9
Apr

9 Types of Fences

9 Types of Fences

ByJacob Hurwith on Aug 4, 2016

The type of fence you choose will not only play a key role in your home’s exterior design, but also provide one of the most important benefits of all homes; security. Privacy and security are two of the most common reasons Americans look to buy homes. A professionally installed fence gives every homeowner that true sense of home we all desire. Fencing, whether it be wood, chain link or wrought iron, will greatly affect your sense of home.

Once you’re ready to start your own fencing project, ImproveNet can connect you with up to four fencing pros in your area for free!

Fence Types

Before we jump into all fencing types, you have to know your options. The most popular types of fences are:

  1. Aluminum
  2. Wood
  3. PVC
  4. Wrought Iron
  5. Vinyl
  6. Chain Link
  7. Electric
  8. Bamboo
  9. Farm

Aluminum Fencing

One of the most basic and attractive fencing types is aluminum. While it does not provide the amount of security many homeowners look for in a fence, it’s relatively maintenance free and can essentially look like any other type discussed in this article. The only maintenance will come during installation when you choose to paint and decorate it. However, along with the security, it’s not as strong as you may think and we do not recommend it for areas with severe weather.

To see some of the costs associated with all fencing types, check out our fencing cost estimators.

Wood Fencing

Wood is the most popular fencing type across America. Not only does it give homeowners a sense of privacy with the height wood fencing provides, but they are also one of the more attractive options on the market. They give homeowners a warm and welcoming feeling and without the headache of breaking the bank. Beware that the height and size of your fence will greatly impact the price. The more lumber you need, the more expensive the project will be. On top of that, like all fences, they take awhile to install. Therefore, a smaller fence will clearly be cheaper than a larger one.

On the plus side, wood fences can easily last the lifetime of your home. Just like hardwood floors, the quality of your fence will greatly depend on the type of wood you choose. Needless to say, you have plenty to choose from.

PVC Fencing

Hands down, the cheapest way to fence in your yard is by using one made of PVC. These fences use PVC to replace wooden stakes and pickets, and although not nearly as sturdy, they can certainly serve their purpose. The posts are PVC sleeves that go on top of wooden posts to add stability to the fence, but also cut down on material costs by using less wood. Sometimes, the PVC stakes are attached with an adhesive to the cross bars and other times, they are fastened with screws. This type of fencing comes in a variety of different heights and colors. Because of its PVC makeup, the fence is very resistant to the elements and can last for years.

Wrought Iron Fencing

When you see homes with funky designs on top of their fences, oftentimes, those homeowners chose a wrought iron fence. While wrought iron fences are both strong and beautiful, they do require constant upkeep. If you want to maintain its beauty, wrought iron fences need to be sanded or repainted every two to three years.

Furthermore, going back to the security portion of the conversation, wrought iron fences are not popular choices for the more conservative homeowner. On top of that, wrought iron fences are custom made and therefore, will not be cheap.

Vinyl Fencing

Other than cost, vinyl fencing is elite when it comes to any other category. In fact, according to our friends at HomeAdvisor, some manufacturers claim that vinyl fences are nearly five times stronger and four times more flexible than comparable wood fences.

Vinyl fencing is maintenance free and resists paint, allowing you to easily clean graffiti or any other unwanted stains. All you will need is a hose and soap to make it look as good as new.

Installing a vinyl fence may have a higher upfront cost, but given its low maintenance costs and long lifespan, vinyl fencing is cheaper than many other fencing types.

Chain Link Fencing

Chain link fences do not add much privacy to the home, but perform the other basic functions of a fence quite well. Homeowners, as well as school administrators (very popular), will be delighted to know that they are cheap, durable and need very little maintenance (like many of the other options).

Oftentimes, homeowners add a good amount of shrubbery, flowers, vines or even privacy slates on the outside of chain link fence. Not that this would add any more security to your home, but it would add a pinch of privacy. Any homeowner can cut off their neighbors’ views with a little bit of creativity.

Electric Fencing

Invisible fences are mainly used to contain dogs through an invisible field of electricity. Typically, the installation involves placing a wire in a trench dug along the boundary the owner wishes to fence off. A wireless transmitter is also set up nearby to activate the wire. The final item in the fencing is a battery-powered collar to receive the signal from the wire. The collar warns the animal when it’s near the boundary with a sound pitched only to the animal’s hearing. If the animal tries to cross the boundary, the collar delivers an electric shock.

See how much it cost to install an electric fence.

Bamboo Fencing

Like hardwood flooring, bamboo fencing is starting to hit its stride in the market. It can be grown naturally, so many of our green readers will be happy to hear that it’s one of the most environmentally friendly and attractive options on the market.

There are three styles for bamboo fencing: live bamboo, bamboo cane and rolled bamboo. Rolled bamboo and bamboo cane use poles linked together that are a bit sturdier than live bamboo. Live bamboo can grow up to a foot a year. We would not recommend this style in colder climates.

Farm fencing

Farm fencing certainly doesn’t apply to everyone, but it plays a vital role across America. Just like all non-farm homeowners, you have many options, such as wood, electric, barbed wire, woven or high tensile. No matter what fencing type you go with, beware that installation is expensive and timely. Given the amount of land farmers own, you can imagine the manpower it takes to put up an entire fence.

Conclusion

While security and privacy are certainly the top two functions of all home fences, design and creativity should never take a back seat. With all the fencing choices available, no home in America needs to sacrifice looks for security.

9
Apr

How Much Does Landscaping Cost?

How Much Does Landscaping Cost?

Landscaping can be a big undertaking, but if done right, it can greatly improve your curb appeal and increase your home’s value. Nonetheless, homeowners like yourselves are busy working, taking care of the kids and cooking dinner. Who has time for landscaping?

Those of us without a green thumb will be delighted to hear that professional landscaping is well within your means. Once you review the major landscaping projects and average costs below, head over to our landscaping portal to connect with local landscapers who can help you complete any green project you wish.

Install Landscaping

Installing Landscaping

Unless you have a brand new house in a brand new community, chances are, you already have some landscaping installed. This could be grass in the backyard, a few bushes and even a tree or two. Nevertheless, we have to start with the basics.

According to our landscaping installation cost estimator, the average price to install landscaping is $3,538. This assumes no foundation has been laid and includes both the front and backyard. If you want to help your landscaper and save some dough, you must keep a few things in mind.

