Productivity Tips for Renovating Your Yard


Spring is nearly here and you’re dying for a lush lawn and colorful flowers to brighten up the world after a long and gloomy winter. Still dreading the yardwork? You aren’t alone.

Even if you love dressing up your yard, a lot of work goes into creating a landscaped property. With a few tips, you’ll be able to get your yard into shape in just a few weekends or less.

Start With a Plan

Rookie mistake No. 1 is diving into renovating your yard without first creating a battle plan. Regardless of the size of your yard, it’s easy to end up with too much of a good thing. Keep in mind the rules of decorating apply outside as well as inside.

Get a notebook and outline what you’re hoping to do. Rock garden? Small pond? Privacy wall? That’s wonderful. Now draw it. This provides you with an easy reference to establish your budget.

Whatever you do, don’t go to a nursery without a budget and a plan. An action plan will also speed up your shopping trip and keep you on track with what you need to do next.

Remember the R’s

You know the drill. Reduce, reuse and recycle. That doesn’t mean you necessarily have to put on your artist hat if you don’t want to, but it does mean you should think outside the box when it comes to throwing things away.

Skip the burn barrel. Rent a wood chipper and turn branches and debris into mulch. Start a compost pile or bin – the waste will turn into nutrient-rich soil for your garden.

Reuse wood pallets for a trellis or turn old furniture into beautiful flower planters. Just be sure that you don’t overaccessorize your yard with ornaments.

Dealing With a Rocky or Sloped Yard

Don’t let a challenging existing landscape trap you into an unattractive backyard. Deciding how to deal with a rocky or sloped lawn doesn’t have to equal an entire season of physical labor. You have options.

Plan A:

The easiest method is to throw down ground cover. You don’t even have to tear out the rocks, especially if this is a part of the yard you’ll never do more than look at. Just plant some perennials in the ground and walk away.

You can use ivy, or there are a multitude of flowering groundcovers like creeping maze or vinca vine. The groundcover will also help slow or stop soil erosion.

Plan B:

The more strenuous option for steep slopes is to create a terrace. Don’t panic; we’re still going to avoid a season of physical labor. This just means it’s time to pull out the heavy machinery.

Instead of spending days digging out rocks and prepping for posts and terrace walls by hand, rent the necessary equipment and have the worst of the work over with in an afternoon or weekend. Don’t forget to save the larger rocks for use in your garden or as part of the terrace walls.

Just Add…

There are a few last tips for making your renovation go swiftly:

  • Flowers: Use perennial flowers. They spread on their own and they come back every year.
  • Water: Think about installing an irrigation system, even a simple one, to help you cut back on your time spent outdoors.
  • Paint the shed: You forgot all about it, didn’t you? A coat of paint will make the shed pop. Add flowers for a new focal point to the yard.

No matter what, maintaining a beautiful yard is work, but it doesn’t have to be the end-all and be-all of your weekend. Create the perfect landscaped yard on paper, then list out your action plan. Before you know it, you’ll have a well-manicured yard perfect for barbeques and relaxation.

Kayla Matthews
Kayla Matthews is a healthy living blogger who has a passion for living well, happily and productively. You can follow her on Google+ and Twitter, or find her at