There are do-it-yourself kits available from some lawn care services or lawn and garden shops. The cooperative extension offices in many states will also test soil for free or for a low fee. Private companies also provide kits and testing for a fee. Once you get the results returned, you will see what you may need to add to the soil in order to get the lawn of your dreams.

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.


Assuming you are in the right zone for this type of planting, if you don't want to spend all of your time watering, stick with easy-care options in some of your containers. Succulents and bougainvilleas need little care in containers. You can choose succulents that will grow to create senses of scale and drama, such as agave, or aloe. Depending on your choice of succulent, some of these may grow as tall as ten feet high, so be are of their potential when planning your container garden. Then, prepare for a beautiful sight.
Lily-of-the-Nile makes a big statement around this pool, and it is a beautiful plant to pair with the subtle tones and colors of cool water. While these are described as 'blue,' agapanthus actually come in a rainbow variety of this color, from a deep blue to a pale blue and seemingly every shade in between. If you want to know which color blue the plant is, you will need to choose one that has blossomed if it is simply identified as 'blue.' Whatever shade is preferred, the gorgeous blue of the flowers mirrors the blue of the pool, and evergreen varieties will make it seem as if it spring all year round.

With the right plan, the right grass seeds for your region, appropriate lawn fertilizer and a dependable lawn mower, your grass will be healthy and thriving in no time. The two main types of turf grass are warm season grass and cool season grass. Pick the grass seed that matches the climate and your yard’s sun exposure. If your prefer to grow grass without the help of chemicals, we offer organic lawn care solutions. You have options. 
Prized for both its flavor and its aroma, mint can be an incredible herb to have growing in a garden container. What’s more, its bright green leaves can bring in a pop of color. Left uncontrolled, however, mint can have a tendency to overrun an outdoor space. With this in mind, you will want to keep more invasive herbs, like mints, contained in pots in your kitchen garden. Pick your mint based on the flavor you want and whether you’d prefer it for tea or for flavoring food—you’ll be thrilled by mint’s wondrous varieties.
Retaining walls are a great way to create levels of interest in your backyard. You can use them to create a raised garden to surround your entertaining space or make a quiet corner to relax. Retaining walls are also a good way to flatten out areas of a sloping block and add extra space for the kids to play or for you to entertain. Depending on the look you want, retaining walls can be built from logs or treated pine sleepers. You can also use purpose-built materials for retaining walls that are interlocking, long lasting and come in a range of colours.

Hm. I think there’s a failure in communication here. Frugal Bachelor, I am very sympathetic to the plight of immigrants — legal or otherwise — and agree that, as you said, “they are the shit, they are bad asses who work very hard, and can earn a buck anywhere they go, they are role models for all of us aspiring to be frugal, to save money, and to get rich slowly.”


Replacing lawn with a ground cover of rocks or large boulder accents cuts down on upkeep and the need for irrigation. In addition to adding a rugged look to your backyard, sand- or stone-based ground cover can double as a weed suppressor and foundation for stepping stones. Moreover, choose low-maintenance plants, like sedum or succulents, to plant in the rock garden for beautiful contrast.
Install new grass: aerating and reseeding doesn’t have to be handled by a pro. If your grass needs a boost every spring and fall, consider renting a small tiller (if you don’t have access to one) and church gently through your yard at a depth of about an inch. Follow tilling with pre-treated seed and straw. Water daily. Fertilizer can burn seedlings, so wait until the grass stand is about a month old before feeding it chemical fertilizers. If switching grass species, till the yard at a 3-inch depth and make sure to rake the yard well after tilling to avoid cross contamination with old clippings. Sodding a yard is slightly trickier, only because it requires that the ground beneath be cleaned and prepared to accept the sod. Consult your local garden center to see if you’re up for the task.
Landscape petunias—new hybrid petunias that are well suited to growing conditions in the South—are a great choice if you would like to include these wonderful flowers in your container garden plans. All petunias need good drainage, which growing in a pot (with at least one hole in the bottom) provides. Be sure to use a cascading variety for a luxurious planting. Whether your petunias are mounding or trailing, you’ll have flowers that are dense and full and, in most places, in the South, they’ll bloom from early in the spring until late in the fall.
Variegated agave, native to southern Texas and eastern Mexico, is a spreading ground cover that grows to about a foot tall and, left uncontained, would spread to roughly four feet wide. In a container, it becomes the perfect, full planting depending on your needs. A similar height, the Japanese Roof Iris—so named because it was popular to plant this on cottage roofs in the island nation, brings a gorgeous violet-and-white flower to this container delight. During your garden design, plan to vary the heights of your containers for greater visual interest. This garden features planters in a range of scales and materials, adding to its eclectic cottage personality.
Perennial flowers are wonderful for your planting beds, but they bloom for only so long. You may have perennials blooming in your bed in May, then nothing until July. Incorporating annuals into a do-it-yourself landscaping plan will "plug the gaps," giving you continuous color in the yard. Use my picture gallery to find ideas for your ​color schemes. The gallery is preceded by an introduction to employing color in landscape design.
Having fresh herbs at home can be much simpler than making a trip to the store. Transplants of cilantro, parsley, and chives are at their best in late winter months, both in containers and in the ground. Plant them in a shallow box, as pictured, and use them as an outdoor centerpiece. They will grow wonderfully well together, and you’ll have as much or as little as you need on-hand for topping a wide range of delectable dishes fresh from oven to table. Label your herbs to be sure which is which, then grab a handful whenever you need one. These raised-bed container gardens should produce plenty to share with family, friends, and neighbors.
The fence and bench are made of redwood—the fence features a light stain while the bench is natural—and Podocarpus were planted for privacy and greenery. A no-mow fescue on the mounds of the berm invite the boys to roll, tumble, and enjoy their backyard. Bluegrass is planted on the flat areas and recycled brick is used for a small patio. Making smart use of the space, those redwood benches also store outdoor toys when not being played with.

