With all this time spent at home over the last year, don’t let any more time go by without constructing the landscape of your dreams. Let’s face it – your home used to be your own, the place you could unwind – and then it became a workplace, classroom, and house all in one. Take back your space this year and begin by tackling some easy home projects for the summer.
1. MULCH YOUR LANDSCAPE
It might not seem like mulching will make much of a difference to your landscape, but laying mulch on top of your flower beds or along your walkways provides benefits far beyond simply adding color. Mulch is made of shredded wood and is often sold dyed red, black, or brown. It provides a layer of protection between your soil and the elements and helps to retain your soil’s moisture and keep it cool. Mulch also deters weed growth and adds an attractive, natural look to your landscape.
Mulch bags are relatively inexpensive to buy and are available at most lawn and garden stores. The Home Depot has an online calculator that can help you figure out how many bags of mulch you will need for your project. Otherwise, all you will need is a few hand tools; we recommend using a deep-capacity scoop shovel, bow rake, and if you have a bigger backyard, a wheelbarrow to help get your mulch where it needs to go. Any shovel will work for this project, but scoop shovels are lightweight and have larger-sized scoops so you can get the job done faster and more comfortably. A bow rake is the best rake to use when spreading mulch because of its plethora of short, thick tines.
2. LIGHT UP YOUR FRONT AND BACK YARD
The right amount of outdoor lighting can transform your home into an evening sanctuary. Low voltage landscape lighting is a relatively inexpensive way to add life to your outdoor spaces, and it will allow you to entertain outside at night this summer. By adequately lighting the front of your home, you can highlight its architectural features, pathways, and natural points of contrast and shadow. Playing around with your outdoor light design is another way to customize your home’s appearance and is a great way to ensure the safety and security of your home.
- PATHWAY LIGHTS – Small lights placed long your walkway that light a path to your front door/ along your sidewalk; often dimmed and capped with a diffuser
- DECK AND OUTDOOR STEP LIGHTING – Lighting attached directly to your decking; a great addition if you’re looking to host outside this summer; ensures safety when using the steps
- ACCENT LIGHTING – Accent lighting comes in all different shapes, sizes, and colors; creates visual interest; highlight trees, planting areas, and your home’s unique architectural features
- WALL LIGHTS – A strong front or back porch light is a classic addition to any home; outdoor fixtures are available in a lot of different designs so you can find one that fits your home’s overall aesthetic
There are also many motion-sensor, solar-powered, and string light options that might work for your home better. Your home is beautiful during the day, show it off just as much at night!
3. PLANT A GARDEN
SUPPLIES: SEEDS OR STARTER PLANTS
A fruit or vegetable garden is a lovely addition to any home. Not only are you able to sustain yourself and your family off of food that you grew, but you’ll add color, fragrance, and texture to your yard. Depending on what you grow in your garden, you might also attract friendly critters like birds, bees, butterflies, and ladybugs that will help to pollinate and fuel your plants.
Growing a garden requires a bit of maintenance including planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting. The most labor-intensive portion of this project will be the initial planting of the seeds, or maybe it’s deciding what kinds of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers you want to grow.
4. BUILD AN OUTDOOR FIRE PIT
SUPPLIES: STONE/RETAINING BLOCKS, FIRE RING, SAND, PEA GRAVEL
Are you as excited as we are to host friends and family at home this summer? Do it outside around a fire pit! Not only will it add value and dimension to your backyard, but it will make your home the go-to spot to hang out this summer.
It doesn’t have to be expensive either. There are a lot of Do-It-Yourself fire pit instructions and videos available online that estimate the cost of building at around $100, and you can find versions specific to the area of your backyard where you want to build. This article from the home experts at HGTV outlines a simple and inexpensive way to build a fire pit:
- Choose a spot that is ground level, at least 15 feet from any structure, and close to a water source
- The size of your metal fire ring will determine how large your fire pit will be, and bigger fire pits will require more materials
- To determine the size of your pit, place your metal ring on the ground and place retaining blocks in a circle around the outside of it; these blocks will serve as the base layer of your fire pit
- Mark the edge of the circle in the ground by tracing the outside with the edge of a shovel
- Remove the ring and blocks and dig a hole at least 7” deep
- Fill the hole with a 1” layer of all-purpose sand and tamp the sand until its down flat and level
- Place the retaining blocks back on top of the sand layer (the outside of the block should be on the very edge of the sand)
- Place the metal ring back inside the blocks and press it into the sand
- Cover the remaining sand in pavers of fireplace bricks (as much area as possible)
- Fill any gaps between the blocks and pavers will pea gravel
- Create more rows with the remaining retaining blocks to your desired height; pro tip: for your second layer and so on, place that row of blocks over the seams below it for a professional, staggered effect
5. EDGE YOUR LAWN
It’s crazy how a small task like edging your lawn can make a huge impact on the overall look of your landscape. Creating a crisp, clean-cut line along the perimeter of your grass will make your freshly cut lawn pop, and it’s an easy job that requires only a tool or two. For this, we recommend you use a lawn edger – a flat, sharp blade attached to a T-style or traditional shovel handle. The blade should be sharp enough to cut through grass blades, tough soil, and even stubborn roots. You can also edge around garden plots, trees, mulch beds, and walkways to create clean, straight cuts in the earth.
A home project doesn’t have to take days or a huge budget to complete; it could be as simple as giving an area that you normally don’t show much attention a little bit of love. However, a home project does need the right tools, and for those, we have you covered. 100% Made in the USA Bully Tools is proud to manufacture commercial grade hand tools and at a consumer price. Our full selection includes lawn and garden tools like steel shovels, garden hoes, cultivators, digging forks, and more, plus tools for ice and snow removal, and specialty instruments for roofing, flooring, and mixing concrete (to name a few!).
And, if you take on any of these projects, make sure to post a picture on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and tag us. We’d love to see your hard work.