How Do I Start Landscaping My Backyard? (Easy Tips)

If you’re looking for a way to improve your home’s curb appeal, landscaping is an excellent option. The backyard offers a lot of options for doing this. 

From adding a pool or hot tub to building a deck or patio, there are many ways you can get started on your project. But don’t make the mistake of jumping into this without considering all the work that goes into it first!

How To Prep Your Yard For New Landscaping – Ace Hardware
Use a focal point to create visual interest in your backyard landscaping.
Balance and symmetry can create a sense of harmony in your outdoor space.
Incorporating color and texture can add depth and dimension to your backyard landscape.
Consider the function of your space when designing your backyard landscape.
Choose plants based on your climate, soil type, and sun exposure.
Create a realistic budget for your backyard landscaping project and stick to it.
Regular maintenance is key to keeping your backyard landscape looking beautiful.

Start With A Sketch

Before you start digging and planting, it’s important to have an idea of what you want your backyard to look like. 

A sketch of the plan will help you visualize what the finished product will look like and it can also help you stay on track as you work towards making your dream a reality.

So how do I go about drawing up my own landscaping plan? No need to be fancy here the simpler, the better! 

Start with a pencil or pen and paper and draw some rough sketches of all the elements that will make up your landscape: plants, lighting and water features. 

Don’t forget anything! For example, if there’s no central water feature yet (like an artificial pond or fountain), then these should be included in your plan so that there’s enough space for them later on.  

Keep in mind too that some plants might require more space than others; if this is true for any plantings included in the design, then take note of where those particular plants would go when drawing up each section of yard space

When it comes to designing a landscaping project, expert advice can make all the difference. Our article on designing a landscaping front yard provides valuable tips and insights to help you create the backyard of your dreams.

Check Your Zoning Codes

Before you start designing your space, it’s important to understand what the local ordinances and codes say. 

Zoning codes, building codes, fire codes, health codes, utility codes, and environmental protection laws all affect the way your yard is designed and built. A quick Google search can help you find out which regulations apply in your area.

Determine Critical Planting Zones/Areas

There are five different planting zones to consider when choosing plants for your garden. Each zone is based on the amount of sunlight, soil moisture, and wind exposure in that area.

Zone One: The first zone is a sunny location that receives full sun all day long.

Zone Two: Zone two is also a sunny location but it has less sun than zone one because it faces east or west instead of north or south.

Zone Three: Zone three has some shade from trees or buildings but still gets plenty of light for most plants to grow well there. In fact, many people choose this area for their vegetable gardens because it’s close enough to the house so they don’t have far to go when they need something from their kitchen!

The success of your landscaping project depends on finding the right soil for your plants. Learn more about which soil is best for flowers by checking out our article on soil for flowers and get started on your backyard project today.

Make A List Of What You Want To Accomplish

The first step to landscaping your backyard is making a list of what you want to accomplish. This should be a fairly extensive list, as it will serve as the basis for your design plan. Make sure you include things like:

  • Areas for planting
  • Walkways
  • Benches or other seating arrangements

Use Shrubs And Plants For Privacy

The next thing to consider is what you want to accomplish. Do you want to add privacy? Screen unsightly views? Screen noisy neighbors? Shrubs and plants can be used for all three of these purposes.

For example, if your property line is pretty much in full view of your neighbor’s yard and garage, then you may want to consider using shrubs and plants as a way to block their view of the back side of your home. 

This will help them respect your privacy while still allowing them the ability to see that someone lives in this house when they look over at it.

If there are any trees on either side of where you are planning on planting shrubs or other greenery, make sure they aren’t blocking sunlight from reaching those areas by trimming branches back so they don’t shade out plantings; otherwise they won’t grow as well.

“Creating a beautiful and functional backyard landscape can be a daunting task, but with the right guidance, it can be a fun and rewarding experience. Check out our article on making your own backyard landscape for tips and advice on how to get started.

Draw Up A Plan For Drainage

All landscaping projects start with a plan. You need to think about what you want your yard to look like and how it will be used before you pick out plants, trees, and other materials. 

For example, if you’re planting flowers in your backyard but also want to be able to play football in the yard with friends and family members, then drainage is very important. Drainage helps prevent erosion by directing excess water away from surfaces where it can cause damage.

There are many different ways of setting up drainage systems for your property you could do it yourself or pay a professional company to do the work for you. 

Seek Help From Landscaping Professionals

If you are a first-time landscaper, it’s best to hire a professional to help with the project. Your back yard is an investment, and if you choose to do it yourself, there are many things that can go wrong if you don’t have experience in landscaping.

If you choose to hire a professional, make sure that they are licensed and insured. They should also be willing to give references from other clients who have used their services before. 

