A well-maintained landscape beautifies your property and boosts your chances of getting top offers should you decide to put your home on the market. Grand Rapids, Michigan, is in USDA Hardiness Zones 5b and 6a. Learning your area’s USDA Hardiness Zone gives you a heads up regarding landscaping because it arms you with the knowledge of what grows well in your area. Determining your zone is easy; simply visit the USDA Plant Hardiness Map and enter your address or find your location on the map to get planting. Along with this information, here are seven more essential tips for making the most of your landscaping ideas in Grand Rapids.
1. Know the time of the last frost
Frost occurs when the air temperature reaches or drops below 32°F. However, because the temperature drops quicker the closer to the ground, a frost can still occur when air temperatures are slightly above freezing. It’s best to consult your local weather forecast before planting seeds or transplanting seedlings outdoors. If you're concerned with frost, you can plant hardy flowers and vegetables that can tolerate a bit of ice. Broccoli, cabbage, kale, and onions, among others, can survive short periods of frost without injury to the plant. On the other hand, corn, beans, cucumbers, and peppers are considered tender plants. They can be damaged even by a light frost and must be protected or harvested before any potentially frosty conditions.
2. Try to attract pollinators
Designing your landscape to attract pollinators — such as bees and butterflies — produces a vibrant landscape or garden and ensures you’ll have plenty of them buzzing around to help you have plentiful crops and blooms. The USDA Hardiness Zones mentioned earlier, 5b and 6a, are highly compatible with flowering perennials and bulbs. If you're fortunate enough to live in these zones, perhaps in new Grand Rapids, MI, real estate, you have your pick of almost any perennial available on the market. Perennial plants bloom for at least two growing seasons without having to be replanted if they're taken care of properly. In the winter, these sturdy plants die back but come out strong again the following spring. Pollinators love perennials and the nectar-rich flowers they provide for food.
3. Consider bog gardens
If your Grand Rapids, MI property includes an area of the yard that is perpetually waterlogged or has poor drainage, you can turn it into an exciting landscaping opportunity. Bog gardens utilize plants that thrive in such conditions; you don’t have to fight against nature to accomplish this. To create a bog garden, you'll need a damp environment in which moisture-loving plants will be right at home. Plants like American Elderberry grow well in moist environments and have large clusters of tiny white flowers that attract varied pollinators. You will also get a heavy crop of shiny black fruit that can be used to create syrups, jellies, and healthy confections and attract various birds.
4. Landscaping with Containers
Container gardens are a fantastic way to landscape homes for sale in Grand Rapids, MI, with minimal effort. Whether you have challenging areas that you can’t landscape, or you want some variation and the ability to move your plants around, landscaping with containers provides a practical solution. Select containers that compliment your home and surrounding areas. There are plenty of varieties of plants, flowers, and vegetables that can be planted using containers. And the best part of landscaping with containers is that you can move them around as they suit you or your plants. When it’s time for the first frost of the season, containers can be brought indoors, into a greenhouse, or into the garage to protect more tender plants from the frost. Depending on the plants' requirements, you can also shift containers around to help plants get more or less sun. Because you can tailor the soil in the containers to whatever a particular plant needs, you can grow a greater variety and are not limited to the soil composition of your property.
5. Edible Landscaping
Edible landscaping, also known as foodscaping, isn't a new concept, but it is making a resurgence and growing in popularity as people want to get more in touch with their food these days. In its simplest form, foodscaping uses edible fruits, flowers, herbs, and vegetables in your landscaping design. These can be interspersed with ornamental (non-edible) varieties, or you can create an exclusively edible landscape. Edible landscapes are the perfect solution for owners of Grand Rapids real estate with limited space available in their gardens.
6. Low-Maintenance Landscaping
All landscaping needs some level of maintenance and upkeep to look its best. But, some types of landscapes are more high-maintenance and require more effort on your part than others. Planting with native varieties can reduce the need for extensive upkeep and are usually more low-maintenance. Landscapes that you don't have to mow, weed, or prune fall into this category.
7. Xeriscaping and drought-tolerant landscapes
Xeriscaping is another low-maintenance style of landscaping. This time, however, the focus is on reducing or eliminating the need to water plants. Stemming from the Greek word "xeros," which means dry, Xeriscaping is an aesthetically pleasing method of landscaping. Drought-tolerant plants that require little-to-no watering have a positive impact on the environment and can save you money on your water bill. And, you don’t have to live in a drought-prone part of the country to practice xeriscaping techniques, either. Xeriscaping uses a combination of native plants, rocks, and other hardscapes and mulch to replace water-dependent grassy lawns and thirsty flower beds.