  • Don’t buy plants that can’t thrive in your climate.
  • Don’t bite off more than you can chew as far as landscaping projects.
  • Check with the city for larger landscaping projects.
  • Get creative. If you like to repurpose old things, you could use an old wheelbarrow, a tire or even an old pot for a planter.
  • Always consider the front and backyard.

Landscape Costs

Installing Sprinklers

Homeowners install sprinklers so they don’t have to go out and water their plants for 15 minutes every single day. Some see watering plants as a relaxing activity while others see it as a burden. If you fall into the latter, then you may want to install your own sprinklers.

The average price to install a sprinkler system is $3,653. Bear in mind, the price will largely fluctuate based on the size of your yard. Sprinkler systems are installed in zones. Zones consist of five to 10 sprinkler heads. Once the pipes are laid, adding zones is fairly easy and can be done at separate times. If an area is already plumbed, zones can be added as you need them or can afford them.

Of course, this price assumes that you hire a professional. Doing it yourself brings the cost down to around $1,500, but requires your time and manual labor. I have laid out all the steps in How To Install A Sprinkler System.

In the long run, a sprinkler system is cost-effective. It not only saves you time, but it can save a considerable amount of water because it regulates the duration and amount of water going into your landscaping.

Installing Sod

Since we are in the mindset of saving time, a great way to accelerate the growing process is by installing sod. Sod is basically squares of grass with roots in it. Therefore, it can be delivered to your home, just like a package, and installed exactly where you want it.

Like all landscaping projects, the average price to install sod depends on the size of your land and your climate. However, as our sod installation cost estimator dictates, homeowners can expect to pay $1,072 for such a project.

Please note that some sellers charge by the square foot and others charge by the actual tile of grass. Costs might include installation, and other times, it may be an additional expense. Before signing a contract, make sure you go over the contract and understand exactly what you are paying for.

Seed A Lawn

Seeding A Lawn

The average cost to seed a lawn is $1,302. The lowest amount paid to reseed a lawn was $50, while the highest amount was $3,700. Clearly, that is a wide range.

So why would you seed a lawn? If you want to change the look and feel of your landscape or need to repair a damaged portion of your yard, then you need to reseed it.

On top of size, the type of seed and grass can affect the overall price. Additionally, if your lawn is sloped, it will add to the difficulty of the project, which of course, drives up the price.

Some of the most common types of grass include fescue, Bermuda, wheatgrass, Bahia, clover grass or a mix of all. Tall fescue can withstand plenty of activity and grows well in cool areas. Grasses like Bahia and Bermuda prefer warmer conditions and are tolerant of dryer and even drought conditions. Make sure you discuss all the options, pros and cons with your landscaper before installation begins.

Maintaining A Lawn

Like any other home improvement project, the work does not stop after installation. However, unlike projects within the home, if you choose to ignore your landscape, everyone will notice.

Hiring a pro to handle weeds, trim trees and mow your lawn can be a good investment that doesn’t break the bank. If you went an all-inclusive route, most homeowners pay between $250 and $500 for lawn care maintenance. Of course, you could hire landscapers for individual projects as well. According to our data, mowing costs approximately $60, trimming around $200 and weeding between $12 and $40.

Landscape Designer

Landscape Designer

This is where you step up to the Big Leagues. Landscape designers are brought in to take your yard to the next level. Talented designers are able to identify the natural advantages of your specific plot and plan accordingly, blending cost-effective and benefit-rich elements that will ultimately enable you to recoup the design costs faster than you can imagine.

Nationally, the average price to hire a landscape designer is about $5,200. The range for most homeowners is between $4,200 and $6,200. However, the most in-depth projects may cost more than $10,000 to plan due to the significant number of variables at play.

For more info on why a professional landscape designer is worth the investment, please refer to our cost guide.

Conclusion

Any homeowner can install, update and maintain their landscape. If you’re willing to invest the time, then go at it without a professional. On the other hand, now that you have the average prices for the major landscaping projects, you have all the info you need to make a final decision.

9
Apr

How To Create A Gutter Garden

How To Create A Gutter Garden

By Amanda Curry on Aug 10, 2016

How To Create A Gutter Garden

Creating your own gutter garden is a great way to re-purpose worn out gutters to create a beautiful garden within a limited amount of space. Gutter gardens have been growing in popularity as city dwellers search for new ways to bring plants into their backyard. The best news is that this DIY project won’t cost you a ton of money and it’s a great way to take advantage of vertical spaces by securing your gutters vertically on a trellis or fence.

Whether you choose to fill your gutters with flowers, or edibles like strawberries and herbs, a gutter garden is sure to be a great addition to your patio, deck or backyard. Let’s get started!

Small Herbs In Gutter Garden

Materials You’ll Need:

  • Gutters cut into equal sections
  • Gutter end caps (both right and left end caps!)
  • PVC glue
  • Mounting brackets and screws
  • Handsaw
  • Electric drill and drill bit, screw
  • Potting soil, flowers, and edibles of your choice.

Steps to Take:

  1. Clean out your gutters and clear them of any grime, dirt and flaking shingles. If you think that your gutters were painted with lead paint, do not use them as a planter for any edibles.
  2. Cut your gutters into equal sections using a handsaw.
  3. Glue your end caps on the right and left sides of your gutter.
  4. Drill a series of small holes down the length of the gutter. This will allow water to drain.
  5. Repaint the gutters. If you prefer the weathered look, feel free to skip this step. We think that adding a fresh coat of paint adds character to your project. If you are painting your gutter, apply a plastic primer beforehand. This will help the paint stick to the PVC gutter. You may need to give your gutters two coats of paint in order to really seal the deal.
  6. Select a suitable hanging spot (see below).
  7. Wherever you choose to put your gutter garden, make sure there is ample sunlight!
  8. Mark space for your brackets. We suggest using two brackets per channel. If you are arranging your gutters vertically, leave at least a foot between each row to allow your gardens to grow and to ensure that there is ample sunlight hitting your flowers or edibles.
  9. Fasten the gutter garden to your selected area with mounting brackets and screws.

For a suitable hanging spot, consider:

  • Mounting the gutter garden to the side of your deck.
  • Hanging gutters vertically on a fence or trellis.
  • Using your gutter garden as a window planter.
  • Attaching the gutters to the side of your home.

Gutter Garden

The Finishing Touches on Your Gutter Garden

Fill your gutters with potting mix just below the lip. We suggest filling your gutter with the lightest soil you can find. If you are concerned about moisture retention, add a bit of peat moss too.

