Must Haves Before Beginning a DIY Landscaping Project

Are you ready to get dirty this summer? You’d better be if you plan to make your landscaping makeover project a DIY project.

The great thing about a “do it yourself” project is the sense of pride you’ll get when the job is done: You get to point to something and say, “I made that.” With landscaping, it might be easier to achieve that DIY pride quicker than if you worked on an intricate project like building an entire home. After all, how complicated could planting some flowers be?

Before you pick up your first seed packet, you might want to expand your vision. The goal is to create a backyard that can serve as an inviting oasis for family and friends. Whether you want to grill up great meals or just commune with nature, you’ll have plenty of options to explore.

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Start With a Plan

Stand in your backyard and treat that space between the fences as your blank canvas. What can you imagine filling up that space? A screened-in porch? A gazebo? A Zen fountain? A living wall?

You might have some ideas already but before you commit to a definitive plan you might want to spend the afternoon watching all those reality TV shows where they give a yard a makeover. Dozens of magazines and online resources can provide all kinds of inspiration for your backyard oasis. Take it all in, throw out what doesn’t work and then come up with your dream plan.

Budget Realistically

Once you have your plan (it should involve a sketch), you’ll want to head over to your closest home improvement store to begin pricing out the items. Depending on the outlet, you could find all the things you need from planters to pavers all in one spot.

Before you start spending, price out each item you think you’ll need. This will help you determine a budget and it might require adjusting some of your “wish list” items if they prove to be too expensive.

The other approach is to set a money limit before you even start planning. In other words, you’ve got $500 for the landscaping. What can you get for that? The important thing about working within a budget is to stay focused. You won’t be creating outside your budget zone, which will help simplify the project.

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Tools of the Trade

As you might expect with a landscaping project, you’ll need the basics: a good shovel, pick ax and rake. Those are your core tools. However, if your project might involve intense digging, you’ll want to bring in items like a professional quality mini-skid steer. This type of machinery is surprisingly easy to operate and can make a major excavating job go a lot smoother. This could make a huge difference if you’re putting in a new irrigation system.

Once the big work is complete, you’ll want to get yourself a good set of small hand gardening tools. These allow you to work closely with all your plants. Another must have for any gardener is a kneepad. That extra cushion will allow you to spend more time in the dirt!

Finally, the most important tool you’ll need is a decent garden hose. That might seem like a no-brainer but before you invest in a fifty-foot hose, make sure you need a fifty-foot hose. All that hard work will go to waste if you’re constantly tripping over an uncoiled hose. Added spray attachments can extend the reach of your hose.

The added bonus of a DIY project is that you’ll be working on your own schedule. You don’t have to complete the whole landscaping in a single weekend. Take your time and enjoy the process. Just be sure to snap “before” and “after” photos.

To find eco-gardening solutions, don’t forget to shop Lux&Eco’s gardening shop for seeds and planters.

Megan Ray Nichols is the editor of Schooled By Science. She has a passion for green living and the environment. Follow her on Twitter @nicholsrmegan for more eco-conscious tips and tricks.


Megan Ray Nichols

Megan Ray Nichols enjoys writing about technology and various scientific topics. She is the editor of Schooled By Science. When she isn't writing, Megan loves to go hiking, fishing,and reading. On clear nights she likes to go star gazing in local parks.

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