7 Big Landscaping Projects to Finally Tackle

hands with screw gun building wood fence
  • 5-50 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-10,000

Whether you’ve recently moved or have been looking at the same unfinished yard for years, the wish list of landscaping projects for your outdoor space is likely growing.

While putting together your scrapbook of dream projects, why not move a few into the ‘complete this year’ column? Instead of putting it off, make a budget, a plan, and a commitment to cross some of those big projects off the list.

1. Build Raised Beds

There are a variety of reasons to rely on raised beds throughout your property. For example, poor soil makes it difficult to grow many plants, especially garden vegetables.

Rather than putting the ongoing effort into amending and improving the soil, planting in raised beds allows you to add quality soil without a lot of hassle.

It also provides you better control for watering, drainage, weed suppression, and plant health.

Raised beds work great for food gardens, but they’re just as valuable when planting flowers, herbs, and other plants.

large raised garden bed

2. Erect a Fence

This is the year to add privacy and keep the wildlife out of your yard.

Whether you need to fence in a garden area or tackle a large yard, the right fence will bring you years of benefits so you might as well start enjoying it sooner rather than later.

Start by setting your budget. Remember to include hardware, gates, all materials, concrete for setting posts, etc.

Create a plan for the fence, prioritizing the reason you’re building it.

If your goal is to keep animals out of a little-viewed area, for example, inexpensive chicken wire might do the trick.

If the mission is security, on the other hand, you may be looking at installing a steel or aluminum fence with an electronic security gate.

3. Plant Trees

Depending on your landscaping needs, planting trees may be an afternoon project or a season-long adventure.

Either way, the sooner you get them into the ground, the sooner they will begin growing.

Do your research to find the best options for your space. Be sure to understand the full size and growth pattern of those you select.

Consider whether you want to deal with leaves in the fall and other messes trees can leave behind. Also, think about how much shade it will provide if that is a priority.

young people planting a tree

4. Deal With the Slope

Slopes are one of the most challenging landscape issues. They can contribute to water runoff, debris falling into the yard, and erosion.

But with a proper plan, you can turn your challenge into an asset.

Decide whether you want to plant the hillside with options like burning bush, sumac, Japanese yew, lilac, juniper, snowberry, or cypress, to name but a few.

If you want a more traditional flower bed, carve out a tiered system instead, with levels of flat planting areas.

In conjunction or in addition, you can add a retaining wall to slow erosion and shifting. As a bonus, it can also work as a bench.

5. Create Walkways

Perhaps the biggest statement you can add to your landscaping is functional and eye-catching walkways.

The purpose of walkways is not only to provide a surface for walking and pushing the wheelbarrow but also to define each space in your yard.

Start with the back deck or patio and design a path to other sitting areas, the garden, or the play structure.

Then choose a material to work with. Consider your budget as well as how you use the space.

For example, bark chips are the least expensive, while paver stones are the most durable and long-lasting.

6. Construct Covered Areas

person painting or staining an outdoor pergola or gazebo roof

Another project you can tackle this year is to create more shade in your yard. This is especially important for areas that get heavy year-round use or are westward facing with hot afternoon sun.

You’ll have to decide whether you want filtered light through a pergola or complete coverage from a covered porch.

Other options include an arbor over a bench or a roof for the outdoor grilling area.

7. DIY Fire Pit

It’s easier than you think to build a DIY fire pit. There are kits available or you can design your own from stones or metal.

A fire pit invites outdoor gatherings with family and friends, plus encourages the making of s’mores all while providing heat for chilly evenings.