Landscaping can be a great way to create a little slice of heaven in your own backyard. With a little landscaping work, you can make the best use of your yard space, add value to your home and improve the flow from your indoor to outdoor areas.
However, landscaping is a lot of work and can be surprisingly expensive when you bring in the pros. So, if you have a landscaping project coming up, you should look to get as much preparation done as possible. This will help reduce the cost and the length of the project.
Here are a few fairly simple ways to prepare your yard for a landscaping project.
Get the lay of the land
First thing you should do is go over your entire yard so you know precisely where everything is. Make a note of any permanent structures of obstructions, like decking, pools and even large trees.
Your landscaping plans should work around these permanent structures rather than requiring you to move or remove them. Also, make note of how much space you have between or beneath these structures. This will help you know exactly how much room you have in case you need to access the yard with vehicles or machinery.
It’s also worth noting the location of all taps and electrical outlets in the yard. You may need a licensed electrician or plumber to move these if they interfere with your plans. If they are staying put, then you will want to know where they are to avoid damaging them during the landscaping work.
You should also be aware of what’s beneath the ground. Find out if there are any buried pipes or electrical cables in your yard and mark where they are. And don’t forget to look up. Any overhead branches or wires could present hazards to machinery or workers.
To make things easier, you can create a map of your yard as it is. Mark in those permanent structures, anything you want to stay as is, and any potential hazards. This will help to guide your landscaping plan.
Clean your yard
You will want to remove as much as possible from your yard before you start on the landscaping. This will give the landscapers more room to move and make the yard a safer place to work. It will also mean that the job gets done faster.
Start by clearing out as much rubbish and plant life as possible. You should also remove any old garden features you no longer need, like garden beds, pavers, fountains and so on.
For this step, you should look into hiring a skip bin, since your kerbside bin won’t be large enough to handle the debris. Most skip bin hire companies have specific rules about what you can and can’t put into a skip, so you may need to hire two separate bins for green waste and general waste.
Check your yard access
Before any landscaping project, it’s essential that you carefully inspect and measure all access points to the area being landscaped. You will need to know what kind of space is available for machinery and materials to access your yard.
If the only access point to your yard is via a path down the side of the house, this could make delivering heavy materials difficult. It could also mean that you may not be able to use digging machinery for the project. Working this out ahead of time will save you some major headaches down the road.
Strip the lawn
If you’re putting down turf as part of your landscaping project, you will need to strip out any existing lawn. Use a sod cutter to remove the existing grass. Ensure you remove the grass roots as well so your new grass can grow easily.
Next, you need to aerate the soil to stop it compacting. Compacted soil does not drain as well as aerated soil, and new grass may not survive if it is unable to get enough water or it becomes waterlogged.
Once you’ve turned the soil, you can compost the area. You should check the pH balance of the soil to see if you need to add any nutrients and minerals to ensure optimum plant growth. Have a look at 5 tips to get the most out of your skip bin
Putting in a little work before your landscaping project will help to keep the costs down and ensure your project gets done as efficiently as possible. Plus it gives you a chance to get your hands dirty in the backyard, which is always a good thing.