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13 Things Your Landscaper Won’t Tell You

Increase your home’s value and save yourself time, money and frustration with these landscaping tricks of the trade.

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Ditch the Mower Bag

Those grass clippings will become food for earthworms and microbes that will help make your lawn green and healthy.

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2. Sure, the View From the Street is Important

…but don’t forget to look at your landscape from inside the house. If you have a room with a big window, make sure it looks good from there too.

(Photo: Ralf Nau/Digital Vision/Thinkstock)

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3. More Isn’t Always Better

Don’t fill every inch of your space with plants and flowers. By next spring, you’ll have a weeding and pruning nightmare.

(Photo: Chris Clinton/Lifesize/Thinkstock)

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4. That “Pretty” Red Mulch You Love?

It’s been found to contain arsenic and other harsh chemicals that can be harmful to children and pets and will contaminate your soil.

(Photo: iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

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5. Hate Bagging Leaves?

You don’t have to. If there’s just a light layer, go over them with your mower and leave them on your lawn. As they break down, they’ll help limit weeds from popping up.

(Photo: iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

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6. Stock Up on Your Favourites

If you find a flower you like, always buy more than one. Plant clumps of species in odd number, such as five or seven in one area, or repeat the groupings throughout your landscape for a unifying effect.

(Photo: Creatas/Thinkstock)

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7. Leave Some Breathing Room

DIY landscapers tend to make their planting beds too narrow and too close to the house. You want to extend your beds out at least one to two thirds of the house’s height, if not more.

(Photo: iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

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8. It’s Not Worth It

Laying weed fabric is generally a waste of money and time for the long term – weeds just grow on top of it.

I once had a customer whose beds had seven layers of weed fabric, yet she still had weeds. I guess she kept thinking, If I put down just one more layer, the weeds will stop coming.

(Photo: Hemera Technologies/

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9. Don’t Overwater Your Lawn

Remember that one inch of water once a week is ideal, maybe once every five days in extreme heat, depending on your soil.

Infrequent watering encourages roots to grow deeper to find groundwater, creating a stronger plant.

(Photo: Comstock/Thinkstock)

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10. Colour Your Garden Beautiful

Looking at a colour wheel is a great way to choose garden flowers. Colours that are opposite each other, like yellow and purple, look beautiful together.

(Photo: iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

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11. Don’t Overdo It With the DIY

If you don’t have a big budget, hire someone to do a landscape design and then install it yourself in stages. That will keep you from making costly mistakes, like putting plants in the wrong spot.

(Photo: Comstock/Thinkstock)

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12. Better to Plant Too High Than Too Deep

People have a tendency to over-dig, and the roots of the tree or plant can get buried, causing it to suffocate, or water accumulates at the root level and rots out the roots.

(Photo: iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

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13. We Know Your Kids Want to Help

But they’re just making our job take longer. And squirting us with a squirt gun? Now you’re really pushing it.

(Photo: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Thinkstock)