5 DIY projects to try at home right now
Get green. Get going.
Here are 5 projects, some quick and some for the season and beyond, for you to try at home with or without help. The ideas are not terribly expensive, relatively simple, but most important, FUN!! Skill levels and commitments vary and I've done my best to add investment, both time and skill level (1 being low, 5 being high), as dollars spent ($ being low and $$$$$ being high).
Plant that garden. There are roughly 532 million places to seek online for information on vegetable gardening. My best advice is to start. Find a sunny spot in your landscape. till under all the green materials (chopping it all up very finely) or get rid of it. Probably best if you create a border (think timbers, bricks, stones, steel edging, etc.) in case you plant one of our friendly invasive herbs or veggies (strawberry, raspberry, chives, etc.). Add some organic matter (landscape compost, mushroom compost, leaves) and maybe a little organic fertilizer to help help establish a solid base for the roots to develop. For year one, or every year thereafter, go to a local garden center and select the veggies you want to eat. If you don't like tomatoes (although who doesn't want garden fresh tomatoes?!?), dont buy them just because there are 100 different varieties. If Okra is your thing, go for it. If you like Asparagus, you will stretch your time investment, but all of that research is your own. Remember to keep things clean and pull those dead leaves and accidentally over ripe pieces out of the garden. Also, almost all veggies like regular watering, but nobody likes wet feet!! A small DIY irrigation system is another easy DIY project (spoiler alert: look below). You should try to do a little fencing as well. You don't want all your work to feed the neighborhood rabbits and rodents!! Most important, keep the kids involved, preparing, planting, pulling weeds and harvesting. Nothing tastes better than when you make it yourself, or even better, grown on your own!
Skill Level: 1-3
Time Commitment: 2
Dollars invested: $
#2 DRIP IRRIGATION
There are plenty of avenues for irrigation, in-ground system, DIY above ground system, timers, manual, and of course, Mother Nature. If you have a veggie garden but only have the time to harvest (I get it!), think of creating an above ground drip system with a simple timer. It will take some tweaks on placement and timing, but the time savings is tremendous. A little upfront work can make your gardening (especially veggies) a lot easier and much less time consuming. I hate to admit it, but your local big-box retailer will have what you need to get started. I would not try to water my entire landscape this way, but depending on your skill level and commitment, you could pull it off. A word on timers. SIMPLE IS BETTER! The simpler the timer, the more likely it is to last for more than 3 months. Now that you have the water covered, sit back and enjoy the bounty!!
Skill Level: 3-5
Time Comittment: 5 upfront, 1 the remainder of the year
Dollars Invested: $$$
#3: Seasonal Display
Whether you plant them yourself or hire it out, seasonal displays bring color and life to your landscape. From the early tulips and Hyacinth of spring through the holiday season, containers and bedding plants will show change and constant color throughout the year. Even a single container near the front door welcomes guests to your home with a warm greeting. Festive and seasonally appropriate, these displays will make you smile when you come home after a long day or just when you go out to get the mail. Tons and tons of online resources, but some simple things to remember is using complimentary colors (think about whatever is directly across the color wheel), and for containers, Thrill, Fill Spill (something to draw the eye supported by something beautiful to surround it and something to spill over the edge). We are more than happy to design a set of seasonal displays for you and oversee the installation.
Skill Level: 1-3
Time Comittment: 2-4
Dollars Invested: $-$$$$
#4: Wall Planter
Old pallets, extra lumber, recycled shipping crates, last year's skateboard ramp, whatever you have lying around can be turned into a cool hanging indoor or outdoor wall planter. Take a look at these cool planter ideas and get inspired. We can assist with some design concepts, but construction can be a fun family weekend project. Also, I have to say this, always protect your eyes and your ears, especially when you're working with power tools!!
Skill Level: 3-5
Time Comittment: 4 upfront, 1 the remainder of the year
Dollars Invested: $$
#5 Lawn Care
Wait, what?!? I don't have a big sprayer and I definitely don't want those chemicals on my yard!! I used to have all the equipment and all the tools and all stuff you need for lawn care and more! In fact, I think my applicator's license is still in tact. I got rid of a lot of that equipment when the time came. I have found many cool new ways to handle my lawn organically and mechanically (that means pulling the weeds you can't stop) and this one from Sunday gives you great results with minimum effort!! Also, check out a couple off other great DIY lawn sites here for organic programs and here to use chemical products.
Skill Level: 1-2
Time Comittment: 1 -2
Dollars Invested: $$