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Landscaping Tips for New Homeowners

Posted in Beyond Finances on March 2, 2020

Buying a house is one of the most exciting — and anxious — moments of your life, even if you’ve done so before. From the initial loan application process to the final deal-closing signatures, it can be overwhelming. But once the dust clears and you’re settling into your new home, it’s time to make a projects list. Simple landscaping maintenance is close to the top, especially if it’s a new build.

Newly Constructed Homes

Landscaping a newly constructed home is more than starting with a blank canvas. Poor soil, hidden debris, and weed seeds must be eliminated before you can lay fresh sod. Weeds are unavoidable, but mulch helps keep the soil moist while it suffocates unwanted growth. Groundcovers such as creeping phlox, Japanese forest grass, and mondo grass also keep weeds at bay. For a newly built house, it takes up to three years to establish the property’s landscaping.

Lawn and Flower Bed Maintenance

Mowing, edging, feeding, and weeding the grass is a given for any property owner. Low-maintenance landscaping involves native plants that don’t need much water or fertilizer. Native species also tend to be pest-resistant and disease-free. Organic fertilizers such as compost, grass clippings, minced leaves, and mulch, provide essential nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium just like synthetic ones. But organics are better for the environment.

Choosing the right kinds of plants for your shrubbery beds depends on the area’s climate and the soil’s acidic balance. Brightly colored flowers including scarlet sage, black-eyed Susan, irises, and asters draw birds and butterflies to the yard.

Ornamentals

A nicely manicured lawn is welcoming and adds more to your home’s curb appeal. Shrubbery, small trees, and flowering bushes spice up the driveway edges. Hanging baskets, rocks, boulders, and decorative lighting dress up walkways. Mask outdoor sheds by covering them with hanging brackets, shelves, flowers, and plants.

Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping involves hardscapes, landscaping, rocks, and drought-tolerant plants. Xeriscaping cuts down on the need to mow and water. Drought-tolerant perennials for your xeriscaping include coneflowers, coreopsis, and bluebird plants. Ornamental grasses such as blue fescue, zebra, porcupine, and purple fountain grass bring an exotic look to the yard.

Gardens

Sweet aromas, tasty fruits and vegetables, and a feeling of accomplishment await when you spend a few hours in the garden. Plant a rainbow of green, red, orange, yellow, white, and purple. Gardens need attention, so you’ll have to plan time for working in them. But harvesting the fruits of your labor is well worth it! Hint: Companion planting (planting certain vegetables and fruits together) deters pests and makes your gardening easier.

Fencing

Fencing gives your home a quiet, serene look, whether it’s a privacy hedge, living wall, wooden slats, iron-gated, or glass blocks and masonry. Depending on the neighborhood, there may be rules about what you can build. Check with your local government or homeowners association for any restrictions.

Water Features

Outdoor fountains, koi ponds, and waterfalls attract birds and wildlife to your new home. Set up birdhouses, feeders, and birdbaths to enjoy visits from various species. Stretch out in a comfortable lounge chair and listen to the whooshing sounds of a waterfall and fountain. You’ll be asleep in no time!

Outdoor Living

Plan the outside of your new home with the comforts of the indoors. Decks, pergolas, fire pits, barbecue islands, fireplaces, and outdoor kitchens are a great way to expand your living space. Build a high deck, complete with ladders, around a tall, sturdy tree. Treehouses aren't just for kids!

There's no end to the list of chores when it comes to upkeep. Choose the features you wish, but don’t worry about doing it all at once. Part of the fun of homeownership is building your oasis outdoors.

Photo source: Unsplash

Olivia Stevens designs homes that practically run themselves. You can bet her own home has a self-watering garden, synthetic turf, automatic locks, and lights that turn on at dusk.

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