Home-ownership comes with a lot of work, maintenance, and decision making. Once you move in there are plenty of things to tackle from painting, furniture shopping, to even DIY projects around the house to make it truly feel your own. One area that might feel like an afterthought is the exterior of the home however, according to homelight.com a well-landscaped home is likely to fetch 5.5 – 12.7% more than one with no landscaping. So now that you are thinking of tackling the exterior of your home where do you even begin? Our complete guide to taking your Atlanta Lawn to the next level is the perfect place to start. We will go over everything from lawn care in Atlanta to landscaping and how to be the absolute destination for your neighborhood get-togethers. Let’s get started!
A Lush Green Lawn
The best place to start when trying to tackle your curb appeal is to make sure that your lawn is as inviting as it can be. Across the US there are plenty of places where green lawns are hard to come by due to drought and desert heat however, here in Atlanta, the mark of a great landscape is a green lawn.
- Test Your Soil – The first step to a green lawn is seeing what the current health state of your lawn actually is. You should be testing your soil’s nutrient and pH levels at least every 2 years. Home kits are available but to be sure you are getting accurate results its best to send them into a lab. Testing your lawn in the Fall is typically best so you have time to make adjustments before growing season!
- Aeration– The first tip we can offer to get a green lawn is not to skip lawn aeration! The process removes 1-3” cores of turf in a pattern across your lawn. The reason we aerate a lawn is to allow water and airflow to root systems which allow for the release of toxic gases that build up in the soil. Without proper aeration, your lawn can actually suffer from compaction.
- Fertilization & Weed Control– Once you have tested your soil and aerated you are ready to lay down fertilizer. Pick a fertilizer that is suited for your lawn based on your specific test results, the local gardening center should be able to help you if you choose to forgo a professional lawn care program. We suggest fertilizing in both the late spring and fall. Weed removal and weed prevention utilizing pre-emergents are also essential during fall and late spring to achieve that perfect lush green look.
- Watering– While Atlanta can get hot in the summer, we don’t experience quite the same types of severe heat much of the country does in summer. Even with that being said, watering your lawn is essential to a healthy root system and growth promotion. For watering an established lawn aim to water every 2-3 days and aim for 4 inches of penetration. You can check by using a spade after 30 minutes of watering to determine how deep the water penetrated.
- Other Considerations– Some other considerations to get the perfect green lawn is to utilize grass seed or lay sod. Grass seed can definitely help the overall consistency of your lawn and reduce patchiness however it is absolutely key when choosing grass seed that you are matching the existing species of grass you already have for a uniform look. Sod is also a popular choice, in either event, you will need to water your lawn more frequently to ensure the root systems take hold.
Utilizing Fresh Landscaping
After you have achieved the green lawn of your dreams you will want to liven things up with some well thought out landscaping. There is a wide variety of different types of plants, trees, and flowers you can add to your lawn to make it absolutely pop in your neighborhood. So, what do you need to know when considering plant landscaping?
- Variety Is Everything – When looking at inspiration for your landscaping it is very easy to get overwhelmed. Our best advice is to pick a variety of shrubs, trees, and plants in varying heights to add depth and interest. It is also important to pick things you like! That may seem obvious but instead of trying to recreate something you see, go to your local gardening center and chat with the professionals on your likes and dislikes. Landscaping is an investment and its better to start with a base of plants you really do love and are happy to care for.
- Shrub & Ornamental Care – As stated depending on the size of your yard cost can be a big factor in some of the decisions you make regarding plant types. One thing that should definitely be factored in regarding cost is maintenance. Shrubs that require trimming to maintain a shape or pruning can be more time consuming than others. Not to worry, the professionals at All Turf Lawn Care offer Shrub & Ornamental Care for our Atlanta Neighbors, one less thing to upkeep yourself!
- Perennials & Annuals – Another consideration when choosing plants for your garden is the placement of perennials and annuals. Perennials come back every year while annuals need to be replanted. We suggest selecting perennials as a base and backdrop for your landscaping and leave the annuals to swapping out upfront of your beds or in planters each year. You can even change your annuals for the seasons. Mums are a common and festive choice in the fall, while begonias and marigolds are popular choices for the summer months.
