Stress-free DIY residential landscaping ideas

Brooke McDonald
Brooke McDonald | 4 min. read
Get the latest industry insights.

Published on April 2, 2014

Aesthetically pleasing landscaping can improve the overall look of a property. However, no property manager wants to shell out thousands of dollars to re-landscape a property. Additionally, many property managers simply do not have time to perform frequent landscape upkeep.

Whether you manage individual homes or large apartment complexes, there are simple, cost-effective landscaping ideas to add interest and design to a property without costing yourself extensive time and money. Even small touches to the landscape can go a long way.

Ideas for Property Managers to Implement Themselves

Save yourself the headache of implementing a complicated landscape design, and keep it simple. It is possible to easily transform a “blah” property yourself with a little help from common landscape supplies. Consider five simple ideas below.

Create Beds of Mulch, Sand, or Gravel

Who says you have to put flowers in beds? Beds filled with any landscape material — colorful or brown mulch, sand, or pea gravel —  define a yard’s perimeter and can accentuate a residential property. They’re a nice low-stress option that don’t require any ongoing maintenance.

To plan your bed shape before you create it, use something long and flexible like rope to outline the areas you want to convert. Then remove sod from the entire area using a spade. Edge the area with brick, landscape rock, or even plastic edging. Remember that the more beds you have, the less grass there will be on the property to mow, water, and landscape. Avoiding dirt-filled beds will mean you don’t have to pluck any weeds that might grow up.

Use Native Plants or Shrubs

Native landscaping, over time, can save you time and money because the plants endure for longer in your environment. In the long run, native plants and shrubs will require less fertilization and pest control, too, since they naturally thrive in your environment without much help. Consider plants that flourish in your region that will require little to no maintenance. Start at a local nursery or landscape supply company, and plant what’s recommended as a stress-free option.

Add a New Layer of Sod

A simple but arresting improvement to residential yards or apartment properties is to re-sod the grass. Rich, healthy grass is always an attractive property feature. A fresh new layer of green replacing old brown grass can totally renovate a landscape.

Re-sodding can be time-consuming if you have a large area to sod, but it’s a self-explanatory process. The first step is to till the old layer of grass and water the soil. Next, lay down strips of sod, water it all again, and roll a sod roller over the whole thing to flatten the new sod into the soil. This will encourage the growth process of the new sod.

Draw Attention to a Single Attention-Grabber

When it comes to landscaping, sometimes less is more. If you lack the resources to plant tons of flowers or make beds all over a yard, think small. For residential yards, consider highlighting a single tree, large shrub, or lawn ornament of some kind by creating a mulch or gravel bed around it.

Try Container Plants

From pots to boxes to hanging baskets, containers of all shapes and sizes can be used to quickly spruce up a property’s look. They draw attention to front doors, driveways, or areas you want to highlight. Container plants are a good alternative to planting in-ground because of the space restriction and the easy care. Although more expensive than the previous options, they are a largely easy option with regards to care, watering, and time invested in their initial creation.

Landscaping doesn’t have to be a headache. All that matters is that you start somewhere. Your property can look a thousand times better with even a simple investment of time and resources, making it easier to market to potential residents and giving tenants enjoyment for years to come.

Read more on Maintenance & Improvements
Brooke McDonald

Brooke McDonald is a marketer for Fra-Dor Landscape Supplies in Little Canada, Minnesota.

Trending Stories For You
Accounting & Taxes 10 property management bookkeeping basics
Since one of the core responsibilities of a property manager is to manage an owner's assets, income, and expenses, you’re constantly dealing with accounting whether…
Laurie Mega
| 7 min. read
Accounting & Taxes How does a 1031 exchange work? What property managers should know
More and more property managers are finding their clientele shifting from accidental landlords to strategically minded rental real estate investors. And they're relying on the…
Amanda Maher
| 5 min. read
Maintenance & Improvements Multi-family winterization checklist: 18 steps to take ASAP
For most of the country, winter is at our doorstep—and as with winters past, it could bring billions of dollars in property damage nationwide. Between…
Jason Van Steenwyk
| 7 min. read

Be a more productive
property manager