Consider adding plants that give a burst of color to your backyard. If you can grow it in a 4” pot, you are most likely able to plant it in your gutter garden since it’s a shallow area. Here are some plants to consider:

  • Lettuce, salad greens and spinach
  • Radish and other small root vegetables
  • Strawberries and other small fruit
  • A variety of cacti
  • Herbs like mint, thyme, parsley and chives
  • Marigolds, violas and pansies

Your new gutter garden is sure to add charm to an otherwise uninteresting area! Thanks to their elevated existence, rabbits, bugs and other pests will stay out of your garden. And, remember to water your gutter garden regularly at the soil level!

Clean Your Gutters

Avoiding Unwanted Gardens in Your Gutters

Repurposing your gutters with a small garden is a great idea when your gutters are unattached from your home. But, if you have looked at your gutters lately, you may have noticed that they have been sprouting roots, due to neglect. You may not realize it, but your clogged gutter problem can cause serious and costly foundation and structural damage to your home.

Your gutters have one purpose and one purpose only: to divert rainwater away from your home. When your gutters become filled with unwanted debris like leaves, twigs and shingle grit, the flow of water will be interrupted, and water can spill over your gutters, damaging your soffit and fascia board. This will also cause water to pool around the base of your home, seeping into your foundation, causing cracks, mildew or mold.

For these reasons, it’s important to regularly maintain your gutters by properly cleaning them about three times a year. When cleaning your gutters, be sure to have someone at the base of your ladder that can keep it steady to prevent any accidents. As an alternative, consider hiring a professional gutter cleaner to complete the job for you.

Gutter cleaning is a temporary solution to a permanent problem. If you are looking for a more permanent solution to your clogged gutter problem, a gutter protection system, like LeafFilter, may be a viable option for you. Gutter guards keep debris out of your gutters, allowing water to flow freely and divert properly away from your home. However, not all gutter guards are created equal and you should conduct your own research before making the investment.

Conclusion

Remember to keep the garden out of your rain gutter with proper maintenance and enjoy your new garden with your reclaimed gutters in your backyard!

9
Apr

Top 5 Ways Landscaping Can Lower Your Energy Bill In The Summer

Top 5 Ways Landscaping Can Lower Your Energy Bill In The Summer

By Rick Ryan on Aug 26, 2016

Top 5 Ways Landscaping Can Lower Your Energy Bill In The Summer

Earth Day has come and gone, but when it comes to your yard, it’s never too late to think about ways to improve your green lifestyle. Many homeowners are aware that smart landscaping can save water, reduce landfill waste through composting and create habitat for beneficial wildlife. However, did you know that a few simple changes to your home landscaping can even lower your summer energy bills?

It’s true. Strategic placement of trees, shrubs and other landscape elements can block heat from reaching your home and significantly reduce your energy use in the summer.

Try these five energy-efficient landscaping tips for a cooler yard and home:

1. Shade Your Roof & Walls

Your roof is the prime location for summer heat to penetrate your home, because it receives the most direct sunlight. Tall shade trees block this light very effectively in the summer. In fact, they can reduce your summer energy bill by as much as 20%. In North America, it’s best to plant shade trees on the sunny south side of your house, and on the west side of the home where they will shade your house from the late afternoon “dragon sun” of summer. You can use either deciduous or evergreen trees for shade. However, if you want to enjoy the most energy savings from your landscaping, consider sticking with broad-leaved, deciduous trees. That is because they will drop their leaves and allow the winter sun to warm your home. If you have no tall trees and don’t want to wait years for shade, a nice alternative is to build a trellis or pergola and plant it with fast-growing vines.

Create Cool Islands With Trees & Plants

2. Create ‘Cool Islands’ with Trees & Plants

Shade is not the only way that trees and other plants keep your property cool. They also create a cooling effect through the process of evapotranspiration. This is the natural process by which a plant draws water from the ground and releases it into the air, cooling the air as it does. You can plant clumps of trees, shrubs and other plants to create summer  “cool islands” around your home. Keep in mind, too, that a lawn is much cooler than hardscape, so think twice before putting in large expanses of pavement — especially dark colored pavers or asphalt, which absorb heat.

3. Shade Your Air-Conditioning Unit

Just like your home or your car, your outdoor air-conditioning unit will heat if it is allowed to sit in full sun. Instead, plant a tree or shrubs close enough to provide shade. Don’t allow bedding plants to crowd your unit. Remember that it will need adequate airflow to function at top efficiency.

4. Direct Cooling Breezes Toward Your Home

Windbreaks aren’t just for stilling winter winds. You can also use them to direct airflow in the summer for cooling effects. For example, a wind tunnel with a row of trees or shrubs on one side of your home and a wall or second row of plants on the other can funnel cooling breezes toward your home. Of course, if you live in an area subject to hot summer winds, a traditional windbreak can keep them at bay and reduce your energy loss in the summer.

Cool Down with A Water Feature

5. Cool Down with A Water Feature

Just as plant transpiration can help cool your yard, so can evaporation from a pond or fountain. Adding a water feature to your garden can create a cool spot to relax on a hot day. If you have room for a large pond, it may even keep your entire property a few degrees cooler than your neighbors.

Conclusion

Of course, regardless of which strategies you use to save money with your landscaping, you will want to be sure the plants and other features you choose are suitable for your local climate and soil type. For example, sugar maples are wonderful and popular shade trees. However, they are best suited for northern climates. If you live in southern Georgia or Arizona, you will want to choose something else to shade your home. All Valley Landscaping provides local expertise on the Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona area. Your local extension agent or landscaping professional can help you determine the best landscape plants for your area, and may also suggest additional ways your landscape can help you keep your cool in the summer.

9
Apr

How Much Does It Cost To Remove A Tree?

How Much Does It Cost To Remove A Tree?

By Jacob Hurwith on Aug 26, 2016

How Much Does It Cost To Remove A Tree?

As sad as it is, tree removal is part of home ownership. While beautiful landscapes showcase tall, luxurious trees through their front yards, other times, rot or poorly planned electric lines can ruin one’s curb appeal. Therefore, more often than we care to admit, trees must be removed.

Since there are many factors at play, determining the average cost to remove a tree can be complex. Nonetheless, if your trees are not what they once were or have become a safety hazard for you and your family, read below as I will discuss all the factors that determine how much it costs to remove a tree.

