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    Tractor Supply Company

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    How to Landscape Your Backyard: Tips & Ideas

    Authored by Tractor Supply Company

    Landscaping your backyard can be a creative and fun process with the result providing you and your family an outdoor oasis for years to come. With a variety of options to customize the perfect backyard landscape for you, it has never been easier to have a beautiful backyard.

    Planning what you want to do with your backyard

    When laying out your plan for your backyard determine what kind of landscape design you prefer. Do you want a lot of flowers, or would you prefer more greenery? Or a combination of both? Would you like to create a pollinator with native plants?

    Take into consideration the type of climate you live in. While you may love plants that need lots of water, it will not be practical if you live in an arid climate that receives little rain. Be realistic about how much watering and maintenance you are willing to do. Using native plants is a fantastic way to maximize your benefit to the ecosystem while keeping extra maintenance to a minimum.

    Finding inspiration for your perfect backyard landscaping

    Depending on what you desire for your dream backyard, there are tons of options for inspiration. Browse online or through gardening books to get an overall idea of the backyard landscape that would work the best for you. You want an area where vegetables and herbs can flourish, providing you with fresh food for your kitchen table. Or you would prefer beautiful flowers, such as roses and lilies, that will enable you to pick your own bouquets.

    If you are interested in growing a successful vegetable garden in your outdoor space, you may wish to join some local gardening groups. Many communities have gardening organizations, which can provide a wealth of information about growing vegetables. There is also a lot of landscape information available online, on home and garden websites and on gardening forums, that can be invaluable.

    Once you have a general idea of what you want, start narrowing your plan down to specific plants and flowers that will fit your creative vision. If something does not work out, you can always try again the next growing season. Don't pressure yourself to get it perfect, gardening is all about the process. Find elements that express your personality and desired outcome and will work well for your family and pets.

    Steps to stripping unwanted vegetation in your backyard

    Before you can start the fun part of choosing your new plants and backyard features, you will need to get rid of weeds or unwanted vegetation in your outdoor space. While this may seem daunting at first, taking the time to get rid of unneeded and unsightly weeds will pay off overall. If you take the time to do it properly to start with and then apply proper maintenance, you should only have to do this once.

    Getting rid of unwanted vegetation in your yard

    There are many options for getting rid of weeds and other unwanted vegetation in your yard. You can use weed killer, employ techniques such as burning or clearing, use good old-fashioned hard work to dig up vegetation, or use alternative planting methods.

    Weed Killers: Be sure to check labels thoroughly to make sure the weed killer you choose meets your needs. If you prefer to avoid chemicals, solutions made from water or apple cider vinegar may also get rid of smaller weeds.

    Burning Methods: If you have a large space and are comfortable with burning methods and adhering to local guidelines, this may be an effective way to destroy unwanted vegetation. This method will start your lawn from the scratch, so expect several months to recover from a burn in your backyard.

    Manually: You can always dig up and manually pull weeds in your intended garden or backyard space. This can be an effective and chemical-free way to remove weeds, not to mention a great workout! Manually clearing your space also helps you become more familiar with the layout of the area.

    Planting: Another method is using the technique of introducing specific plants that kill unwanted weeds and other vegetation. This can be a chemical-free way to rid yourself of unwelcome vegetation but requires some patience. If you are willing to wait for at least one growing season, this could be a viable option for you.

    Hired Help: One popular and creative (and environmentally friendly way) to get rid of unwanted weeds is to get goat help. Goats love to eat, they eat a lot, and they are not choosy about their nutrition. Getting goats to clear your land is a great idea. Just be sure that you provide protection for the goats and that you have cleared the area of anything toxic first.

    What professionals use to kill weeds

    If you are looking for a quick-acting way to kill weeds and unwanted plant vegetation, there are a variety of highly effective weed killers that can do the trick. Once you find one you like, it is a great idea to have extra on-hand for routine maintenance. Especially if you have a smaller backyard, a large container of weed killer may be all that you need for a while.

    How long do you have to wait before you can plant fresh flowers after getting rid of unwanted vegetation?

    The time between getting rid of weeds and unwanted vegetation varies depending on what method you use. If you have used a weed killer, it usually takes several weeks because the solution stays in the soil to kill weeds for some time. If you have manually cleared your unwanted plant matter, it should be ready for planting right away.

    Creating planting beds and other features in your backyard

    Creating planting beds and choosing other features is one of the most exciting pieces of landscaping. Making flower beds, building firepits or adding water features and ponds to your outdoor space can be a very enjoyable and rewarding experience.

    How do you make a garden bed in your backyard?

