7 Things No One Tells You About Doing Your Own Landscaping

landscaping
iStock/GeorgiaCourt

I spent $1270 on landscaping services last year. After seeing the total, I decided to handle my own lawn care at the start of this season.

What began as a purely financial decision and an Internet search for mowers led to a series of lessons in soil quality, types of grass, seasonal climate fluctuations, and ants. I’ve learned a lot about landscaping and lawn care – and I’ve reconnected with Mother Earth in unexpected ways.

Are you thinking about doing your own landscaping? You might be surprised what you discover. I was!

Landscaping Lessons for Beginners:

  1. It’s probably easier than you think it will be. I thought landscaping would be sweaty, dirty work – and it is. But it’s light, manual labor and nothing is overly strenuous. Mowing with a self-propelled mower is basically just walking around. As the temperatures rise this summer, I’m sure it will become more difficult. For now, however – it’s a breeze.
  2. Mowing is just the beginning. When I started researching lawn care for dummies, my focus was on mowing the yard. But there are also edges to be trimmed, bushes to be cut back, grass to be fertilized, debris to be blown away, mulch to be spread, weeds to be killed, and ant hills to destroy.
  3. Nature will dictate your landscaping schedule. It doesn’t matter if you’ve planned to work in the yard on Saturday – if it’s rainy and wet, mowing is not an option. You’ll also be more in tune with fluctuations in weather patterns. Will it rain today? Will there be dew on the ground tomorrow? Will the weekend be sunny or overcast? Are there storms headed our way? I feel a sense of connection with the earth that wasn’t there before.
  4. A self-propelled, cordless electric lawnmower is an excellent choice for first-timers. After thorough online research, I purchased a 21” EGO mower. Yes, it was more expensive than a similar gas model; however, the difference in price will even out in five years because I never have to run to the store to purchase gas or spark plugs for my machine. There are no fumes and no messy fill-ups, and it makes far less noise than a gas engine. And obviously, it is better for the environment.
  5. You need a lot of tools. In addition to the mower, I use a leaf blower (a Christmas gift from my father) to clean up debris. He also gave me his spare edger and branch clippers, and loaned me a fertilizer spreader earlier this season. I already owned a shovel, gardening gloves, water hose (gift from dad) and garden hoe (gift from dad). Without the fatherly gifts – I would be out quite a bit more money.
  6. You will probably talk to your neighbors more. If it’s a nice, sunny day and I’m out doing yard work – I can bet at least one of my neighbors is, too. It’s the perfect opportunity to say hello and muse about the lovely weather.
  7. You might just enjoy it! In addition to the pride I feel as a steward of the land, I actually enjoy landscaping: mowing my backyard, taking care of the bushes, and trimming the weeds. It’s relaxing and provides a sense of peace in a chaotic world.

Related on Organic Authority

From Seeds to Seedlings to My Vegetable Garden FAIL
Back to Your Roots with Native Plants and Relearn Landscaping the Natural
How to Re-Wild and Love Your Very Own Backyard (and Nature)

Shilo Urban

Shilo first became interested in conscious living when she found herself working simultaneously at a mom-and-pop natural food store and a farm for endangered livestock breeds on the coast of Maine. After residing in Austin, New Zealand, Paris, Seattle, and Los Angeles, she now lives in Fort Worth, Texas where she works as a freelance writer. Her passions include international travel and wiener dogs.