- Sun, Partial Sun, & Shade – If you are DIY’ing your landscaping we can’t stress enough how important it is to do your research and talk to your local gardening professionals. Different plants thrive in different climates but even more importantly, in different areas of your yard. If your yard is almost completely full sun make sure to choose full sun plants and flowers, while shaded yards would not be ideal for those types of plants.
Structures & Hardscaping
Taking your yard to the next level doesn’t just include lawn care and fresh landscaping. To really turn up the dial of envy in the neighborhood hardscaping and unique structures can add the wow factor that takes your yard from boring to paradise.
- Walkways – One of the easiest ways to add interest to your yard is walkways and paths. They define the space and lead the eye to where you want to draw interest. There are so many different types of ways to go about installing a walkway but the most common are pavers, stepping stones, or gravel. We also love the way plants and flowers look lining your walkways.
- Edging– Edging is essentially a border to help define your landscaping from your grass. It can add a clean and polished look along the front and back of your home, pathways, and flower beds. Edging can be as simple as a line of rocks or stones, wood chips, or man-made edging materials like borders and fencing.
- Gazebos & Pergolas– A great place to add to an Atlanta backyard is a Gazebo or Pergola. These structures are the perfect place to host a get-together or sit back and relax with a glass of iced tea on a summer day. Many of these structured can be bought pre-assembled or as a kit to build yourself. By adding a walkway to your structure and some landscaping around them you can create the perfect hideaway in your own backyard, and stay cool from the sun.
- Deck/Patio- Decks & Patio’s are the more common types of structures we see and for good reason. Having a deck or patio off the back of your house gives you that indoor/outdoor living that many people covet. The perfect place to put your grill and host a summer barbecue. Today there are so many different types of decking options. For inspiration check out our Pinterest.
- Define Spaces – The best thing you can do when working with a blank canvas is to define spaces within your yard. If you have dreamed of a fire pit create a patio with pavers and landscape around it to make it the perfect escape for summer nights. If you have children’s play equipment create a play area with wood chips for safety that can also serve as a clear area for play. By highlighting specific spaces in your yard you create interest and purpose.
Light it Up
Last but not least, lighting. Just like in your home the right lighting can make all the difference in your yard. Sure, the sun will do most of the heavy lifting during the day time but a real impact can be made once the sun goes down. This can be one of the most overlooked differentiators taking your home to a completely new level.
- Up-lighting – Up-lighting is the practice of pointing a light up towards something. These tend to be best used along the side of the front of your home or to draw attention to a specific space. A great place to add up-lighting is your mailbox so friends, family, and the mailman can find your home no matter the time of day
- Walkway Lighting- Another great way to implement lighting is to run it alongside your walkway, not only does this add ambiance but it also adds safety. In slick conditions, walkway lighting can be critical to make sure your family and your guests don’t fall and hurt themselves.
- Solar– One of the bigger developments in outdoor lighting is the increased availability of solar lights. These allow you to add lighting all over your yard no matter how far from the nearest outlet. These lights drink in the sun’s rays all day long so they can shine bright all night. We suggest looking at both standard and solar lighting options when deciding on lighting for your home’s exterior.
- Exterior House Lighting – A consideration if you do a lot of outdoor entertaining is exterior house lighting. These are lights that are hard-wired on the outside of your home that can provide light to your outdoor structures, decks, and patios. We also love adding additional lighting in the form of outdoor candles, string lights, and perimeter lighting to set the perfect mood even after dark.
Professional Lawn Care
There is obviously a lot to consider when taking your yard to the next level but the best place to start is at step one and that’s a great lawn. To get your lawn up to snuff we suggest one of our lawn care programs, not only we will get your lawn where you want it to be but we can maintain your lawn so it impresses for years to come. We only ask we get an invite to your next garden party!
For more information on Atlanta Lawn Care, contact All Turf Lawn Care for your free estimate today.