Cost To Remove Trees

Cost to Remove Trees

As we noted in our tree removal cost estimator, there are some homeowners who attempt to complete this project on their own. However, given what’s at stake, especially if the tree is close to the home, we highly recommend hiring a pro.

The average price to remove a tree is $545, but five factors will inflate or deflate that price. Those five factors are:

  • Size/Height
  • Condition
  • Diameter
  • Location
  • Type

Based on these factors, we have seen tree removal services run as high as $1,000 or as low as $125. While many landscaping companies will offer tree and shrub removal and trimming services, you may want to consider contacting a dedicated arborist instead. An arborist is a professional who can offer more specialized tree and shrub services, including conservation and maintenance.

Regardless of whom you hire, you will also want to discuss the following answers with your hired professional:

  1. Do you want any stumps left behind to be ground down?
  2. Are you planning to plant a new tree?
  3. Are there rules to cutting down trees in your area?

No matter the answers, discuss them with your landscaping professional before you sign the contract.

Considerations for Tree Removal Cost

Considerations for Tree Removal Cost

Like I said, the average cost will largely depend on five important factors.

Size (Height)

To no surprise, taller trees are more expensive to remove. They demand more work and may require special equipment to not only take it down, but to remove it from the premises as well. According to HomeAdvisor, small trees are 30 feet tall or less, medium trees are between 30 feet and 60 feet and large trees stand 60 feet to 80 feet tall. Very tall trees are 80 feet or taller. Most tree removal services use these size ranges as guidelines for charging.

Condition

Certain trees are in worse conditions than others, largely depending on its age, rot and lean. Trees in worse conditions are more expensive, and complicated, to remove.

Below are a few factors that can adversely affect the condition of your tree:

  1. Recent construction near roots
  2. Slight lean of the tree
  3. Exposed roots
  4. Multiple trunks
  5. Weak branches or stump
  6. Cavities or decay of the tree

To keep your tree in great condition, casual maintenance is required. See what it costs with our tree maintenance cost guide.

Tree Diameter

Diameter

Tall and thin make for a quick removal process, but short and stout bring a different dimension to the tree removal process. As such, a short or tall thicker tree will almost certainly increase the price of removal. If the trunk must be cut into sections (usually the case for a thicker tree), it will add that much more time to the job.

Location

Needless to say, there are many important structures surrounding many trees, such as electric lines, your home, a neighbor’s home and so on. A tree in a compromised position can add 50% to the total removal cost. Furthermore, trees woven between power lines may require a certified lineman for removal.

Additionally, trees that are very close to the home require more work, driving up the total cost of the removal. If the tree is near a structure, the branches will have to be lowered by rope instead of just being cut loose. Also, cutting down a tree surrounded by trees that you don’t want damaged can complicate the job quite a bit.

Location

Finally, trees in the front yard are usually cheaper to remove than backyard trees. Trucks can’t bypass your home and oftentimes, removal of backyard trees requires a pro to climb the tree. The farther the pro or truck must go, the more expensive the service will be.

Type

Much like the size, the type of wood or tree will have a big effect on the overall price. For instance, oak, which is part of the hardwood family, is a very strong wood and requires more work to remove versus a palm or pine tree. Oak trees can run up to $1,000 to remove, whereas small palm or pine trees can cost as little as $150.

More exact prices are below:

  • Palm Tree Removal: The average cost to remove a palm tree is approximately $150 to $450 if their height is 30 feet. If they’re 80 feet tall or more, you might spend $1,100 to $1,500.
  • Pine Tree Removal: The average price to remove a pine tree is around $200 if the tree is 40 feet tall, but 80-foot pine trees will cost about $1,500.
  • Oak Tree Removal: Since it reaches up to a height of 60 feet, the average cost to remove an oak tree is approximately $200 to $1,000.

Costs of Grinding a Stump

Costs of Grinding A Stump

Even after the tree has been removed, the work is not done. Tree stumps are significant eyesores to any yard, front or back. They can not only ruin your chances of selling the home down the line, but also present a substantial safety risk.

A landscape or tree professional can remove large stumps in minutes. According to our tree service cost estimators, the average price to grind down a tree stump ranges between $82 and $139. Other factors that could affect the price include the age of the stump, the condition of the soil, the root system and the hardness of the wood. If you have several stumps to grind, you may be able to bundle them together and reduce the individual price.

Conclusion

We love promoting green initiatives, but oftentimes, we have to face reality. If you have a tree that is not healthy and presenting a serious safety concern to your home, it must be removed. Given its relatively low cost, the decision is quite easy.

9
Apr

The Guide To Garden Maintenance & Improvement

The Guide To Garden Maintenance & Improvement

By Andrea Davis on Sep 30, 2016

The Guide To Garden Maintenance & Improvement

Keeping your garden healthy is not only a way to beautify your yard, it can actually add significant value to your home.

Whether you’re a green-thumbed newbie or have been gardening for years, it’s important to know how to maintain your plants in the most efficient and cost-effective ways. From regular upkeep to making additions, we’re here to guide you through the best garden maintenance and improvements.

Water your garden

General Garden Upkeep

Watering

It’s important to note that some areas have watering restrictions, as well as strict laws when it comes to watering during droughts. Enter your zip code here to see if your area is experiencing a drought  and check local watering guidelines for your city.

Although watering your garden probably seems like the most straightforward part of upkeep, there are actually a few things to keep in mind:

  • Stick to a watering schedule and try to water early in the morning when the ground is cool and the sun isn’t as bright.
  • You should water deeply at the base of the plant so the roots can easily access the water. Focusing on the leaves and upper foliage not only deprives the roots of nutrients, it can lead to fungus.
  • Trees and shrubs should receive direct watering about every 7-10 days.
  • Potted and other contained plants in general should be watered once a day. (Not sure if you’re overwatering? Try placing your finger into the soil up to your second knuckle. If it’s dry all the way through, it needs water.)

If you use a sprinkler system, use one with fixtures close to the ground instead of those that waste water by shooting it into the air where it mostly evaporates.

There are also a few watering tools you should use for the most effective hydration depending on what kind of garden you’re raising:

  • For vegetable gardens, use a soaker hose.
  • For annuals and perennials, use a watering wand.
  • For potted plants, use a watering can or wand.

Soil Testing

It’s important to ensure that you use the best possible soil for your garden and the best way to figure out where yours measures up is to perform a soil test. This will allow you to discover its pH level, how acidic (sometimes called “sour”) or alkaline (“sweet”) it is, and thus how easily your plants are able to pull nutrients from it. pH is measured on a scale from 1 (most acidic) to 14 (most alkaline), with 7 acting as the general neutral point around which most plants prefer.

