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Home improvement projects are simply more exciting when you take them on with your own two hands, and your home’s exterior is no exception. Furthermore, doing your own home landscaping is not only personally satisfying, but can save you a great deal of money as well. Just follow the simple tips below to keep your landscape looking beautiful without breaking your bank.

1. Test your soil. Soil tests can be purchased at your local garden center and are an excellent way to pinpoint what your soil is lacking. Knowing what nutrients are missing from your soil will help you determine which fertilizer to use, and can also steer you towards specific plants or trees that will work best for you.

2. Keep weeds under control. Weeds can not only be unattractive, but they can steal water and nutrients from the plants in your garden that you intended them for. If weeds are maintained and even prevented, however, you will never have to worry about wasting fertilizer on plants that don’t belong.

3. Add mulch. Mulch is beneficial to your landscape for a variety of reasons, the least of which being that it will save you money on your water bill. Not only does mulch help soil to retain water, but it can also help to eliminate weeds and improve your soil over time, saving you valuable money on both fertilizers and weed killers.

4. Prune regularly. Not only do plants and trees that aren’t pruned on a regular basis look bad, but they are also just plain unhealthy. Pruning helps prevent the spread of disease, improves air circulation around the plant, and, by removing parts of the plant that are no longer needed, allows for and directs new, healthy growth.

5. Buy plants and trees when they are young and small. Buying plants that are somewhat large and established in their growth can be a good idea in some cases, but it can also be expensive. Buying plants when they are small means a little more work for you but ensures that you will get more for your money.

6. Buy in bulk. If you know everything that you need in advance, buying everything at once and in bulk can save you a significant amount of money down the line. The same goes for any equipment that you may need to rent, and if your project is large, equipment rental is almost a certainty.

7. Don’t over-fertilize. Ever heard of having too much of a good thing? While fertilizers are great for your lawn and garden to a certain extent, they must be used in moderation – otherwise, you can have what is called “fertilizer burn,” which is much more dangerous to plants than not having enough fertilizer and can be extremely difficult to treat.

8. Don’t over-plant. When you first get started, it may be tempting to simply fill your lawn or garden with as many colorful varieties as you can find. Just remember, your garden is a living thing and will be constantly expanding – if you plant too much initially you will just waste money when your garden becomes crowded and you have to remove plants later on.

9. Don’t cut your lawn too short. While it’s important to keep your lawn trimmed and looking nice, keeping it too short can actually cause more harm than good. Not only will tall grass shade out weeds, but taller grass has deeper roots and will require less watering and general maintenance.

10. Leave grass clippings where they are. You may be tempted to bag up your grass clippings after mowing the lawn, but resist the urge and leave them on your lawn. Grass clippings act as a natural organic fertilizer, adding vital nutrients to your lawn as they break down.

If you’ve decided to tackle your own home’s landscaping, then the team at Shell Lumber & Hardware could not be more excited for you. To pick up everything you’ll need at one convenient location, or to simply ask general questions regarding your lawn and garden care, visit us at our warehouse in Miami or call us today at (305) 856-6401.


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