10 Things to Try on Your Yard this Spring
As the weather warms up, flowers are beginning to bloom and birds are starting to chirp. Spring is here, and it’s the perfect time of year to give your yard some TLC. Just a few small and inexpensive changes will enhance your home’s curb appeal so you can enjoy the beauty of your yard.
1. Fertilize Your Lawn
Fertilizer strengthens roots, prevents weeds, promotes growth, and should be applied seasonally. While you can hire a professional lawn care service, you can also keep your lawn healthy and green all year round with DIY fertilizing. Use an organic lawn fertilizer that contains three key nutrients for plants: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Photo by valioros/Flickr
2. Replace Grass with Water-Conscious Alternatives
Sometimes a lawn is beyond fertilizing and requires a complete makeover. Instead of spending money planting new sod or grass seed, consider attractive alternatives that help you conserve water. Crushed granite, mulch, sand, drought-resistant ground cover, ornamental grass, or bushes are all more water-conscious options. The move to xeriscaping, or reducing the amount of water needed from your yard, is very popular right now and a lot of lawn companies are offering xeriscape services. Removing a lawn is time-intensive work whether you do it yourself or hire someone, but you’ll save time and money in the long run when you cut down on water and maintenance. Photo by Ed Bierman/Flickr
3. Build a Vegetable Garden
You can’t eat more locally than food from your own backyard. Cut down on your grocery bill and eat healthier by adding a raised garden bed to your yard. For an added pop of color, you can even paint your garden bed. Find a location with at least six hours of sun per day and plant a variety of your favorite vegetables. Lay down chicken wire at the base of your garden to keep gophers and other pests away, and add netting at the top to thwart birds. Photo by Gail Langellotto/Flickr
4. Install Drip Irrigation
While sprinklers are effective for lawns, drip irrigation is more efficient for gardens. Rather than sprinkling a large area, drip irrigation systems release a small amount of water to the specific plants that need it. In just a few hours, and for less than $100, you can install a drip irrigation system in your garden and flower beds. You’ll conserve water and avoid drowning drought-tolerant plants.
5. Cover Dirt with Mulch
Trees and gardens are beautiful, but the dirt surrounding them can look messy. Cover this dirt with mulch to enhance your yard’s look. Along with improving the appearance of your yard, mulch prevents weed growth, moderates soil temperature, and retains moisture so you don’t have to water as frequently. Mulch is inexpensive, readily available at local hardware stores and nurseries, and easy to spread across any open landscape. Photo by jacki-dee/Flickr
6. Create a Water Feature
Whether you live in a desert or an oasis, water adds a calming and tranquil effect to any garden, and attracts birds and wildlife. By recycling and reusing the same water, you don’t have to worry about wasting any. Purchase or build your own fountain, waterfall, or bird bath. Building a water wall is an inexpensive and simple project that adds major pizzazz to your patio.
7. Improve Your Walkway
Set the stage for your yard with a stylish walkway that enhances your home’s architecture. Replace dirt or concrete with a path of crushed granite, oversized flagstones, or brick. If you live in a colder climate, use dense stones, such as granite, bluestone, or quartzite, which won’t crack when frozen. If you live in a warmer climate, use more porous stones, like sandstone or limestone. Photo by Gardening Solutions/Flickr
8. Add Pops of Color
Whether you choose plants, furniture, or accent decorations, adding pops of color brightens even the shadiest of yards. Repaint old furniture, spray paint metal chairs, or add a bench to make your yard festive and inviting. If you prefer smaller accents, plant colorful flowers and hang bright lanterns. If you have kids, enjoy a fun weekend project of creating colorful mosaic stepping stones. Photo by Len Burgess/Flickr
9. Line Your Landscape with Lighting
Walkway lights and lanterns add ambiance to your yard in the evening. Solar-powered lights allow you to line walkways in a matter of minutes without any electricity or wires. Install lights beneath trees or surrounding decorative elements to create focal points, and use waterproof rope lights to line a garden. By using a timer, you can schedule the lights to turn on and off at specific times. Photo by AlBakker/Flickr
10. Build a Fire Pit
Transform your yard into an entertainment space with a fire pit. Rather than spending hundreds of dollars buying one, you can safely and inexpensively make your own fire pit with concrete blocks and a steel bowl. Make sure to place your fire pit on dirt or concrete in an open space away from trees. Another added benefit of having your own fire pit is that you can mix the extinguished ashes with compost to use as fertilizer for your garden. You don’t need to hire a landscape architect or have a big budget to transform your yard.