When buying a home, as tempting as it is to work on the inside first, I would suggest landscaping the outside first. Assuming the purchase of one-gallon plants (to save money), it takes about three years (in Georgia red clay) for a landscape to take shape. We made the mistake of fixing up the inside of our home first and then when it came time to sell, our recent landscape updates did not have the impact we would have liked, although the new owner is benefiting now.

Choosing to do your own landscaping will ultimately save you money in the long run. Yes, there may be some up front costs of purchasing your own tools and buying the wrong fertilizer a time or two, but you won’t be paying to have a service come and do the landscaping for you. Many homeowners who choose to do their own landscaping work have other family members that can help out with the chores like spouses or kids. Tending to your own landscaping is a budget friendly option that many homeowners choose in order to save money.
I recommend "tall fescue". Be sure to check the label and make sure it is pure tall fescue. Some outfits that sell seed mix in some annual ryegrass and call it "nursury grass - it will care for the tall fescue which takes longer to germinate." I don't agree with that. Note that tall fescue seed is significantly more expensive than annual ryegrass ...
Don’t confuse Plectranthus, or ‘Mona Lavender,’ for the lavender you think of when you imagine the beautiful-smelling plant that fills the fields of Provence. This gorgeous tropical nature shares its beautiful color, but is not the same thing. Use a pot of ‘Mona Lavender’ plectranthus as your container garden to add an unexpected pop of color to any outdoor space. It will brighten the shorter days of fall and add wow to your yard.
If you are aware of the type of grass you have in your yard and are content with its health and the way it looks, simply learn more about how to treat it well. If you are starting fresh, make sure you select a grass that thrives in your geographic area. One good tip is to locate the best-looking lawn in your neighborhood and initiate a conversation with the owner. They can give you a good idea of what types of seed, fertilizer and watering schedules might also work well in your yard.
I never even thought about having a pro do a consultation and design. I always figured if you consulted a pro it was to have them do all the work too which was obviously out of our budget. We designed our own yard plan and I do like it but I could see how a pro would have a more critical eye for details than we did. I will have to keep this in mind when we purchase a larger place someday.
Lily-of-the-Nile makes a big statement around this pool, and it is a beautiful plant to pair with the subtle tones and colors of cool water. While these are described as 'blue,' agapanthus actually come in a rainbow variety of this color, from a deep blue to a pale blue and seemingly every shade in between. If you want to know which color blue the plant is, you will need to choose one that has blossomed if it is simply identified as 'blue.' Whatever shade is preferred, the gorgeous blue of the flowers mirrors the blue of the pool, and evergreen varieties will make it seem as if it spring all year round.
There's nothing quite like a brand new deck to turn your backyard into an outdoor living room or a great party venue. It's an easy and affordable way to extend your living space that will last for years and, with a little know-how, you can build yourself. There are a number of decking material options available. As well as the traditional timber decking of blackbutt, jarrah, merbau and treated pine, there are environmentally friendly alternative. Composite decking can be made out of recycled plastic, which is long lasting, easy to install and maintain and is rot and termite resistant.
Wooden pallets are seriously nifty to have on hand. If you have any leftover after making some sweet patio furniture, you can easily use them to create some adorable garden boxes, too! Plant tomatoes, herbs, squash, onions or whatever you want! You can basically create your own vegetable patio without ever having to go to the store to get fresh veggies. Add some wheels to the bottoms of the boxes for easier mobility and to prevent your plants from flooding or getting too much sun.
An outdoor room, like the space created under a pergola, can be a welcoming place to mix your containers. This grouping has a lush, vibrant assortment of planters and hanging pots. Combine complimentary colors and plantings to ensure you will have the feeling of a unified, welcoming space that you can settle into on a warm, sun-filled summer afternoon. Hardscaping defines a space for seating under the pergola, which well-placed containers will soften and enhance. Then, sit back and listen to the sweet chirp of birds, watch the butterflies on wing, and enjoy the fragrances from your beautiful container garden.
I just had my yard aerated two days ago and the temperatures went from 70 to 45 degrees. Before I had the lawn aerated I raked up the leaves. Now since the lawn was aerated my neighbors leaves have blown over in my lawn. Is it two late in the season to plant grass seeds? If so, can I just spread the seeds directly on the leaves? Or would it be in my best interest to wait until early spring 2012?
Using a variety of shades of green is a wonderful landscaping idea and a way to add depth to your plantings. Bright chartreuse greens (as seen in these 'Frisia' honey locust trees) catch the eye and stand out in the landscape, especially compared to the darker, richer tones often found in evergreens. Blue-greens add a softness and almost always harmonize well with other shades of the color.
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