a mid-summer’s dream of better landscaping? Here are
three easy projects to help realize your vision:
makeover: Fresh mulch will liven up your flowerbeds and
areas around trees. Landscapers and garden centers sell
mulch in bulk or by the bag. The most standard bag size
is 2 cubic feet. Bulk mulch sells by the cubic yard,
which is equal to 13.5 standard-sized bags.
your yard is like most American lawns, you have about
one-third of an acre, most of it grass. Making your
planting beds pop can cost as little as $2 a bag ($19
per cubic yard) or as much as $7 per bag ($47 per cubic
yard) depending on the quality and type of mulch.
landscapers say buying in bulk is cheaper in the long
run, even with delivery fees of about $50. Many
landscapers will also install it. If you’re going to
spread it yourself, have the load dumped onto a tarp for
corners (and curves): Edging a flowerbed, tree or other
landscaping element can boost its aesthetic appeal.
Following the shape of the bed, cut into the surrounding
lawn about 6 inches with a shovel or other sharp tool.
The edge can stand alone, or you can fill it with brick,
stone or other material, at a cost ranging from $4 to
$15 per square foot. For a clean look, create some
separation between the soil or mulch and the edging
material. Or keep a stand-alone edge sharp by going over
it with a shovel or other tool every few months.
up your grass: For every inch of grass above the ground,
say top-rated lawn pros, there’s an inch of roots
below. If you cut too close to the ground, roots may
die. Set your mower height so your lawn is trimmed to a
minimum of 3 inches. That will encourage thicker turf
that resists crabgrass, among other benefits.
your dreams are more expansive than these relatively
easy do-it-yourself spruce-ups, here are terms to help
match the right pro to your project:
service: Mows, trims, and administers fertilizer and
Often performs routine chores.
Plants trees and shrubbery; modifies and replaces
existing plants and materials; establishes new beds;
installs sod or seeds a lawn; and does routine
maintenance. Some landscapers offer design services.
architect: Often works on large, custom projects,
providing site plans for drainage and landscaping. Can
also do smaller complex projects.
designer: Provides a blueprint showing placement for
each plant and feature.
arborist/tree service: Prunes trees and diagnoses and
treats disease and pest problems.
Diagnoses plant diseases and advises on watering and
you hire a company, make sure it has a good reputation
on a trusted online review site and is appropriately
licensed, certified and insured. Get a written contract
covering all pertinent details, including payment amount