7 Easy Landscaping Projects to Tackle This Summer
With summer in full swing, there’s no better time to get your hands dirty and tackle some landscaping projects!
Not only is landscaping a great reason to spend some time outside, but these projects will make your backyard more enjoyable than ever.
From trimming your hedges to building your own compost pile, here are 7 easy landscaping projects to tackle this summer.
Ready to roll up your sleeves? Let’s get started!
Landscaping Project #1: Keep Your Grass Lush
There’s nothing quite like a picture-perfect lawn.
Of course, it isn’t as easy as sowing some grass seed and hoping for the best! Getting a perfect lawn takes hard work and definitely some perseverance.
In case you weren’t aware, grass actually differs from region to region. Whereas grass in the northern region of the United States tends to have a finer texture, warmer-season varieties (like those in the southern United States), are tougher and more suited to tropical and subtropical climates.
So depending on where you’re located, how you maintain and care for your lawn will be totally different!
For example, if you live in Oregon, your grass will actually require more maintenance than if you live in Florida.
To better understand what type of grass you have and how to care for it, check out Lowe’s guide on when to seed and fertilize your lawn.
This being said, despite your location, one of the most important ways to get the lawn of your dreams is to prevent weeds before they come up and eliminate weeds if they’ve already sprouted. This process can be a bit tedious – weeds can be really pesky. But with a little patience, you’ll be well on your way to being weed-free!
The next step is to regularly mow your lawn, otherwise it can grow pale and turn yellow overtime. Typically, the average lawn should be mowed weekly, but again, this will vary region to region. Lawns that grow slower might only need cutting every 10-12 days.
When cutting, make sure not to cut it too short (not more than one-third of the grass blade) as it could damage the grass.
Lastly, you’ll want to water your lawn regularly. It’s also best to water it in the morning because the sun helps dry the grass!
Landscaping Project #2: Renew Porches and Decks
If you live in a snow-heavy region, decks and patios can definitely take a hit over the winter months. After being covered in ice and snow, the wood and paint can get damaged, cracks can develop, as well as mold and mildew.
But with grilling season in full swing, what better time to spruce up your deck and make it the ultimate sanctuary!
This project will definitely take a weekend (and maybe some extra hands!), but with a little elbow grease, you can have your deck or porch looking like new in no time.
The first place to start is by cleaning the patio with a power washer to remove any debris and dirt. At this point, you’ll want to inspect the patio, keeping your eyes out for any wood boards that are cracked, broken, or rotting.
If you’re unsure about the stability of your beams or structure, it’s best to call in a professional to get a second opinion.
If you do notice any rotting beams or broken pieces, remove them and replace them with new materials.
This may require the help of a friend or a professional if you don’t have carpentry experience – especially if the rot covers a large and/or weight-bearing area of your deck.
Once these updates have been made, it’s time to think about how you plan to refinish your deck!
If you have an unfinished deck, a good scrub and powerwash will do, but if your deck was previously stained, you’ll want to look into getting it resealed or refinished.
Landscaping Project #3: Add Mulch to Your Garden and Flower Beds
Adding mulch to your garden and flower beds is a simple project that can be hugely beneficial not just for the health of your plants and flowers, but also for your garden’s aesthetic.
One of the great things about mulch is that it prevents weeds from growing. By incorporating mulch into your landscaping, you’ll be able to keep pesky weeds away from your plants and flowers.
It’s important to keep in mind that there are a few different varieties of mulch, including: sawdust, wood chips, bark, pine needles, hay, stone, cocoa hulls, and many more.
When selecting your mulch you may want to consult with your local garden center to see which is the best option for your garden.
Once you have your mulch, spread a thin layer of mulch over the soil. This will help keep the ground cooler, guard the ground against the sun, and ultimately keep your soil and roots a lot happier!
Landscaping Project #4: Turn Clippings into Compost
This is a great project that’s both beneficial for both your garden and the environment!
