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Easy landscaping ideas for beginners

A person in all denim and white gloves plants an evergreen tree with a small hand shovel

Have you ever driven by a home with beautiful landscaping and wondered how much work or money was involved? If you’re a new homeowner or just new to landscaping, we’ve got you covered.

Even if you’ve never touched a lawnmower or pruning shears before, our guide has some great ideas to help you dress up your outdoor space without getting stressed out.

Pro Tip: Determine your landscaping budget before creating your plan so you’ll know where to splurge, repurpose, and save.

Making your grass green and healthy

Like building a house on a solid foundation, it’s important to make sure you have a healthy lawn that can handle any landscaping changes. Examine your yard for the following concerns.

Keeping your lawn green

Green lawns are not only appealing; they’re a sign your grass in good shape. Whether you want your yard to be the talk of the town or simply nice enough for the kids to play, maintaining a healthy lawn is hinged on three main factors:

  • Watering your lawn regularly
  • Getting rid of water-hungry weeds
  • Preventing pests from ruining your yard

 Once you’ve mastered these aspects of lawn care, you can shift your focus and make your green space all your own.

Preventing a dry lawn

Many lawns can go without water for up to six weeks, but the longer your lawn is left unhydrated, the more susceptible it is to turning brown and, in extreme cases, dying. The screwdriver test is an easy way to gauge how much moisture yours may need. If a screwdriver can easily be pushed into the ground, it is well hydrated; if the screwdriver requires a lot of effort to be pushed into the soil, it may be time to water it.

Maintaining a properly hydrated lawn can be expensive; reference our guide on hydrating your lawn efficiently to learn how to keep your water bill low and your lawn lush.

What should you do if your lawn is always dry?

If you water your lawn frequently and it still looks parched, it may be time for a new strategy. Try these methods for bringing your grass back to life.

  • Use a rain gauge and make it easier to water your lawn according to its needs
  • Water your lawn in the early evening or early morning so your grass has more time to dry when it’s cooler
  • When your lawn begins to look healthier, resist the temptation to overwater, as that can make things worse

How to prevent weeds from growing

Weeds are one of the greatest threats to a healthy lawn, as they battle grass for nutrients, sunlight, and water. A common way to limit weed growth is to spray weed killer once in the spring and again in the early fall.

If you’re looking for environmentally-friendly ways to keep weeds at bay, consider the following treatments:

  • Baking soda
  • Boiling water (may need a few treatments)
  • The tried-and-true mix of 1 gallon of white vinegar with 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap and 1 cup of salt

Sprinkling or spraying early in the spring and fall, wherever your lawn receives the most sunlight and away from the grass and plants you want to preserve, is your best bet.

Pro Tip: You can also use lawn clippings and compost to nurture a lawn with additional nutrients.

How to get rid of lawn insects

Bugs are another one of grass’s main competitors. Even if you don’t see lawn bugs, any brown patches, wilting grass, bite marks on blades, or small holes in your lawn, could indicate that you need more lawn insect control.

Many popular insecticides can help. But if you’re a homeowner that prefers doing things a bit more naturally, there are a number of earth-, people-, and even pet-friendly products like neem oil, bacillus papillae, or diatomaceous earth that can help make your lawn less hospitable to these invasive little critters and the larger animals that consume them. Whichever you choose, be sure to follow the directions provided.

Cheap and simple front yard landscaping ideas

Now that your yard is healthy, we can tackle lawn design. Read on for some front yard landscaping ideas that can help you impress the neighbors with fairly little effort.

Make savvy plant arrangements

When designing your lawn, it helps to fit your foliage to an established layout. Instead of choosing an assortment of plants that might visually overwhelm the space, focus on the following points when picking your plants:

  • Choose a focal point, and begin your design from there
  • Consider the shape, number, and size of any flower beds you would like to include
  • Invest in perennial plants, like daylilies and hibiscus, and maintain them properly to see several years of blooms
  • Save by purchasing younger plants, and let them blossom at home
  • Try varieties like clover, stonecrop, or creeping phlox for low-maintenance groundcover
Tan pavers form a walkway in the middle of a green lawn


DIY landscaping ideas

This is a great opportunity to express yourself and make your lawn one of a kind. Try these ways to customize your lawn to your household’s needs.

  • Use wood, stone, or brick pavers to make a unique path from your back door to a focal point
  • Make plants pop with different colors of mulch (Some communities have this for free!)
  • Stand out from the street with wheelbarrows, old mailboxes, glass bottles, and old candle jars as flower pots
  • Repurpose indoor lamps and mason jars for path lighting

Once your lawn has been landscaped, use this curb appeal guide to pull the different aspects of the front of your home together.

Complete your green space upgrade with these low-maintenance backyard landscaping ideas

With the front of your house squared away, it’s time to address all that space behind your home. Utilize these modern backyard ideas to match the style of your front yard, or to create your own backyard paradise.

  • Make your own fire pit seating area to complement your fire pit
  • If you have two trees that are close, you can install pavers that lead to your own homemade hammock corner
  • Build your own gazebo or garden arch
A privacy hedge guards the right side of a blue pool with chairs near it on both sides


Pool landscaping ideas the whole family will love

If you have a pool, you have even more ways to beautify the space.

  • Plant a privacy hedge
  • Mark off the pool area with a grid of alternating grass and pavers
  • Elevate the ambience with color changing LED bulbs in or near the pool
  • Shine a light on the pool all night with landscape lights
  • Create lightweight patio furniture or storage out of reclaimed wood pallets

With your front and back yards landscaped to your liking, you’re all set for summer fun!

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