We’ve all heard the term “landscaping” before, but what does it really mean? In the simplest form, landscaping is, by definition*, the process of making a yard or other piece of land more attractive by altering the existing design, adding ornamental features, and planting trees and shrubs. Now, you may be thinking, ‘Sounds easy enough!’ However, there is some thought that goes into proper landscaping before beginning the project that will help set you up for success in the long run and ensure that you can enjoy your home’s aesthetic for many, many years. You can check out our first installment on this piece that gives an overview on how to get started.

Landscape Planning and Research

One of the best places to start with landscaping is simply doing your research! Ask yourself some questions to get started.

  • What is my favorite part of the home and yard as it is?
  • What features would I like to see added, upgraded, or changed?
  • What exists in my neighbor’s landscaping that I like and do not like?
  • What can be highlighted in my yard or surrounding view?
  • What is a realistic budget?

Landscaping can become expensive quickly! Determining what you already have to work with and what is within your budget can end up being your friend in the end.

Mapping

Ok, ok, so you may have to do a little math in the preparation stages of landscaping, but it doesn’t have to feel too overwhelming. Most of the information that you’ll need can be accessed from the city auditor’s website or from the closing documents of your home, if you have those available. 

With the layout of your property (square footage) in hand, you can begin to draw an outline of what you see in your mind in terms of your perfectly-landscaped yard. 

Feel free to go nuts here and revise later! Brainstorming is a fun part of the overall turnout, and it requires no money at all to daydream! Once you have the first draft down, you can reference your budget and what you really see yourself living in and with for the coming years. From there, you can draw it again with the more realistic ideas in mind.

What to Keep

You may decide on keeping the trees in your yard if you already have some that are well established (and removal isn’t in your plan), so be sure to include those on your map as you draw your plans out. You don’t want to plan to put something there if you already have a fully grown tree you aren’t going to remove! Placing the items in your yard that will stay on the map is just as important as including the items you want to add. 

What to Remove

What do you want to be removed from your existing yard? This can be a challenging question. Deciding to keep a tree or fence is a lot easier a task than the actual removal of one or both. However, it is important to remember that landscaping upgrades improve the curb appeal of your home, which increases its property value and perhaps your overall happiness. It may actually be to your benefit to remove old trees or unwanted pieces of shrubbery – even if the task seems daunting or expensive. If you have a deck with rotted-out boards, you can think about removing that for a replacement paver patio or maybe even an entirely new deck. Add this into your budget as your work on the rest of the yard, and tackle the items that will be mainstays throughout the years.

Maintenance

When you are planning for the future of backyard cookouts and lawn darts, be sure to think about weekly summer mowing, weeding, or other landscaping chores. As you draw your brainstormed map out, maintenance should become a fluid part of the landscape if you plan for it properly. Making sure there will be clear paths and entryways might save you from a headache down the road!

Features 

With the added benefit of entertainment for an afternoon party or a quiet place to relax during the warmer spring and summer months, landscape features are becoming more and more of a staple for any homeowner.  

There are plenty of options to make your yard more luxurious, so take some time, sit in your yard, and really think about what you want to see there and where you see yourself in a few years as well. 

Here are just a few of the options for luxurious landscape upgrades:

  • Pergolas
  • Paver Patios & Decks
  • Fire pits/Fireplaces
  • Fountains
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Outdoor lighting
  • Grills
  • Sound Systems

With the growing list of features, you will want to narrow it down to some key points and make a choice. Have fun with it!

Mulching

Mulch doesn’t just look great, it also substantially cuts down on the damage brought on by the harsh winter months, provides cooling for the soil underneath, keeps weeds at bay, and retains moisture to feed your plants and shrubbery. It also gives your yard a uniform look throughout. 

Over-mulching, however, can be detrimental and really do some damage by keeping your plants too far from water and oxygen, thus leading to suffocation. 

So, how do you know the Goldie Locks’ ‘just right’ amount? 

Mulch Calculator 

At Kurtz, we are proud to offer a mulch calculator on each product page. We don’t want you to waste your time and money on any project. With your original map in hand, take those measurements and enter them into our mulch calculator to come up with what’s needed. 

We want your yard to look and feel its best so that you can spend more and more time admiring it! 

Mulch Delivery

We also offer mulch delivery, so you don’t even have to leave home! If you already know exactly what you need or you come up with the answer using our mulch calculator, please let us bring the mulch right to your driveway! This will give you the opportunity to keep your head in the landscaping game, run other errands, or just live your life while we do the heavy lifting. 

At checkout, just enter the delivery address and leave the rest to us!

Nursery 

When you visit Kurtz Bros. plant nursery, you’ll find that it’s conveniently located next to one of our landscape centers, giving you the added benefit of getting your plants and your landscape supplies in one stop! 

On-site, you’ll find perennials, shrubs, and trees as well as a wide selection of annuals. If you don’t see what you are looking for, we would be happy to place special orders and/or pre-pull large orders. Several times a week (during our peak season), we receive new inventory, so always feel free to check back if something you had your eye on is temporarily out of stock. 

And, if you’re stumped on what type of mulch works best or which plants to purchase,  ask any of our skilled and trusted associates! They will help you come up with the perfect dressing for your yard that will leave its own lasting impression! We also provide some plant ideas for your space in part 1!

*Dictionary.com definition