How to Re-Landscape Your Yard

Some of our friends enjoy DIY and home projects as much as we do! Here is one of friends, Katie, talking about how she re-landscaped her yard.

Whether you’ve moved into a home where the landscaping isn’t quite your style or you want to spruce up something you’ve done before, removing and recreating your yard can be easy and cost effective if you do it yourself.

Step 1: Remove old plants, bushes or trees

You will need to start with a blank canvas in order to add new foliage to your outdoor space. Removing small plants is easy to do by digging with a shovel and some gloves, but for larger trees and bushes, it will take a bit more work.

how-to-relandscape-your-yard-542x1024Begin by using branch clippers to cut off as many large branches as possible so that the main stem of the tree or bush is uncovered. Leave a few main branches on the plant to use as leverage later when removing it.

Next, loosen the dirt with a round end shovel around the base of the plant to expose the large extending roots. Then use an ax or a hatchet to sever the roots. Free up as many roots as possible. To expose deeper roots, use a shovel or a spade to dig deeper and use the ax to chop these roots as well.

When most of the roots have been cut, you will be able to hold the base of the plant and continue to loosen it by pushing and pulling back and forth. Continue to cut roots as you see them.

Eventually, the plant will be free from the strongest roots, and you will be able to pull it from the dirt. Fill the hole with dirt that you dug up to even out the area.

Step 2: Decide what plants will work best in your space

If you’ve ever taken a trip to a nursery or home improvement store, you know that the possibilities are endless when it comes to the outdoor plant selection.

While you may want to pick up one of every flower, bush, and shrub you see, there are some important factors to consider before buying.

  • How much sun exposure does the plant need?
  • How much water will the plant require?
  • Which zones will allow the plant to grow best?
  • How tall and wide will the plant grow?
  • Is it a native plant to your area?
  • Is the plant an annual or a perennial?
  • How much maintenance will the plant require?

Finding the answers to these questions will help you narrow down your options. A great way to get ideas for your yard is to talk a walk down the street and check out your neighbors’ landscaping. Pick out a variety of colors and sizes and remember–your plants will grow!

Don’t buy so much that you will crowd them. Before you check out, don’t forget that you will need soil to make sure your beautiful new purchases will grow. Buy soil that is specific to the plants that you are buying. You may need soil for trees and shrubs, soil with fertilizer, etc.

Step 3: Plant!

Once you get everything home, you will be excited to get it all in the ground! But don’t be hasty. Lay out the pots in the general area where you think they will look best. This gives you the opportunity to change things around and try different options. Keep in mind the space that each plant will grow and how far apart they should be planted. When you are satisfied with your placement, it’s time to plant! See the tag on each specific plant to know how deep and wide to dig your hole.

Generally, the hole needs to be one and a half times as deep and as wide as the pot. Use a shovel to dig the hole. Take some of the dirt you purchased and place it in the bottom of the hole. Mix the new dirt with some of the old dirt that was dug out. Take the plant out of the pot and place it in the hole. Fill the rest of the hole with new dirt, mixing in a bit of old dirt as well. Add dirt until the base of the plant is even with the surrounding area.

When all of the plants you purchased have been planted, water the area. Remember that watering the plants regularly is vital until the plants have established a healthy root system (this takes about a year). Covering the area with about 1-2 inches of mulch is a good way to keep moisture in the ground. Finally, stand back and admire your new curb appeal!