Are you considering installing your own patio? Maybe building a firepit from a kit at your local hardware store?

Like most homeowners, you may be considering the price of hiring a landscape company vs. installing your dream landscape elements on your own. But is taking on your own landscape improvement a potential disaster? While there are certainly several projects that homeowners could complete on their own, there are some projects that are truly best left to the professionals.

It makes sense that you may be considering improving your outdoor space on your own. Having great curb appeal and a functional landscape doesn’t only allow for your space to be well enjoyed, it also can increase your home’s value. Let’s look at when which projects are great for DIY experts and when it is time to call in a professional.

Great DIY Landscape Projects

Some landscape companies will tell you that all outdoor tasks should be left to professionals. While it is true that professional care for your landscape will save you time, there are several tasks you can easily accomplish if you are willing to get your hands dirty.

DIY: Seasonal Clean-Ups

Seasonal clean-ups are essential for the success of your landscape. In both the Spring and Fall, we recommend pruning plants, cleaning up landscape beds, and removing leaves and other debris throughout your landscape and lawn. To effectively complete a seasonal clean-up, you will need a leaf blower, rake, pruners, and potentially a hand saw. Be sure to research the plantings in your yard so that you are pruning them back at the appropriate time and in the correct way for optimal growth. Many homeowners opt to have landscape companies complete this task because it is a lot of hard work and significant time investment.

DIY: Mulching, Planting Annuals, and Weeding

If your landscape beds have mulch, they need to be refreshed each season. This includes applying weed prevention and then installing mulch. Be sure to apply an even layer and make sure to not mound mulch around the base of trees. In addition, most landscape beds with mulch need to be edged each season to define the bed lines.

Another easy task for homeowners to complete is installing your own annual flowers. When purchasing flowers, be sure to look at the recommended sunlight for each plant, so it can thrive where you plant it. If you are planning to plant in container garden planters, be sure to include a thriller, spiller, and filler. While this is a task you can easily complete, many homeowners hire a landscape company to design and install their annual flower display.

Finally, dealing with weeds in your landscape beds and pruning your plantings can be a task homeowners can successfully accomplish. We do not recommend homeowners purchasing their own weed control spray. Professionals take hours of trainings to know exactly how much of each chemical to mix and apply to safely control weeds. What is sold at your local hardware store is not the same as the type of products professional landscapers have access to. Weeding and pruning by hand can be a lot of work, but if you enjoy gardening it can be a relaxing task! Spend time researching the type of plantings you have on your property so you know when to remove dead flower blooms to encourage a second or even third appearance of flowers.

DIY: Mowing Your Lawn

Lawn maintenance can be a great DIY task if you have some extra time to spare or are looking to save money. Be sure to sharpen your mower blades at the beginning of the season and at least one additional time. Spend time researching the correct length to mow your grass throughout the season, as cutting too short or too long can encourage disease and pests to take hold. Alternate the direction in which you mow your grass to avoid compaction and ruts. Professional landscape maintenance typically includes not only mowing your grass, but line trimming, blowing, and bi-weekly edging. These jobs can be a bit more tricky to tackle and require more time and equipment.

Time to Call in the Professionals

While several maintenance tasks can lend themselves to being great DIY projects, most landscape installation and lawn care tasks are better fit for professionals. Let’s explore some of the outdoor landscaping jobs that professionals can tackle

Professionals: Landscape Design

Which plants are right for your landscape? Where do you plant them? How do you maintain them? A landscape designer can guide you in making choices that will lead to a long-lasting thriving landscape. Not only do they make your landscape beautiful, but they also take into consideration the grade of your property and ensure that your space is safe and will hold up against the elements.

Professionals: All Hardscape Installation

Installing a patio, fireplace, stairs, walkway, driveway, retaining wall are tasks for skilled professionals. Our team of experts have spent their entire lives safely building hardscape projects. Installation requires training, specialized equipment, and can be dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. Done incorrectly, DIY hardscape projects can lead to major safety issues or water run off damage to your home. Installing hardscape projects is a multi-step procedure, not simply leveling and putting pavers down. When hardscape projects are installed correctly, you will have a beautiful space to enjoy for years to come.

Professionals: Fertilization and Weed Killer

While spreading fertilizer or spraying weed killer seems pretty easy, it really is a complex process. Failure to use the correct product in the correct strength can greatly impact the environment by creating harmful run off, can ruin your turf completely, or can leave your grass looking striped. You may not know that anyone who sprays weed killer or spreads fertilizer for a company must be licensed. This licensed consists of a challenging test and then yearly continuing education hours to maintain.

In addition, products that commercial companies can use are much more effective and targeted than anything you can buy in a hardware store. Certain products are designed to kill any plant that they touch and some are selective, attacking only certain weeds. Hiring an expert can help to ensure that you are using the right product at the right time.

lawn care professional fertilizes grass with walk behind spreader

Considering DIY vs. Professional Landscaping

While the above DIY tasks are ones that a homeowner could do, they do still require equipment, education, time, and hardwork. It’s ok if they are jobs that you can do, but you just don’t really want to do. At TruNorth, we offer all of the above landscaping tasks, both DIY and professional.

Hiring a professional landscaping contractor can be costly, however, you can be confident that the job is done right and that your property is safe. In addition, partnering with a qualified landscaping team means that you have an educated team to consult with on all of your outdoor projects. They can take a look at the weird yellow spot on your grass or the dusty film on your peony leaves, diagnose the problem, and treat the issue.

Ready to have an expert in your corner? Get started today with a consultation with one of our experts!

Get started today with a consultation!

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