You can find a soil testing kit at most gardening or home improvement stores. Within minutes of testing, you’ll learn both your soil’s pH and nutrient levels. Some will also tell you specifically what your soil is lacking, as well as how to fix the issue. Generally, overly-acidic soil can be remedied with lime and overly-alkaline soil calls for a sulfur-based conditioner.

Read and follow the kit instructions carefully. Most will have you take a soil sample, then add a designated chemical along with distilled water. After a designated amount of time (usually just a few minutes), you’ll use a color chart to evaluate your results. Newer gardeners may benefit from asking for a gardening buddy’s expertise for the first test to help assess both the results of the test and how to best fix any problems.

Test Your Soil

Fertilizing

There are a few choices to make when it comes to fertilizing. You can buy manmade plant food and fertilizer from your local gardening, home improvement, or even some grocery stores. Or if you prefer the all-natural route, you can opt to compost or buy organic fertilizer.

Fertilizer comes in a few different forms such as dry, liquid, slow-releasing and manure:

Dry fertilizer is used mainly as a way to improve the fertility of soil ready for planting, or for increasing the nutrients in well-established plants. It can be dispersed around developed shrubs and trees, or even to perennial beds.

Liquid fertilizer is often used with fruit and vegetable gardens, or for other plants simply in need of a nutrient boost. You can dilute it and add it to soil or compost, or add it to a spraying system to use as foliage feed.

Slow-release fertilizer is great for the gardener on the go: it feeds plants over an extended period of time and typically only requires a single application. You can mix it into compost or add it right to the soil to be absorbed.

Manure is one of the most basic, albeit probably the smelliest, forms of fertilizer and has some amazing benefits. Not only is it rich with nutrients, it also has the ability to improve the soil’s ability to retain water. Use it as a kind of mulching for developed gardens or add it to dug areas you’re preparing to plant.

No matter the form, don’t forget to always wear gloves when working with fertilizer!

Let your soil test help guide your decision as far as what nutrients you look for in a fertilizer. Pay close attention to the product’s instructions for how much and often to fertilize. Too little can lead to weak plant growth, while too much can cause soft, sappy shoot systems attractive to bugs and weak against colder conditions. If a plant seems to be struggling but you can’t figure out its deficiency on your own, talk to a local gardening specialist, even bringing in the plant if possible.

Weeding

The key to preventing and eliminating weeds is to understand how they work. Though their seeds spread easily (and just about everywhere), not all of them are high enough in the soil to receive the sunlight needed to grow. However when you break into a piece of ground and move around the soil, you run the risk of bringing some of the deeper seedlings to surface and accidentally making them viable. A general rule to avoid this is to dig only when you must and once done, cover the area with mulch or other plants.

Ideally it’s best to weed while it’s wet outside and a fishtail weeder can help you pull invasive plants up from their roots. For weeding while it’s dry outside, use a sharp-edged hoe to cut a weed just below the soil line. Some more stubborn weeds may call for stronger or sharper tools like weed wackers, but always use them with caution and keep a close eye out for curious animals and children who may not realize the danger. If you’re unable to completely remove a weed, you can cut off their seed-spreading tops for a quick, but temporary, fix.

Stump Removal

Garden Improvements

Perhaps you’re putting your house on the market and hope to add curb appeal with some nice accents to your garden, or maybe you’ve got a pest problem that needs resolved. It could even be that you’re simply bored with its current look. You can recruit the help of a landscape designer or come up with your own plan, but either way there are plenty of options for making improvements to your garden.

Tree and Stump Removal

It could be that you’ve decided to get rid of an overgrown eyesore, or maybe the old stump that once made a folksy addition to your garden display is now too rotted to stick around. Whatever the case, there are a few routes you can take to getting rid of unwanted trees and stumps. Keep in mind that if you’re not used to working with large power tools, it might be worth the investment to hire professional help to avoid personal injury or home damage.

Whenever possible, it’s best to remove the stump completely. Small trees should be cut with about four feet of height so they can be pulled out using a winch and a relatively powerful automobile. If the stump is too big to remove in one shot, you can use a mini excavator to break down the root system or with large but rotted stumps, use a grub hoe to clear it out. If you’re really experienced, you can opt for a stump grinder, though hiring a professional is always the safest route.

Stump killers are another helpful tool for this improvement endeavor. Often, this involves drilling holes or re-cutting the stump at the top since the chemicals used will be most effective on freshly-cut wood. Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely and wear gloves while working.

Paths

A pathway through your garden or yard is a beautiful addition that can really bring the whole look together. Whether you’re looking for a more polished look or something a little more rustic, there are a few basic options to choose from:

  • Mulch
  • Gravel
  • Stepping stones
  • Planted paths

Mulch and gravel will be two of the least expensive options and are relatively simple to build. Keep in mind, however, that you’ll have to edge your pathways to avoid the material spreading. Gravel will be heavier and somewhat more stagnant, but mulch is softer and more kid-friendly, especially if you have little ones who haven’t quite mastered walking just yet!

Stepping stones require little digging and because they allow you to maximize so much space with just one stone, they can be a cost effective option. Generally, you’ll want stones about 18 inches across and 2 inches thick. You’ll have to see specifically which kinds of stone are available in your area, but your local home improvement store should give you great insight into your best options.

Planted paths are a great choice if you’re worried about the tedious task of lining up the stones just right. Any imperfections or uneven placements can be hidden with ground cover plants and give it a more rustic look.

Garden fencing

If critters are creating a problem in your garden, a fence is a terrific way to deter them. The kind of fence you choose may depend on the look you want to achieve, but when possible it’s ideal to make it solid. If the animal can’t see what he’s missing, he’s a lot less likely to try to break in! An alternative would be to install an electric fence that, while more expensive, will be effective at protecting your garden as well as less restrictive on the view.

If it’s a household pet that can’t contain its curiosity, a 3-foot wire mesh fence with strong posts is an easy fix. If your pet is prone to digging, reinforce the fence even further by bending the base into a 2-foot wide apron. Rabbits can be deterred with a similar structure, though it’s recommended you use chicken wire with 1-inch diameter holes. Don’t forget the apron — a hungry rabbit just might dig to get his dinner!

Burrowing pests are especially troublesome and just a few visits can destroy much of your hard work. You’ll have to construct cages around your garden bed buried about 3 feet into the ground, lining the sides and bottom. These animals tend to be persistent, so do your best to check the fence for breaches every couple weeks or contact an animal removal service.

