6 Game-Changing Yard Tips for New Homeowners

Last Updated on July 13, 2023 by Kimberly Crawford

If you’ve recently bought your first home, creating a lovely garden may be one of your top priorities. But don’t head off to the garden center for flowers until you’ve done some homework. You’ll need to assess your yard and make a plan. Here are six game-changing yard tips for new homeowners.

Yard Tips for New Homeowners

If your new neighbors have lovely yards, it’s likely the result of years of trial and error. Use these tips for beginner gardeners to achieve a vibrant, healthy yard and avoid rookie mistakes.

Set Garden Goals

Think about what you want from your garden. Do you need hedges for privacy or colorful flowerbeds to accent your entrance? Would fragrant shrubs near the patio lend atmosphere to warm summer nights? Have you always dreamed of growing your own herbs or vegetables? Once you determine your objectives, you can decide which plants will work best in your yard.

Follow the Sun

Notice how many hours of sun different parts of your yard get daily. Plants for sale at the garden center have labels showing how much sunlight they’ll need. Some flowers, like Peonies or Chrysanthemums, won’t bloom if they receive less than six hours of sunlight daily.

With a shady yard, look for plants that grow in partial shade, or choose shade-loving flowers like Impatiens or Begonias.

Test Your Sprinklers

If your new home has in-ground sprinklers, be careful when turning on the system in the spring. In cold climates, wait to turn on the sprinkler until after the last freeze, typically by May 5. Observe the water flow and check for signs of faulty sprinklers. These include:

  • Irregular spray patterns
  • Very low or very high water pressure
  • Water puddles in your lawn
  • The sprinkler won’t rise up or turn on

Turn off the sprinklers immediately if you notice any of these issues. A malfunctioning sprinkler can flood your home’s foundation, causing water to leak into your basement or crawl space. This can lead to major damage requiring emergency help and repairs. Call in water restoration experts like SERVPRO for a basement flood. They have the expertise to clean, sanitize, and repair your home to return it to its former condition.

Water Wisely

Here are some lawn watering tips for a lush lawn:

  • For best results, water in the morning before 10 am or in the evening before 6 p.m.
  • Most lawns need 1 inch to 1.5 inches of water per week. If you haven’t had much rain, water the lawn once or twice weekly.
  • Check local laws to see if there are water restrictions during dry periods of the year.

Know Your Hardiness Zone

Ensure the perennials, trees, and shrubs you plant will survive winters in your area. Find out your USDA Hardiness Zone, which classifies geographic areas by seasonal temperatures. Plants and seeds have zone labels, so choose plants that work in your area. The hardiness zone is not an issue for annual flowers you plant in the spring and remove before winter.

Enhance the Dirt

Gardens thrive in nutrient-rich soil that drains well and holds water well enough for plant roots to absorb. Add compost, fertilizer, or used coffee grounds to enhance your soil. Hard, clumpy soil might contain a lot of clay. If your yard has clay soil, it will need materials added every season.

Yard Tips for New Homeowners

A beautiful yard enhances your home’s value and provides a peaceful retreat. If you’re a beginning gardener, assessing your yard and making a plan yields beautiful results. Use these tips to avoid wasting money on plants that won’t survive or flourish. Also, consider your long-term vision. The trees and shrubs you plant today will grow to provide shade and privacy for years to come. Add flowers and planters for a quick infusion of color and fragrance.