Lastly, make sure that the company has been in business for at least five years so that they can show their work quality over time (and won’t disappear after your project).

Expect to pay anywhere between $10-$30 per hour depending on where you live and what type of work needs done (properly laying sod will cost more than just planting flowers).

A thatched roof gazebo can add a touch of tropical charm to any backyard landscape. If you’re thinking about building one, be sure to check out our article on building a thatched roof gazebo for helpful tips and step-by-step instructions.

Consider Water Features And Landscaping Lighting

  • Water features.
  • Lighting.

You’re probably thinking, “How do I get started?” Well, it’s not hard to start landscaping your backyard if you have a plan and some ideas of what you want to do. 

There are many things that can be done in the yard: installing a patio or deck; adding plants and flowers; building an outdoor kitchen; creating a garden box the possibilities are endless! 

In fact, there is no right way when it comes to designing your own landscape design because there are so many options available that you might find one that fits your needs perfectly!

Choose Your Materials Carefully

The first step in landscaping your backyard is to choose the right materials. This can be a tricky process if you’re unfamiliar with the different types of materials available and their pros and cons. Here are some tips for choosing high-quality materials:

Check the warranty on any material you buy. A good warranty is an indicator that the manufacturer has confidence in their product, which can help you feel more confident about making your purchase.

Ask friends and family members for recommendations on local landscapers or stores that sell landscape materials. 

These sources can provide invaluable insight into what kind of quality you should expect from each type of material as well as advise on what type would work best in your situation (i.e., small patio vs large yard).

Use a reputable contractor when installing any new landscaping components so they will last longer than expected!

If you’re looking to add some green to your backyard, putting down turf can be a great option. Learn more about how to put down turf by checking out our article on putting turf down in your backyard and start enjoying your new lawn today.

Install The Basics First And Add Additional Features Later On

Start with the basics. You should always have a good idea of what you want to accomplish before you start spending money on landscaping projects. 

If you don’t, it’s easy to end up with features that are either too expensive or too complex for your garden (and maybe even dangerous to maintain).

Be realistic about maintenance costs. It can be tempting to add all sorts of expensive features like ponds and fountains, but these will require regular attention from professionals and those professionals might not come cheap! 

If you’re not willing or able to pay for that kind of work, think about whether the feature is worth the cost and effort required for maintenance before installing it in your yard.

Don’t sweat over details until everything else is in place first: The best way forward is often one step at a time; don’t try and do everything at once!

Think About The Long-Term Maintenance Of Your Landscaping Project

Think about the long-term maintenance of your landscaping project. You will want to take into consideration how much time you will have to spend on maintenance and if it fits into your schedule.

If you are not very handy or don’t have a lot of free time, you should consider hiring a professional landscaper to do all the work for you. 

They can also help with long-term maintenance and care of your new landscape at an affordable price.


With some careful planning and the help of a professional landscaper, your backyard can be transformed into a place where you can enjoy spending time with family and friends. 

It’s also important to remember that landscaping projects take time and require regular maintenance so it’s best not to rush into anything.

Further Reading

If you’re looking for more tips and advice on backyard landscaping, check out these helpful resources:

Landscape Design for Beginners: This article from Better Homes & Gardens provides a comprehensive guide to landscape design for beginners, including tips on planning, design, and implementation.

Landscape Design Ideas and Advice for Beginners: The Old Farmer’s Almanac offers advice on how to plan and execute a beautiful backyard landscape, with tips on everything from choosing plants to designing hardscapes.

Do-It-Yourself Landscaping Tips: The Spruce offers a variety of tips and tricks for DIY landscaping projects, including ideas for creating outdoor spaces, planting and maintaining a garden, and designing a functional backyard.


What are some basic principles of backyard landscaping?

Basic principles of backyard landscaping include creating a focal point, using balance and symmetry, incorporating color and texture, and considering the function of the space.

What are some popular backyard landscaping ideas?

Popular backyard landscaping ideas include creating an outdoor living space, adding a water feature, planting a vegetable garden, installing a fire pit, and designing a natural-looking landscape.

How do I choose the right plants for my backyard landscaping project?

When choosing plants for your backyard landscaping project, consider factors such as your climate, soil type, and sun exposure, as well as the size and color of the plant and its maintenance requirements.

How do I create a budget for my backyard landscaping project?

To create a budget for your backyard landscaping project, consider factors such as the size of the space, the materials you’ll need, and the cost of hiring professionals if necessary. Be sure to set a realistic budget and stick to it as closely as possible.

How do I maintain my backyard landscape?

Maintaining your backyard landscape involves tasks such as watering, fertilizing, pruning, and mowing. The specific maintenance tasks will depend on the plants and features in your landscape, so be sure to research the needs of each component and create a schedule for regular maintenance.