Conclusion

A beautiful garden doesn’t come without hard work, but in the end it’s worth the trouble. Your family gets to enjoy a lovely view, you get the satisfaction of creating and maintaining living art and your home’s value can increase just with its presence.

9
Apr

Guide To Composting At Home

Guide To Composting At Home

By Andrea Davis on Oct 6, 2016

Guide To Composting At Home

Recycling organic matter into soil conditioning, fertilization and enrichment material requires a process that is known as composting. It’s a technique that uses living organisms to enrich the soil needed by plants in order to grow and stay healthy.

Composting is a healthy and inexpensive way to help the environment as well as cut down on the need for inorganic fertilizers and some types of pesticides. It’s also something that both adults and children can do. To get the best out of composting, it’s necessary to understand how it’s done and what is needed to make it happen.

How Composting Works

Composting is a process that can take weeks or months. It begins with the gathering of organic waste to form the start of a compost pile or compost heap. Fungi, bacteria, worms and other forms of life then consume and process the organic debris into a material called humus, which is rich in essential nutrients, such as carbon, nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous. When the material is combined with a proper amount of water and access to oxygen, the temperature of the composting material will increase to a potential maximum of 150 degrees Fahrenheit or 66 degrees Celsius. At maximum potential temperature, the composting process will take as little as three weeks, but at lower temperatures, it can take several months.

  • Composting (Video)
  • Smart Gardening Information Sheet: The Art and Science of Backyard Composting (PDF)
  • Backyard Composting: Nature’s Way of Recycling (PDF)
  • Backyard Composting
  • Composting at Home: Learn How to Compost at Home

Benefits Of Composting

Compost is an effective substitute for commercial fertilizers and in some cases, it can also serve as a natural pesticide and barrier for some plant-based diseases. It contributes to enhanced soil moisture retention as well as higher levels of essential nutrients, which result in higher crop yields. The process of composting can also clean up the ecosystem by removing toxins and even some types of heavy metals from the environment. Composting is a critical element when it comes to organic farming and sustainable agriculture in general and it’s useful for anything from home gardening to landscaping or farming on a small or large scale. If landscaping or home remodeling in New York, a professional may be able to best apply the compost for maximum growth. While composting is great for home gardeners and home agriculture, it also has a variety of other important benefits. It helps with soil reclamation, fighting sediment runoff and topsoil erosion and creating wetlands to serve as habitats for some types of wildlife. Industrial interests also use compost to cover landfills and to alleviate the cost of disposing of food waste from schools, shopping malls and stadiums.

  • Environmental Benefits
  • Wisconsin Composting Overview, Including Benefits
  • Compostology: The Science of Composting or Vermicomposting
  • Composting Benefits
  • Guide to Yard Composting

What To Use, What Not To Use

Organic waste is the most essential element of composting. It includes a wide variety of organic material that is sorted into classes called “greens” and “browns.” Green organic waste supplies essential amounts of nitrogen and includes fruit and vegetable remnants, young or dead weeds, freshly mowed grass, tea bags and tea leaves, used coffee grounds, leaves, dried flowers and various trimmings from landscaping or yard work. Fresh manure from herbivorous animals like cows, horses and chickens also falls under the “green” category of organic composting materials. Carbon is another necessary part of the composting process and for that element, brown organic matter is necessary: Examples include hair, straw, eggshells, shredded cardboard and sawdust.

There are certain materials, however, that people should not use when composting. These include any cooked foods or manure from carnivorous animals, such as cats. Cat litter should also never be used. Never try to compost diapers or metal, including aluminum, or anything that has chemicals in it. If conducting home renovations in Illinois or wherever you call home, make sure you talk to your contractor about any waste that may or may not be compostable.

  • Composting: How and What to Compost
  • Composting at Home: Introduction to Composting
  • Composting at Home

How To Build A Compost Pile

There are several factors involved in building a compost pile. The first step is to gather the compost material, or organic waste. Open compost bins are the best for achieving optimal exposure to oxygen, which is a vital element in the process. When it comes to outside or backyard composting, the compost material can be arranged in an open pile, which means it can be placed on the ground; however, more optimal results can be achieved by storing it in a container known as a compost bin. When composting indoors or in areas with limited space, using worms, or vermicomposting, is a good choice to reduce odors. According to Cornell University, the compost mixture should contain a ratio of 30 parts carbon to 1 part nitrogen by weight. Larger ratios of carbon to nitrogen mean the compost material will not reach a sufficient temperature, while lower ratios will result in the generation of excess ammonia gas.

  • Compost Chemistry: C/N Ratio
  • The How-To’s of Building a Compost Pile
  • Home Composting: A Guide to Composting Yard and Food Waste (PDF)

Maintaining The Pile

Part of the composting process involves actively tending to the project. This is because routine rotation will be necessary to keep the mixture properly exposed to oxygen. A container that tumbles or rotates every one to two days will achieve even better results, as it keeps everything properly mixed and exposed to oxygen from the air. Maintaining proper levels of moisture is also important. Compost piles should only be moist, not so wet that they’re dripping with water and this can be achieved by spraying the mixture with a water bottle or lightly with a garden hose. If the compost material is too wet, it’s possible to regulate the moisture level by adding brown materials like shredded cardboard and scraps of used paper towels.

  • Turn Your Spoils into Soil
  • Backyard Composting: Mixing and Turning
  • How Composting Works
  • Food Waste at Home (PDF)

The Finished Product

Depending on various conditions, the compost may be finished within a matter of weeks or months. When it’s complete and ready for use, the material will be of the same temperature as that of the ambient air. It should crumble in one’s hands and resemble a dark and rich form of dirt, with an earthy scent. There should be no recognizable remnants of the original materials, nor should there be any mold, ammonia scent, or rotten odors.

  • NCSU: Large-Scale Organic Materials Composting (PDF)
  • Compost Information Including How to Use Finished Compost
  • Turning Garbage Into Gold (PDF)
  • Benefits and Uses of Finished Compost

Conclusion

Composting is a great way to help the environment and your garden by supplying the nutrients your soil needs. However, to ensure you’re composting correctly, be sure utilize a few of these tips so you can make the most of this fertilizing technique.

