A Fresh Approach to Outfitting Your Lawn

A Fresh Approach to Outfitting Your Lawn


This article is part of our ongoing home construction specification plan series.

Assembling a Home Construction Specification Plan — Spec Plan S: Landscaping


First impressions of a home are often made by just how well the front lawn looks. A million dollar home can lose its sheen if the lawn is burnt, filled with crab grass, or patchy. Trees, poorly placed shrubbery, and misuse of yard ornamentation can also make your estate (or simple abode) look less appealing.

Saving Your Landscape Project For Last

Many new homeowners rightly save their major landscaping project until after they move in and rightly so: you have other things to take care of first. Besides, when it comes to your lawn you want to be on site when the landscape contractors appear. What better way to do that then when you’re actually living in your home and able to direct the project?

Points to Consider When Landscaping

Today’s homeowners are much more in tune with the environmental impact that their landscaping projects have on their property and the surrounding area. When working with a landscape contractor or doing the job yourself consider these points when developing your master plan:

How Much Grass Do You Want To Maintain? Seeding, fertilization, maintenance, and watering can take up a lot of your time and use up valuable resources. In some areas of the country, local drought conditions will dictate what you can or cannot do, therefore consider creating a landscaped area that requires less water and incorporates superior seepage. Smart use of an in-ground irrigation system can keep your lawn green longer and help you monitor water usage.

Planting Trees And Incorporating Existing Vegetation. If your lot wasn’t clear cut when your home was built, then you probably have some mature trees and bushes already present. Trim back dead branches and survey the property to create a nice balance of sun and shade. Plant additional trees well away from your home if desired, select those types of trees which are native to your area, disease and drought resistant, and offer the least amount of maintenance. Apply these same points to shrubbery too.

Making Room For Gardens. Sunny areas adjoining your house make for perfect gardens. However, if you are considering vegetable gardening, you’ll want to move these gardens well away from your home. Flowers and small bushes look appealing next to your home, but tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, and other vegetables do not and they need the maximum amount of sun.

Your Outdoor Living Area. If you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors, then having an area for relaxation and entertainment is a must. Consider brick pavers or concrete slabs as places to put your outdoor furniture. Even if your home has a deck, you may want a separate area where you can be closer to the lawn, flowers, etc.

Some homeowners are opting to simply pave over their properties to limit their outdoor maintenance tasks. While this may be an option for some, drainage is a real problem as run off must exit the property, perhaps flooding a nearby neighbor’s parcel.

If you are planning to do the landscaping project yourself, you are in good company. The largest outdoor living stores regularly run free seminars for their customers, a great way to learn how to map out your landscaping master plan and save money in the landscape design and implementation process.

Photo Credit: Paula Jensen; Duluth, MN


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Categories: Home Building

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".