9 Clever Landscaping Hacks for Your Best-Ever Yard – by Ayn-Monique Klahre

1.  Kill Weeds With Boiling Water

For an all-natural and virtually free way to kill weeds, all you need are a few kitchen basics. Fill a pot with water, bring it to a boil, then dump the water on any offending plants—the piping hot liquid will kill them instantly. This trick works especially well for weeds that pop up in cracks or joints on the patio or driveway, because the hot water could harm neighboring plants, but it won’t hurt the surrounding landscape.

2.  Deter Dogs with Turf

Because pets use the lawn as a playground and a bathroom, dog-owners often end up with torn up grass and patchy brown spots.  You can have a gorgeous lawn and keep your best friend happy too if you install lush looking artificial grass instead of the real stuff.  The turf will deter dogs from digging, conceal their bathroom area, and prevent them from tracking mud into the house.  As an added bonus, homeowners with artificial grass never need to mow the lawn!

3.  Plant Over a Septic Tank (great for you acreage owners!)

Septic tank covers can be a real eyesore in a garden.  Instead of ignoring the sewage necessity, try covering it with a layer of mulch and beautiful flowers.  Homeowners can easily sweep the mulch out of the way to access the tank, and no one will know what lies beneath!

4.  Use Bulbs to Create Almost Year Round Colour

Many flowering plants have brief bloom-times, and even some perennials have surprisingly short lifespans, so if you want constant colour in your garden, you need to plant vibrant annuals or switch out your perennials regularly.  For a low-maintenance alternative, plant a mix of flowering bulbs, such as snowdrops and lilies that bloom at different times.  If you rely on bulbs, you’ll only have to plant once a year and your garden will look great from spring to fall.

5.  Prevent Flooding With a Rain Garden

Surfaces that don’t absorb water, such as streets, sidewalks, and rooftops, can cause water to collect and pool, causing flooding.  You can capture the water runoff and return it to the environment by creating a rain garden, a depressed area in your yard planted with a mix of perennials and native plants.  Rainwater will flow toward the garden, where it will nurture the plants and drain into the soil.

6.  Fill Your Flower Bed with Pots

To pack your garden with colour year-round, purchase pots and fill them with flowers that bloom at different times.  Place the pots with blooming plants front and centre in your garden.  As the season progresses, move the pots around to make the most out of the flowers, and swap out pots as necessary.

7.  Edge a Garden with a Pine Board

Giving your garden a well-defined edge keeps things tidy and and instantly increases curb appeal, but stone borders are expensive and flexible plastic edging can be unattractive.  A wooden border is a great compromise.  Pretreated pine boards are readily available, inexpensive, and easy to cut.  Simply outline the perimeter of the garden bed with a shovel or spade, then wedge in lengths of wood to create the edge.

8.  Pack Planters with Peanuts

Although large, dramatic planter and pots pack a punch in any landscape, they can become inconveniently heavy when filled with soil.  Fortunately, most plants don’t actually need that much soil to take root, so you can lighten the load by filling the containers halfway with packing peanuts before adding the soil.  The planters will be easier to move around and you’ll save money on soil to boot.

9.  Plant Ground Covers on a Slope

Maintaining a steeply sloped section of lawn can be tricky because it can be tough to mow and can easily erode from exposure to wind and water.  Structural solutions like retaining walls and terracing can be expensive and most plants don’t grow deep roots fast enough to control erosion.  As a solution, try planting ground covers like English ivy, periwinkly, or dead nettle, all of which grow quickly and densely, making them ideal for holding the soil in place.

Put these tricks to work and soon your neighbours will want to know if you hired a landscaper!  Share the secrets with them for a great looking neighborhood.