Having a great looking landscape is the pride and joy of any homeowner. A well-designed landscape is a living work of art and is just as important to the appearance of your home as its architecture. Well-designed landscapes increase the value of your home as well as your enjoyment of it. But having and maintaining a showpiece landscape goes far beyond just calling up a landscaping company and then sitting back and enjoying their labor for years to come – ultimately, you will be responsible for its upkeep to make sure it looks great year after year.

Maintenance Basics

Diligence and patience are the key words here. Keeping your eyes peeled for potential problems and addressing them right away will keep your landscape looking great with minimal effort. With that in mind, there are specific problems and issues that arise more frequently than others and will require frequent attention.

Cleaning. Since your landscape is obviously outdoors, many of the fixtures, including statues, patios, fire pits, chairs, tables, lighting fixtures, etc., will get quite dirty over time. Make it a point each week to walk through the landscape and clean any obvious buildup of dirt or grime you might notice. You should also frequently sweep any pathways that may become covered with leaves or mud after a storm. Pressure washing is also very effective for pathways and permanent fixtures that have become stained over time.

Watering. Even if you have an automatic irrigation system, there may still be some parts of your landscape that don’t receive enough water. This is why it helps to pay close attention to the health of all of your plants throughout the year. If any of them begin to wilt or look unhealthy, manually water them regularly or move them to an area that is within the range of a sprinkler head.

Mowing. If you don’t have a landscaping company doing this for you on a regular basis, you will have to take matters into your own hands. For the best results, frequent mowing while leaving the grass at a moderate height (between 2-3 inches) will give you a great looking lawn while also protecting the health of your grass.

Weeding. Weeds are tenacious plants and can pop up anywhere, even in the most well-groomed landscapes or gardens. Pull any weeds you notice right away, as leaving them for too long can quickly result in an overgrowth that will cause your other plants to die off as they are forced to compete for nutrients, water, and sunlight.

Pruning. Eventually, your beautiful shrubs and trees will start to become too big and may grow into pathways, over windows, or dangerously close to your house. Make sure you regularly prune the branches of any plants that are getting too big (without cutting them too short) to keep their growth in check.

Fertilize and Seed. If you notice some of your plants aren’t growing the way they should or if you begin to see dead spots in your lawn, make use of fertilizer and seed to get your landscape back in business.

Pest control. Mice, moles, and neighborhood or stray dogs can make quick work of your expensive landscaping if it isn’t properly guarded. Setting up fences and other obstacles can help protect it. You should also inspect your plants for insect damage and apply fertilizer as necessary in order to control their population.

Although it sounds like a lot of work, maintain your landscape amounts to just a few minutes per week. The more regularly you tend to it and the quicker problems are resolved, the less work you’ll have to do in the future. Having great looking landscape is an investment, and maintaining it is just contributing to that investment!