Do-It-Yourself Landscape Projects

02/03/2018 | Ken Davis In the Garden, Landscaping, Plant Care

by Ken Lain, the mountain gardener

Do-It-Yourself landscaping ranges from building walkways, installing water features, to creating your own raised garden beds. Homeowners seeking a helping hand can follow the instructions in the resources shown below, which feature popular DIY landscaping projects

#1  Outdoor Privacy, Safety, Ease of Living

We divide our indoor living spaces into separate rooms mainly for convenience and privacy. The same is true for our outdoor living spaces:  A swimming pool area should be tailored to accommodate poolside activities. (Duh.) However, until you begin plans for a project do you realize that, for instance,  requirements for a pool space are quite different from the needs in a garden’s seating area.

Discover ways to achieve curb appeal, privacy, and convenience in your outdoor living areas with these resources:

The Secret Garden – A Free Book

Green Living Walls for Privacy

Top 10 Indestructible Plants

Home Security and Your Landscape


#2 Rock Gardens, Water Features, Flower Beds

Rock gardens are calm spaces planted exclusively with vegetation that thrives in dry conditions. Water features are visually and audibly appealing. Using pre-formed liners, durable pumps, and flexible tubing, they are fairly easy to install. Once you’ve experimented with ponds, you may advance to the next level of complexity: simple waterfalls. Install water-loving plants around water features to enhance their visual appeal. Flowerbeds have the best flexibility to enhance any landscape space and design.

Small Garden Designs

How to Create the Perfect  Flowerbed

Designing Your Outdoor Space


#3 Patios, Walkways, Walls

DIY landscaping projects can greatly enhance the enjoyment of the yard. Features such as patios and walkways can add not only beauty but increase functionality. Follow these helpful guides to local hardscape designs.

Hardscape to Frame the Landscape

Inviting Side Yard Designs


#4  Raised Beds, Stone Walls

Simple terrace jobs are excellent DIY landscaping projects for beginners. After building small stone retaining walls, you can plant them much like a raised garden bed. Building large retaining walls is not considered a DIY project. If you need a tall wall, chances are you have an erosion problem just waiting to happen and will benefit from the expertise of a professional.

Beginners Guide to Building a Stone Retaining Wall

Raised Garden Beds – YouTube

4 Keys to Designing & Building Raised Garden Beds


#5 Pest Control

It’s interesting that gardeners’ attitudes toward pests will be similar to their attitudes toward weeds. For some gardeners weeds are deemed merely “wild plants” and tolerated in the yard; likewise, “pests” are enjoyed as “wildlife” and the damage they cause accepted as part of nature. But for those who shun such a laissez-faire approach to gardening, the resources below on pest control will provide some handy tips. Deer, javelins, rabbits, gophers, and certain insects are major pests in the mountains, but it’s possible to employ organic and humane control efforts.

Deer and Rabbit Resistant Plants

Bark Beetle Solutions in Pines

Javalina Resistant Plants

Insects and Disease Common to Local Gardens

Controlling Gophers in the Garden


#6 Drainage, Erosion, and Other Soil Problems

Drainage problems can be a real strain on your time and energy. Solving drainage problems sounds easy, but is a very difficult project.  Only in the mountains can you find instances of water actually seeping uphill!  In such a case it is far easier to call a professional that has witnessed and contended with this phenomenon.  For lesser problem,s you can spread some wildflower seed, plant deep-rooted junipers or cotoneasters, or check out these local resources.

The Low Maintenance Landscape – Free Book Download

DeClutter the Yard

Pine Needles – are they Bad for the Landscape

Mountain Erosion Control

Wildflowers to Life

Preparing Exceptional Garden Soils


#7 Where Beginners Should Start

The following are some introductory resources you may wish to use when beginning a DIY landscaping career.  Whether you want to get down and dirty right away or have landscape design concepts explained to you in detail, these sources have something helpful for everyone.

Complete Guide to local Fruit Trees – Free Book

10 Tips for Newcomers

Flowers that Sell Your Home Faster

Vegetable Calendar and the Right Plant Dates

Attracting Butterflies and Hummingbirds

4 Steps to Healthier Plant Feeding


#8 When You Need a Professional

Some tasks are too dangerous to be considered DIY landscaping projects. In other cases, you may lack the time, energy, or skills needed to do the job correctly and safely. There’s a lot to be said for knowing when to call the pros.  Remember, in order to avoid costly property damage from falling trees, drainage issues, and erosion problems it makes good financial sense to call in a pro before a considerable problem gets out of hand.  Of course, there are times when calling a pro simply allows you to avoid backbreaking work.  I chose to call in the pros at Jonnys Tree and Landscape Service to grind out a large stump rather than digging out the stump myself. Do some research first so you are informed and make the right decision on a professional service.  Visit us here at Watters Garden Center for a curated list of local professionals that can handle problems from snake removal to large tree pruning.

Drip Irrigation Install and Maintenance

Local Planting Guide that Works

Watters Onsite Consultation Services

Watters Personal Gardener Services

Until next week,  I’ll be helping local gardeners here at Watters Garden Center.

Ken Lain can be found throughout the week at Watters Garden Center, 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd in Prescott, or contacted through his web site at or .