    The first step in making a garden bed is to choose where you want it to go. If you are planting a vegetable garden, many plants need lots of sun, so be sure to keep this in mind. Once you have chosen your location, clear it of any grass or existing vegetation.

    When building a raised garden bed, you can either do it yourself or buy premade kits or beds. It is up to you, depending on the time you want to spend and on your skill level. If you choose to build it yourself, here are some helpful design hints and tips to keep in mind.

    What are the principles of a raised garden bed design?

    Raised garden beds are helpful if the soil where you live is problematic, you can easily fill a raised bed with nutrient-rich potting soil. It is important to create sturdy garden bed walls in the initial build for a successful raised bed. Be sure to select solid wood and materials to build out your raised garden beds.

    You can make the beds as large or as small as you want. Square or rectangular styles are the easiest structures to measure and build. Make sure the beds are totally level to avoid any future problems with drainage or settling.

    Types of trees, plants, and soil for your backyard

    Selecting materials for your backyard is another fun step in the landscaping process. This is a terrific opportunity to plant trees and flowers that you have always wanted. Be sure to select plants and trees that grow well in your climate and area for optimal backyard success.

    Types of trees that work well in backyard landscaping projects

    There are some trees that are great for almost any climate and will often depend on your personal preference. If you enjoy flowering trees, a dogwood or magnolia are beautiful and fragrant choices. Maple trees, cherry trees, the American holly and red oak are also great choices, depending on how much space you have.

    If you desire privacy, planting certain types of trees can help separate your yard from those of others. Arborvitae, Leyland cypress, and red cedar trees are great for this purpose, and they typically grow quickly. Be sure to consider the space required for each tree.

    Plants and flowers that grow well under trees

    If you are planting flowers and plants under new or existing trees, select a variety that will thrive in this shaded area. Plants and flowers that need a lot of sun may not do well under trees. Some good options are lily of the valley, daffodils, periwinkles, ferns, and hostas.

    How do you prepare rocky soil for planting in your backyard?

    Preparing soil is a crucial step if you have extremely rocky areas in your backyard landscape. Removing the rocks is necessary for ensuring smooth, nutrient-rich, and aerated soil. If your area seems too rocky to tackle, this would be a suitable time to consider the raised garden beds.

    General landscape design tips

    If you’re struggling with where to start, consider a small native plant garden. These are easy to work with and consist of plants that are known to do well in your climate. Start small with one or two main projects and build over time.

    Some inexpensive ways to landscape your backyard

    There are several budget-friendly landscaping projects. While raised beds can seem expensive, there are a few kits that are quite affordable. Starting out small with a few packs of seeds or flowers is another fun and inexpensive way to start adding color to your backyard.

    For the best way to make a maximum impact for your landscaping dollar, choose a few trees, two or three new species of plants, and one fun fixture for your yard. This can make a real difference in your space, especially as the trees grow. You can also add hanging plants or a birdbath, both of which are fun options for your backyard and come in options that are quite affordable.

    Unique features to add to your backyard landscape

    There are several creative features to add a "wow" effect to your landscaping project. One such example is an outdoor firepit, which can be enjoyed by the whole family. Other features include rain chains, creative seating, yard sculptures or bird sanctuaries.

    Tiny backyard ideas

    While the tiny house phenomenon is in full swing, so is the concept of the tiny backyard. Even small spaces can have a significant impact, and it doesn’t take a lot of money to install a creative and cozy outdoor space. Even if your backyard space consists only of a patio, it is still possible to have beautiful plants and even a small herb garden. Using a particular flower or shrub and native plants can also enhance your outdoor space in a great planter.

    Even if you have a small outdoor space, you can still have a functional outdoor kitchen. There are several grills and cooking accessories to help you have a successful outdoor cooking space. There are tons of backyard ideas for small spaces. Get creative.

    Tips for minimal maintenance

    What you need to know about yard maintenance when making a landscaping plan

    The most important aspect of yard maintenance is making sure your new landscaping is watered well and has proper weed control. When considering the best ways to control weeds, realize the more attention you pay to this, the better your chance of overall success. Weeds can take over a garden very quickly, so controlling them is especially important to maintaining a functional outdoor space.

    There are lots of tips for watering your lawn. It is important to water during the right time of day (that is, when the temperature is not scorching hot), and to water before your grass gets dry. Ensuring that you are watering properly will promote the health, longevity and enjoyment of your backyard space.

    There are many ways to landscape your backyard, whether you have a giant space or a smaller space that you are simply looking to refresh. Choose plants, flowers, trees, and herbs that do well in your climate, and find one or two unique features to set your backyard apart. Personalizing your backyard landscaping space will enhance your enjoyment of your home and set the stage for making some great outdoor memories.