How to Design a Front Yard With Plants and Mulch


Undertaking a project to improve your home's curb appeal not only makes it more attractive, but can also help improve the value of your home. Home improvement projects can involve making a change to your home, such as installing new siding or painting your home, as well as planting trees or flower beds in your front yard. Adding flower beds to your landscape can imbue your yard with natural beauty. Covering the soil in the beds with mulch helps prevent it from eroding while retaining moisture in the ground for the plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Shovel
  • Hoe
  • Plants
  • Mulch
  • Rake
  • Designate where you will install the flower beds in the front yard. Common locations are along the side of the house and around trees that stand alone in the yard. Installing a flower bed in the center of the yard can break up the monotony of an otherwise plain lawn, while placing beds alongside a walkway can provide a colorful visual transition between the walkway and the lawn.

  • Draw a sketch of your front yard, including walkways, trees and other structures that it contains; note exact measurements on the sketch.

  • Add the locations where you want to install the beds to the drawing, and create a rough estimate of the area of each bed so you know how much ground you have to cover with plants and mulch.

  • Select the plants that you want to place in the beds. Planting shrubs and bushes in the center of the bed can reduce the overall number of plants you need to fill up the space in the bed and save you money. Shrubs and bushes are also perennials, which means that they'll survive through cold weather. When selecting flowering plants, choosing a mixture of annuals and perennials prevents you from needing to replace the plants yearly, which can save you time and money.

  • Mark the areas of the yard where the bed(s) will be installed by driving stakes into the ground or spray painting the ground around the perimeter of the bed.

  • Use a shovel to remove the sod from the bed location and till the soil to a depth of 6 inches.

  • Work a mixture of topsoil and compost into the bed's soil with a hoe.

  • Set the potted plants into position in the beds. Keep the plants in their pots at this stage so that you can move them around to see which layout you like the most.

  • Set the plants in the soil once you have decided where you will place them. Be sure to plant each item to the depth recommended on its packaging.

  • Water the plants after you have planted them, again following the information on their packaging for the amount.

  • Use a rake to spread mulch over the topsoil in the beds, going no more than 2 or 3 inches deep.

Tips & Warnings

  • When mulching around the base of a tree, do not build a "mulch volcano;" instead, keep the mulch at least 6 inches away from the tree trunk, as it can attract disease and insects and prevent the tree's root system from being able to breathe and absorb water.

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