How To Landscape Your Backyard

Appeal, balance and function are essential in learning how to landscape your backyard. A backyard can serve as an extension of the home’s living space. Lifestyle interests dictate how a backyard will be used. Create a landscaping plan to accommodate the backyard and its intended use. Develop the backyard through a landscape.

You will need:

  • Sketch pad
  • Pencil or pen
  • Ruler
  • Writing tablet, notebook or notepad
  • Stakes, metal or wood, along with string
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Power equipment (rotary tiller, lawn mower, edger, aerator, etc)
  • Garden tools (shovels, hoe, rakes, etc)
  • Post hole digger
  • Hand gardening tools (trowel, claw, spade, weed prier, etc)
  • Water hose with adjustable spigot 
  • Watering can
  • Plastic buckets (one to five gallon sizes)
  • Yard debris waste receptacles (bags and containers)
  • Wheel barrow
  • Installed sprinkler system or equivalent hoses and sprinklers
  • Top soil
  • Potting soil
  • Fertilizer (lawn, evergreen, shrubbery and floral varieties)
  • Mulch
  • Beauty bark (or ornamental rock)
  • Lawn seed (or turf) with seed spreader
  • Ornamental trees
  • Evergreens and shrubbery
  • Perennials
  • Bulbs
  • Annuals
  1. Consider how the backyard will be of service. As a home’s outdoor living space, the landscape of its backyard can accent, accommodate or enhance a variety of interests. Such interests include ornamental and vegetable gardening, dining al fresco, barbecuing, lounging, entertaining, children’s play area, hot tubing or spa, fish pond and even a pool for swimming. 
  2. Adjust intentional use to the size of a backyard. While outdoor activities vary in space requirements, backyard areas range widely in size. Realistically scale usage in ratio to the square footage of a backyard. 
  3. Assess the condition of such backyard to be landscaped. Examine the area to determine what may or not be salvageable towards a landscape.
  4. Plan the backyard’s landscape. Survey how to balance the backyard. Weigh ornamental and vegetation implantation amid functionality. Draw a rough floor-like plan of areas within the yard. Continue this instrumental process until a workable and pleasing plan is made.
  5. Design a landscape for the backyard. View each planned area of the backyard as if they were nature’s rooms within an open-like floor plan. Contemplate a theme of such live sources as ground cover, trees, shrubs and flowers. Gauge appropriately for adequate growth and activity space. As points to reference that coincide with the design aspects, visit nurseries and garden departments of home improvement stores, as well as similar areas within select discount department stores. Bonus features that enhance this aspect are found in locating plant and product availability, along with the opportunity to conduct cost comparisons.
  6. Lay out a foundation for the landscape. Plot out the backyard for landscaping. By way of stakes, string, tape measure and hammer, set up frame-like plots for the yard’s sections.
  7. Prepare the ground of each backyard section. Cultivate the earth to make its consistency workable. Apply and spread top soil to sections that are designated for lawn. Pour and heap potting soil onto those sectioned areas that will serve as planting beds for all other vegetation. Work this nutrient-rich soil into the earth of these bedding areas well.
  8. Plant backyard beds. According to size, dig holes that will accommodate the root systems of selected trees, evergreens, shrubbery, perennials and annuals. Plant, then fertilize and water according to product directions.
  9. Seed sections for green spaces. Thoroughly spread grass seed upon such areas. Water and feed in accordance to seed manufacturer’s instructions.
  10. Cover planting beds. Evenly spread a layer of beneficial mulch to planted beds. Then apply either beauty bark or ornamental rock upon the mulched areas. This dual process projects beauty, as it retains essential moisture.
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