9
Apr

Preparing Your Yard For A Cold Winter

Preparing Your Yard For A Cold Winter

By Jaclyn Crawford on Oct 6, 2016

Preparing Your Yard For A Cold Winter

As summer comes to a close, many homeowners begin to look ahead to the colder months. Unpacking sweaters they may have stored and bringing out their coat racks to fill with scarves and mittens. For many of us, winter presents blustery cold conditions, keeping us inside our cozy homes for the next few months.

But before you get ready to hibernate indoors, take care of what’s outside first. You’ve likely put a lot of time and thought into your landscaping around the home. If not prepared, the frosty temperatures can destroy the spring blooms you anticipate every year. So take advantage of a sunny fall day and prepare your yard for a cold winter with these tips.

If you’re ready to get started on your lawn care, contact a pro today for up to four free quotes from landscaping contractors in your area.

Clean Your Lawn

Clean Up

Fall is a beautiful time of year when you’re able to see leaves in a variety of warm hues. As beautiful as it is, eventually, those leaves will end up in your lawn. At first, it’s fine to continue mowing over them, as it turns to mulch and provides added nutrients to your lawn. But, once the leaves become too much to mow over, you must rake them up.

Another thing you should clean and store for the winter months is any lawn furniture you’ve enjoyed in the summer. Leaving them out in the winter elements can change their appearance and ruin any finishes on them. This is especially true for wood furniture. Store away in a shed or garage until you’re ready to use again next year.

Clean Your Gutters

Prep Your Water System

Winter weather can have a terrible effect on your outdoor water systems and features. Make sure all the water is shut off, hoses unattached and put away. If you have a rain barrel, you’ll want to drain that for the winter as water can freeze and damage the barrel.

This is also a great time to clean out your gutters. It’s recommended that gutters are cleaned at least twice a year and it’s important to go into the winter months with a clean gutter to prevent any damage.

Mow Your Lawn

Mowing

The last day you mow for the year depends on the climate you live in. Ideally, you’ll want to stop mowing after the first fall frost. You can look up the prediction for your area using the Farmer’s Almanac to better plan your last mow. Use the lowest setting on your lawn mower the last few times you cut the grass.

You also may want to consider applying a winter fertilizer to your grass to give it an extra boost for the spring.

Areate Your Lawn

Aeration

An important, but often forgotten aspect about lawn care task is aeration. This creates small holes in your lawn to allow nutrients to get into the ground and refresh your grass. Fall is an ideal time to do this task, because your lawn needs time to soak in the nutrients and regrow without disturbance. To aerate your yard, you can do this yourself by renting a machine or purchasing special shoes that allow you to do this task while walking around your lawn. For larger lawns, it’s best to contact a pro who has the right tools to help.

Prepare Your Flowers

Protect Your Perennials

Your beautiful flowers that were a delight this summer now need proper care to bloom again next year. First, you should know what flowers are perennials and annuals. Annuals, unless they are self-seeding, need to be pulled up as they will not come back the next year.

However, perennial flowers should be expected to return the next year, if you have cared for them properly during the season. But to ensure they bloom the next year, you’ll want to protect them from the snow and cold. Add extra mulch around them after the first frost and cut them back to allow for new flowers to bloom in the spring.

Clean Up Lawn Furniture

Garden Prep

If you have a fruit and vegetable garden, winterizing it gives you a start to the best produce the following year. As wonderful as your garden has been this year, it’s now time to remove any plants that are done growing. Pests can inhabit old plants during the late-fall months and potentially ruin your garden the following year. Remove any weeds you see as well.

Now that the season has ended, consider having your soil tested. This way, you’ll know the pH levels and nutrients that are in your soil to determine what plants will thrive next year.

Prepare Your Backyard

Plan Ahead

Now that your yard is winterized, you have a few months to consider how you want your landscaping to look next season. Plan out any major projects you’d like to complete like installing a water feature or flowerbed. If you have a garden or intend to plant new flowers, this is an important step because many need to be planted at a specific time of year. Be aware so you don’t plant a late-summer flower in early spring!

Plant For Spring

Plant For Spring

You may be surprised to hear that there actually is some planting to be done in the fall months. Spring bulbs and shrubs are best planted in the fall, before the first frost. This will give them time to grow and flowers ready to bloom as the weather begins to change in the spring.

Conclusion

After working hard all summer on your landscaping, it’s hard to see that go to waste. But you can have a lawn that will wow your neighbors by planning for the year to come.

9
Apr

How To Plant & Maintain A Container Garden

How To Plant & Maintain A Container Garden

By Jaclyn Crawford on Oct 6, 2016

How To Plant & Maintain A Container Garden

Gardening has endless benefits. However, there are many homes that pose challenges for gardening success. A small yard, unsuitable land or changing weather conditions can make it difficult to exercise your green thumb. If you’re looking to garden but are uncertain you have what you need to be successful, don’t fear.

Container gardening is a popular way to grow various plants without sacrificing valuable space in your backyard. It’s a great place to start if you’re new to the hobby, as you can control the variables much easier than starting from the ground. Here’s a few tips on how you can start and maintain a beautiful container garden.

Are you ready to improve your landscaping? Contact a pro today for up to four free quotes from contractors in your area.

Container Garden On Ground

Choosing The Right Container

Before choosing your plants, the first step of any garden maintenance is giving them a proper place to grow and thrive. When it comes to container gardening, there are so many options that can help style your yard and home the way you’d like. The most important consideration is finding a container that has proper drainage. The larger the plant or herb you intend on growing, the larger container you will need. If the container is too small, roots can’t expand and your plant will likely die.

You’ll also want to consider the style of your home or yard to incorporate the design of the container. Remember, the container design becomes a part of the overall décor. A look that mixes and matches a few different styles of containers is a great way to incorporate various designs, without looking tacky. Remember to set a schedule for watering your container garden as they need it regularly and often.

Beautiful Container

Container Gardening For Every Season

While traditional gardens die in the cold weather, it’s possible to keep container gardens alive year-round. There are typically two ways to go about all-season container gardens. One way is to grow and store your plant indoors and ensure it gets plenty of sunlight and water. This works best with herbs and leafy plants, not only adding décor to your home but enhancing the air quality. A windowsill in the kitchen is a great place for this.

A second way is to change out the plants every season to fit the weather. Start with bulbs and bright color flowers to welcome the spring and adding foliage and bright, tropical flowers in the summer. As the cool weather approaches, change to ornamental grasses and foliage. During the winter months, cold-hardy plants like ferns and dogwood look beautiful in the snow when cared for properly. By rotating your plants, you keep your container garden alive year-round for everyone to see.

