Monthly Archives: January 2017

Learn Where Grass Won’t Grow

Every homeowner dreams of an outdoor space with lush, green grass. But the reality is that for many of us, that doesn’t exist. Maybe you haven’t quite found time for proper lawn care maintenance or there’s a patch of grass you can’t bring back to life. Dead grass reduces curb appeal and can simply be a reason not to spend time in your yard.

The good news is that there are other options besides grass as a ground cover. It’s time to get creative and replace that dead grass with something new. See a few ideas to landscape where grass simply will not grow.

You can revive your yard with a new landscape design. Contact a landscaping pro today for up to four quotes from contractors in your area for free.

Reasons Why Grass Won’t Grow

While grass seems to be everywhere, it’s not exactly the easiest ground cover to keep healthy. Regular maintenance is a key factor in healthy, growing grass. If you’re not watering regularly or cutting your grass too short, this can contribute to dead grass.

Soil nutrients are another factor in green grass. If you have a regular lawn maintenance schedule but the grass is still unhealthy, consider a soil test. This can detect if the grass is getting the right nourishment it needs or it can result in patchy, brown spots in the lawn. The average cost to test soil is $1,142, with most homeowners spending between $947 and $1,550. When the results come back, you can find the appropriate fertilizer to improve the nutrient levels in the soil.

Now, if you’ve tried it all, but grass simply won’t grow, it’s likely due to not enough sunlight. Your lawn needs six hours of daily sunlight to truly thrive. If you have grass on the side of a house, under a tree or any other area of partial sunlight, it’s time to consider alternatives.

1. Create An Outdoor Living Area

If you’re ready to start enjoying your backyard again, an outdoor living area could be the fix you need. A patio takes much less regular maintenance and is there to enjoy whenever you want to relax outside. The average cost to install a patio is $2,844, but you could lower these costs by making it a DIY project.

A patio is great, but to really turn it into something for all to enjoy, you’ll need comfortable outdoor furniture to complete the look. Invest in quality items that are weather-resistant. An outdoor fireplace is also a great patio addition where all can gather. Whatever you choose, it will certainly give the backyard a new look you’ll love.

2. Install Turf

Some homeowners love the look of grass, but simply can’t grow it. As an alternative, turf can give the healthy grass look with far less maintenance. Since synthetic grass is designed to last a lifetime, the upfront cost will pay for itself in time. The average cost to install turf is $4,211.

3. Invest In Mulch

If your grass is patchier in some areas than others, mulch can be a great-looking alternative without removing the healthy chunks of the lawn. This is a great solution for grass in shady areas such as under trees or near a house. As mulch breaks down, it fertilizes plants as well, making it a great spot to grow flowers. Mulch is low maintenance, needing to be replaced only once a year, usually in spring.

4. Install A Pond

Water features are hot in landscape design and is a unique solution for almost any area, boosting curb appeal instantly. A small pond can be just what your backyard needs to make it a relaxing oasis. Pond liners in fiberglass or concrete are the best option for low-maintenance. The average cost to install a pond is $2,837, with most homeowners spending between $1,609and $3,462.

5. Plant Low Maintenance Ground Cover

Thinking outside the box, a no-mow lawn could be just what you need. Ground cover isn’t just limited to grass. There are many other plants that spread quickly for ground cover and add a pop of color. If you have a spot where grass won’t grow, this could be a great addition. Here are a few variations to consider:

  • Creeping Thyme
  • Periwinkle
  • Moss
  • Pachysandra
  • Liriope
  • New Zealand Burr

6. Install A Play Area

If you have children, this might be the best use of a space where grass can’t grow. A permanent area for playtime can help encourage your child to get outside more often and increase their creativity. What better way to do so than with a playground? Sand or rubber mulch is a safe choice for ground cover under a swing set or playground. It’s also low maintenance, just needing to be refilled as needed and cleaned of any debris. The average cost to install a playground or swing set is $574. This cost does not include the cost of swing set.

Learn More About 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.

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.

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.

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

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 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

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.

Learn More About The Perfect Garden Path

Do you dream of a dreamy backyard? Are you looking for a clever way to access parts of your garden without stepping on any precious petals? If you haven’t considered it yet, a garden path may be right for you.

From mulch to stepping stones, there are many options when it comes to creating your perfect garden path. Even more, you have the opportunity to decorate with lawn ornaments and plants how you wish. A garden path is the perfect addition to any backyard. See a few garden path ideas to incorporate in your landscaping this year.

Ready to transform the look of your yard? Contact a landscaping pro today for up to four quotes from contractors in your area for free.

Garden Path Costs

A garden path is a fairly low maintenance investment that can have a big impact on the look and function of your yard. It can improve accessibility to parts of your garden you may not otherwise be able to reach. Garden path costs vary based on the material chosen and if you decide to DIY. The average cost to install a pathway is $2,884, with most homeowners spending between $1,952 and $3,122.

Garden Path Materials

The cost of your garden path largely depends on the material you choose and if you choose to install it yourself.  You may even decide to use multiple materials. While you might want the help of a pro to get your cement path just right, stepping stones might be an easy DIY project. Here are a few materials you can use for your garden path:

Stepping Stone Garden Paths

Of all the options, a stepping stone garden path is the easiest to DIY. For a whimsical look, lay flat stones down on the ground. It helps level your ground first so the stones are even.

Mulch Garden Paths

If you’re ready to create a permanent path in your garden and help keep weeds from sprouting up, mulch is your answer. This is also a garden path option that many homeowners choose to DIY. You may need to dig the path into the ground to properly lay your mulch flush with the grass. The minimum costs of mulch is $200 and the maximum cost of mulch is $2,000. These costs depend on how much mulch needed and the type of mulch used.

Brick Garden Paths

A brick walkway will instantly transform the look of your garden path. A brick path is a look that will never go out of style and for good reason. Brick paths have a long lifespan and are very durable. But, this is not something you’ll want to DIY.  The cost of a brick walkway is between $8 and $18/sf.

Cement Garden Path

Similarly to the brick path, a cement path is a great, durable choice for your garden path. Cement paths can be styled to your taste and space you have available. We recommend to contact a pro who can help lay your cement garden path. The average cost of a cement path is between $6 and $12/sf.

Garden Path Maintenance

Once your garden path is in place, there is some upkeep you need to do to keep it looking its best. First, know how to properly care for whatever material you’ve chosen to use. Mulch should be refreshed at least once a season, while brick may not need as much care for the first few years.

If you want a clean look for your garden path, consider a way to separate it from the rest of the yard by using other materials. Others, may want to include decorative plants along their path. Ornamental grasses are a great option and will come back year after year. Some homeowners choose to install lawn edging, which is simple to do on your own and keeps the grass off your path. Lawn edging is another technique to help create a clean and defined garden path. The average cost of lawn edging is between $2 and $400 depending on how much area you need to cover.

Garden Path Lights

If you’ll be using your garden path to move around your backyard, you might want to consider including lights to help see as it gets darker outside. Garden path lights are not just a safety feature, but they also enhance the look of your path. Solar lighting is a popular choice for path lights, as it takes no wiring to set up. Often, these will be affixed to stakes to simply stick in the ground, coming in a variety of styles. Lantern garden path lights are popular now and will add to the décor of your garden path. Stainless steel lights are another popular option to give your garden path a modern look.

Garden Path Lawn Ornaments

To really make a garden path stand out, you can add lawn ornaments around the path. I love the look of gazing globes in various spots near a path. There are also decorative garden path stakes you can include, that will look great and are sure to stay in place.