You see them in magazines. Televisions shows are dedicated to people whipping them up in an hour. They are the perfect yards. Nary a blade of grass out of place. The trees are trimmed to geometrical perfection. The retaining wall looks like it will last as long as the Pyramid of Giza. The reality of having your dream yard is really a mixed bag, though. Some of it you may be able to handle yourself. Some you will likely have to get professional landscaping help with. The difference, really, is in being honest with yourself about which is which.
Lush, Green Grass
It all starts with the beautiful lawn, doesn’t it? Since time immemorial, a carpet of lush, green grass is exactly what the yard should look like. It’s the perfect backdrop to the adorable little picket fence. In actuality, it can often be much easier to get that picket fence, than it can be to get the ideal lawn. A lot goes into getting that picturesque lawn. It starts with healthy soil that has the nutrients and correct pH balance for grass growth. After that, you’ll need to know when to apply the correct fertilizer for your grass and what time of year to apply it. Are you really prepared to go to battle with weeds? Really, really prepared?
We haven’t even touched on those spots where the grass refuses to grow. It’s like it doesn’t even care if you have been doing everything right. In reality, there is a whole menu of reasons why the grass isn’t growing: mowing too low, non-native grasses taking over, grubs and other pests, de-icing problems left over from winter, and the list goes on. This is especially important because the wrong solution to the problem is a waste of your time and money. Further, you could wind up doing more harm than good. A lawn care professional can help you get all of this sorted out right at the start and help prevent future problems, as well.
Choosing the Right Plants
There are so many potential pitfalls in plant selection if you don’t really know what you are doing. For instance, are you just choosing a certain plant because it is your favorite color, rather than how well it will grow in the spot you have picked out for it? And speaking of picking out spots, how are you doing that? Are you accounting for how certain shrubs and plants will grow? That smoke bush might look nice next to the house, but when it grows so tall that it blocks the window, you won’t be able to see how it looks… or much of anything else. Oh, and about shrubs, do you know how much trimming certain shrubs require in relation to how much time you have available to trim them? You can see how plant selection can quickly become an expensive game of trial and error, while simultaneously delaying the length of time it takes to have the yard you love. A professional landscaper knows all of these things and can help you get just what you want as quickly as possible.
Caring for Your Trees
When done correctly, trees can be a fairly low-maintenance part of your landscaping. Of course, this means having a solid plan from the start. You’ll need to know how and when to prune, how to spot potential hazards, and how to discern possible tree diseases… oh, and how to treat them. Trees are different than shrubs and plants in that, if they aren’t properly cared for they can cause major damage to your house and/or yard. At the very least, a lack of care could lead to having the tree removed. Help from professional tree care specialists means healthy, happy trees for many, many years. If you are looking to plant new trees, a professional can help you determine the best tree(s) for your yard to ensure optimal enjoyment for generations.
Adventures in Hardscaping
Installing patios, pavers, and stone retaining walls sounds like hard work, doesn’t it? That’s exactly why it’s often referred to as hardscaping. In addition to the physical heavy lifting, a professional landscaper can help you find the right material for your budget and the look you want. Beyond that, they can handle design and installation with a mind toward both the current and future needs of your yard. When you work with a professional, you also get the benefit of experience. They can bring years of creativity and wisdom to the table to help ensure every “i” is dotted and every “t” is crossed.
As the name implies, enhancements are add-ons that help to improve the look and/or health of your landscaping. A good example of a landscape enhancement would be an irrigation system to ensure your lawn, plants, trees, and shrubs are getting all the water they need, while not wasting water at the same time.
Even if you think you can handle all of the landscape tasks on your punch list, it’s still a good idea to contact a professional landscaper for a basic consultation. That’s where you’ll find out what you can handle yourself and where you might be in over your head. For a consultation, feel free to call E.P.M. of Michigan today at (517) 990-0110!