Vegetable Container Garden

Container Vegetable Gardening

For small, urban backyards, growing your own food might seem impossible. But vegetable container gardens make it easy to grow fresh produce from your porch or deck. Instead of focusing on the décor of the container, you’ll want to plant your vegetable garden in a large container so your plant has room to grow. Mulch is another addition you’ll need to your container vegetable garden to help keep moisture in the dirt. Here are some vegetables that are best suited for your container garden:

  • Green Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Peppers
  • Cucumbers

Herb Container Garden

Container Herb Garden

Can you imagine having fresh herbs for soups and stews during the winter? This is possible by utilizing containers for your herb garden. Small and versatile, herbs grow well on windowsills or outdoors. I love the basil plant I keep in my kitchen. It’s perfect for adding fresh flavor to pasta quickly and easily. The key to a successful container herb garden, however, is sunlight. Most need full sun to thrive. Here are a few ideas for herbs to grow in your container garden, indoors or out:

  • Chives
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Lavender

Succulent Garden

Succulent Container Gardens

The trendiest choice for your container garden is succulents. If you’re struggling on your green thumb, succulents will give you the garden you love with much less risk. These small plants are hardy and great for containers of any size, both indoors and out. Mix and match your favorites to create a container garden look unique to your taste. They also need less water than most. Be sure to fill the bottom of your container with gravel before potting soil, to help drainage.

Though many of them never flower, they grow in shapes and sizes unique to their species. These succulent ideas are perfect for any container. Mix and match for the best results.

  • Echeveria
  • Hens and Chicks
  • Stonecrop
  • Aeonium
  • Aloe
  • Crassula

Potted Plants

Container Gardening For Privacy

If you’re yard lacks a proper fence but you long for a bit of privacy, consider utilizing containers to create a natural barrier with long, ornamental grasses and small evergreens. You’ll need larger containers for this and works best if placed along a walkway or solid ground. While not a long-term solution, it could significantly cut down on noise and partial screening to the view of your property.

Floral Container Garden

Conclusion

If you have a knack for gardening or simply want to learn more, a container garden is the perfect way to do so. You can enhance your yard or living space simply by incorporating a few container plants into your décor.

9
Apr

2017 Landscaping & Home Garden Trends

2017 Landscaping & Home Garden Trends

By Jaclyn Crawford on Mar 12, 2017

2017 Landscaping & Home Garden Trends

With spring just around the corner, it’s likely you’ve started to think about what you’re lawn and garden will look like this season. After all, the key to a beautiful looking yard is proper planning.

Just as the seasons change, trends change as well. What was popular in home gardening and landscaping last year may have made its way out as the new year began. Trends can sprout up in new ways. Here’s our list of the hottest landscaping and home gardening trends in 2017.

Planning to give your back or front yard a new look? Incorporate the latest trends in your landscaping this year! Contact a landscaping pro and receive up to four quotes from contractors in your area for free.

Seasonal Color Trend

Landscaping Costs

As you begin planning for your new outdoor look, it’s important to consider cost. With many landscaping projects, you can DIY. However, in some cases, you may need a little help from a pro, especially when it comes to maintenance. The average cost to maintain a lawn is $226, depending on the services required.

Additionally, before you begin planning anything, you may want to consider having your soil tested. This can help determine what plants will thrive best in the type of soil you have. Often, homeowners choose to do this themselves from test kits at their local hardware store. For $10 to $20, you can see the basic information about your soil, like the pH level. However, to fully understand the health of your soil and what plants will do well, you may consider calling in a professional. The average cost to test soil is $1,1,42 with most homeowners spending between $947 and $1,550.

Seasonal Colors

Ornamental plants, grasses and shrubs have always been a timeless staple in any garden. However, homeowners now are looking for plants that can give seasonal colors all year. Choosing grasses, shrubs and confirs in an assortment of shades such as green, yellow and red can add color to your garden all year long.

Vegetable Garden Trends

Eatable Gardening

With sustainability being a household trend, more are turning to their own garden for produce options. Many of these plants not only provide your family with fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs, but they look great as well.

Growing your own food does take a bit of gardening expertise to cultivate. Unlike other garden plants, you’ll need to regularly maintain your fruit and vegetable garden to have the best possible ROI. Some seeds may need to be started inside before planted in your garden.

Bright Color Flowers Trend

Bright Flowers

Add some color to your garden! Bright colors are a 2017 trend and the garden is no exception. Hot pinks and bright oranges will pop in your garden. If you’d like to try this trend out for a year, choose an annual flower that won’t come back next season. But, perennials will bring a bright flower to your garden year after year.

Some colorful flower types to consider are:

  • Pansies
  • Tulips
  • Daffodils
  • Winter Aconites
  • Pink Azaleas
  • Snapdragons

Container Garden Trend

Container Gardening

No longer confined to those with small spaces, container gardening is a trend for all. The containers themselves add a unique touch to any garden while the hot trend right now is to include one large plant, as opposed to many.

For those who live in colder climates, container gardening provides a way to move your outdoor garden indoors as the seasons change.

Natural Stone Pavers Trend

Natural Materials

The latest in landscaping is incorporating natural materials in to your pathways and lawn ornaments. Large rocks and stones have become increasingly popular as lawn décor. Stone walkways are a perfect element to any landscape design. The average cost to install a stone walkway is $13.95 per square foot.

Permanent Activity Spaces

Your backyard should be a place to relax and enjoy. If you have a favorite yard game that you love, why not make it a permanent addition? Games like bocce ball and horseshoes can have a place in your yard to play whenever you’d like. This is a great if you frequently host outdoor parties or have company over.

Trends To Say Goodbye To

Trends To Say Goodbye To

Sadly, as trends change, there are a few on the way out. Ever-popular succulents are no longer a trending item outdoors, however, are still popular in the home. The 2016 trend of hardy landscaping is no longer trending, as more homeowners look to gardening and incorporating other elements into their landscaping.

What A Landscape Designer Can Do

If you love these ideas but are not sure where to start, a landscape designer can help! A landscape designer can evaluate your current space and decide what might work best to achieve the look you desire. The average cost to hire a landscape designer is $4,111, with most homeowners spending between $2,610 and $4,525. Often, landscape designers charge by project, so a smaller project may cost less. They will also know the latest trends in gardening and landscaping.

Conclusion

You can create the garden of your dreams this year. Incorporate a few of these hot trends to have a yard that impresses all.