Indeed, turning clippings into compost is a great budget-friendly way to feed your plants and vegetables, and the best part is you essentially don’t have to do anything!
Once you’re done mowing your lawn, you can just leave the clippings on the lawn! When the grass clippings decompose, your lawn will soak up the nutrients (such as phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium).
If you want to take it a step further, you can create a compost pile in your yard, which is an excellent way to minimize your personal waste consumption. In fact, according to the EPA, food scraps and yard waste together make up for more than 28% of what we throw away.
Not to mention, having a compost pile in your yard is a highly-nutritious source of soil for your garden and plants!
The guidelines for composting are fairly straightforward. Simply add brown and green materials, leaves, grass clippings, and food scraps and make sure to moisten dry materials as they are added.
Just keep in mind that when selecting a location for your compost, it’s best to find a dry, shady area near a water source. Consider closing in your compost area if your area has critters.
Landscaping Project #5: Clear Your Gutters
This one isn’t quite as fun, but it’s still very important.
As we’ve written before, cleaning your gutters on a regular basis can prevent leaks, erosions, and water damage to both your roof and home.
The best time to clean your gutters is the end of spring, but there’s no harm in doing a quick checkup in the summer. This way, you’ll rest assured that there’s nothing clogging your gutters and potentially causing harm to your property.
Depending on the size of your home, you might be able to tackle this project alone. This job does require getting up on a ladder, so if you don’t feel comfortable, it’s probably best to hire a professional (hiring a professional will run you around $90-$225 for a two-story home).
If you live in a region that’s prone to flooding or storms, it’s probably best to have it cleaned three times a year – this is what experts recommend.
To go a step further, we recommend installing a Notion Sensor next to any basement windows that are located near your gutters. That way, if there’s a leak or storm and the Notion Sensor will be able to detect any water. The moment it senses anything, you’ll be notified immediately.
Landscaping Project #6: Create a Walkway
This one might be a bit more challenging, but a walkway can add a really nice touch to your backyard! Or if you already have a walkway that could use some work, now is a great time to fix it up.
The great thing about walkways is that, beyond looking great, they can prevent erosion in certain areas that get a lot of foot traffic. So they’re great for protecting your garden, plants, and grass.
Since this is a larger job, start by planning out your walkway. Layout the course with two long pieces of rope, and once you have the correct layout, add markers so you know exactly where to start digging.
Next up is digging up the soil and removing the rocks and debris using a sharp spade. This will give you a smooth foundation for the layer of crushed gravel.
When selecting the stone you want for your walkway, keep in mind that they range in style, price, and complexity. For example, while brick is quite simple and versatile, options like bluestone, limestone, and fieldstone will require more expertise to install.
Once you have your stone, make sure you put some thought into the pattern and layout. This will make things a lot easier as you begin to build-out your walkway.
Next, install the foundation and place the stones. This is something you can definitely do yourself, however, depending on the complexity of the project, you may need additional help. But if this is a DIY project, Lowe’s has a great step-by-by guide that provides a ton of detail on how to install your foundation and stones.
Lastly, you’ll want to fill the gaps! This can be a fairly tedious process depending on the scope. But if you consult with your local hardware store or garden center, they’ll be able to offer advice specific to your project.
Landscaping Project #7: Prune and Divide Plants
Last but not least, it’s time to prune your plants! This is definitely one of those projects that often gets neglected, but it’s important to do if you want your garden to flourish.
While some plants and trees should be pruned in the spring, it’s important to do an inventory check to see which of your plants need to be pruned in the summer.
For example, fruit trees including apples, crab apples, medlars, and mulberries should all be cut back to promote productive growth and room to develop in the fall.
Many climber plants such as wisteria, honeysuckle, and jasmine can oftentimes get tangled at this time of the year, so pruning them will encourage repeated yearly growth.
Otherwise, keep your eyes for any plants that may have fungus or old wood growth that could be removed.
Thanks for reading! We hope that you learned a few new landscaping projects that you can tackle this summer.