Can you feel it? Summer is almost here in Southern Maryland! Grilling, swimming, or lazing the day away in a hammock are just some of the ways we’d like to spend a summer day. Could your backyard use a bit of sprucing up? Check out these tips for making your yard a place you truly want to relax.
Install edging for a tidier look
The line between your garden beds and your lawn can get a little blurred, and if that’s happening in your yard, it’s time to install a barrier between the two. That barrier is called “edging,” and it’s easier to install than you think.
There is a mountain of edging choices at Southern Maryland’s garden centers, but the simplest to install and the most subtle are “4-in.deep strips of steel, aluminum or plastic,” according to the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine.
Looking for something a bit sleeker and sexier? Consider painted aluminum or steel. Although they cost about the same, Family Handyman’s experts recommend aluminum for the DIYer because it’s lighter and easier to work with. If you insist on plastic, buy the most rigid edging you can find.
Edging, according to the pros, should be installed so that the top of it ends up 1/2-inch above the soil.
Home Depot offers an easy-to-follow walkthrough on the installation process.
Install drip irrigation
Don’t want to worry about watering your yard and garden? There’s no more efficient way to get it done than a drip irrigation system. The best part? It’s surprisingly easy to install and maintain; there are instructions all over the Internet. We like the video produced by sprinklerwarehouse.com.
Large gardening centers and home improvement stores sell kits to get you started and all the supplies you’ll need to maintain or add on to your system.
Mulch your garden beds
Garden mulch is the workhorse of your landscaping. It helps discourage weeds, not to mentions helping the soil retain moisture, adding nutrients to the soil, and acting as a temperature regulator for tender roots.
Mulch is made from a variety of materials and comes in different textures and colors. Here are just a few of the types of mulch you’ll find in gardening centers in Southern Maryland:
- Cocoa bean shells (toxic to pets)
No matter which material you choose, you’ll need about 2 to 3 inches of mulch spread over the soil but kept at least 6 inches from the base of the plants.
For additional information on mulch, how to apply it, and why, watch the landdesigns.com video.
Light it up
You don’t need to hack your electrical system to add lights to the landscape. Spotlights, pathway lights and even strings of lights to hang over your patio or across the top of a fence all come in solar varieties. Stick them in the ground and let the sun replace electricity.
The pros at Pegasus Lighting offer a few tips on what to look for when you shop for solar landscaping lights:
- Choose lights that use LEDs for the light source. Not only do they tolerate harsh weather conditions better than other light sources, but “LEDs require less energy to produce light, so they are much more dependable,” according to Pegasus.
- Shop from among the most recent models to ensure that the photovoltaic cells (the part of the light that captures the sun’s energy to charge the batteries) are durable. Speaking of batteries, newer models contain “next generation batteries,” according to Lynn Coulter at HGTV.com. These batteries “can hold up to 2 ½ times the charge as older types,” she says.
Create an outdoor dining oasis
Whether you’re grilling or dining on take-out or kitchen-prepped cuisine, dinner on your own patio or balcony can be heavenly after a long day of work. If you already own a patio dining set, give it a fresh coat of paint.
If you need to shop for a set, and you’re on a tight budget, consider buying a used set and refurbishing it. Shop garage sales, craigslist.org, or offerup.com.
Brandywine MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309
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