Start creating a defined perimeter of the area and clear the area inside it by digging up the dirt to get to the soft soil where you'll plant seeds. If there is established grass there, you also may be able to dig that grass up in sections and place it in areas where you have bare grass.
- Once the area is cleared, lay landscape fabric or plastic along the area you are going to landscape to prevent weeds and grass from growing in that area.
- Prepare the placement of the plants you are using.
- After planting, top the area with mulch.
- Add a finishing touch to the area by trimming the perimeter with rocks, bricks or even other plants that can edge the area.
Beneficial Plants to Keep Bugs Away
If you enjoy spending time outside, then you may want to incorporate some plants in your landscaping that will keep away pesky bugs. There are several beautiful plants that can do more than just add an interesting visual to your yard, they can also deter insects!
- Marigolds repel mosquitoes. Plant marigolds around porches, patios and outdoor seating areas to keep them away from you and your family.
- Citronella is another mosquito repellant plant. It is a nice, medium-sized plant that adds to greenery coverage and is a good size for a garden bed filler.
- Lavender is not only beautiful, calming and wonderfully scented, but it also repels mosquitoes and flies. If you love purple, then planting some lavender around a place in your yard where you like to sit and relax might be a great incorporation to your landscaping.
- Sweet basil is a must-have when it comes to beneficial plants. Basil is a beautiful leafy green plant that is perfect for potted porch plants, but the best benefits of basil are that it repels flies and you can use it to cook with.
Not everyone has a green thumb, and that's OK! If you would prefer to have a professional landscaper to finish up your lawn, research different companies in your area to find one that suits your budget and needs.
The most important thing to keep in mind when landscaping the yard of your home is that you can make it fit your personal style. Much like decorating the inside of your home, decorating the outside lets you show off your style as well. Landscaping is just one way of maintaining the exterior of your home, for more ways to stay on top of home maintenance, check out our Home Care Guide tips.