The Truth About Landscaping

Landscaping is hard. Keeping your lawn green, your plants growing, and everything else looking great is a challenge. When I started JJ’s Landscaping it took a lot for me to understand that even a beautiful backyard is like everything else in life–a journey. 

I am not going to give you a step by step guide on what you need to do. Instead, I am going to give you 4 landscaping tips on how to put your yard  in the best position to succeed on its own. 

Look at your yard as you would a relationship. Maybe even like your first-born child. Many people look at household chores and responsibilities as black and white decisions that either happen or don’t based on a rulebook that someone else supplies to you. “Water your lawn, fertilize your lawn, prune your bushes, trim your trees, and plant with the seasons.” These are all misconceptions that can leave you feeling frustrated and as though you are doing yard landscaping wrong. Instead, figure out what you are looking for in your yard, and then pay close attention to it. 

Picture Your Yard as You Want It to Be

It’s a simple principle. You can’t get where you are going if you don’t have a roadmap. Walk outside and look at your yard. Is your lawn dead? Do you have enough plants? Are they growing? Are there pests?

Create a checklist of what you want to achieve before you put a shovel in the ground, or call a landscaper to “keep your yard maintained.” 

Until you know what you want your yard to become, you can’t understand how to maintain it. Let alone how to look at it from the standpoint of “what is wrong?”

Trial and Error

Ask yourself, why isn’t my yard healthy? If your lawn isn’t green or growing, understand that there are only three things that can be wrong with it. Not enough water, not enough nutrients, or “too much hair.” 

Think about it in terms of your own head of hair–at the end of the day that’s all it is. If you don’t wash your hair, it’s going to have split ends. If you don’t shampoo and condition, you will get dandruff. If you have too much hair, it is going to be difficult to manage and eventually stifle growth. If you have no hair, you haven’t taken care of it well or you have a genealogy that makes it difficult to grow over time. All are fixable as long as you catch it early and develop some good habits

  • By washing your hair, I mean watering. You are either washing too much or too little. Water your yard and see what happens. It will tell you a story; you just have to pay attention 
  • As far as shampoo and conditioner goes, think about it in terms of fertilizing and weed killing. If you take a shower everyday and only use water you are not giving your hair what it needs to thrive. Try out different products and see how your lawn reacts. What does it like? What does it react poorly to?As importantly, don’t get frustrated when you don’t see results right away.
  • Too much hair? I am sure you are thinking “what does that mean?” Think about what happens when you don’t cut your hair for an extended period of time. It becomes harder to maintain, harder to keep healthy, and takes more upkeep. In terms of lawn care, this is a process known as dethatching. Taking out some of the undergrowth to allow for the roots to get more of the nutrients they need to be happier and healthier longer. Inversely, too little hair (or cutting too much) puts unneeded stress on the hair. Make sure you cut just enough to keep everything growing as it should. 
  • Bad genes? This may be a harsh realization that takes a little bit more TLC to get the results you want.Sometimes a hair transplant becomes necessary to get what you want. In other words, bad soil is the same as bad genes. If you have a lawn that is planted in soil with no nutrients, or the wrong nutrients, it is going to take more to get it to grow. A replacement that starts with soil testing with pH strips and a phone call to a local nursery. 

Pay Attention

There are no shortcuts. It takes time to create a habitat that is ideal for the yard that you want. If you want quick results, you will need to call a professional to address the underlying symptoms. If you decide to tackle it yourself, take the time to  see how your yard reacts before you get frustrated or give up. 

Be Ready to Invest Time and Money

Everything that I am talking about requires some investment of  time and money . If you’re not willing to invest a lot of money, it’s going to take more time. Better products require more money, and more money is a serious commitment to a happy relationship with your yard. 

Landscaping 101 is all about baby steps and education. A good landscape professional will be happy to give you advice on how to make your yard look great without having to spend exorbitant amounts of money on their services. That is the sign of a true professional. It’s also a good indicator that you are ready to take the first step towards a beautiful yard. 

Throughout this landscaping journey, make sure to take a step back and really absorb everything. It takes a lot of patience and experimenting. Be smart. The Buildsters are here for you every step of the way. You can reach out to any of our partners for more info on how to get the yard of your dreams.

Build on!

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