From Blueprint to Bloom: Landscaping Tips for Your New Home

Buying a new home for sale in Corpus Christi is a very exciting experience. You get to choose the floor plan of your semi-custom home and personalize your home based on the fixtures and colors you want. The end result is not just any home – it’s a true reflection of your family’s unique preferences and tastes. You walk inside your new home and suddenly feel embraced by all the soothing colors and sights that you love.

Now you’re excited to tackle the blank canvas of freshly sodded lawn. But hold on: beneath that vibrant turf lies challenging soil, hidden utility lines, and potential weed growth.

The silver lining? It’s the perfect time to carve out new garden beds, weeds haven’t taken over, and you’re starting from the same baseline as everyone else on the block.

Follow these essential landscaping tips to take your property from good to great for years to come.

Set up your garden beds for success

The ground you’re standing on is simply that — basic soil. Whether it’s fresh topsoil or mere fill, it’ll require some TLC to transform into nutrient-rich, loamy, and fertile soil.

Ideally, we’d all have piles of ready-to-use compost, but turning grass clippings, wood chips, and food waste into a nutrient-rich mix is a slow process. In the meantime, your quickest option is often bagged composted cow manure.

Mushroom compost is another option; however, it can negatively affect seedlings and salt-sensitive plants like rhododendrons and azaleas.

Get the lay of the land

You might be tempted to start your dream garden immediately after closing, but first, make sure that the location is ideal. Does the area get enough direct sunlight? Does it have good access to a water source? Is it puddle-free and well-drained?

Don’t let self-doubt like “I can only draw stick figures” stop you. Sketch out a rough diagram of your backyard to identify potential problem spots and promising areas. Use simple shapes to mark shady zones or future garden beds. As long as you can understand your own doodles, they’ll serve as a useful guide for purposeful planning.

Remove unwanted plantings

Identify the plants already in place to ensure they’re the right fit for you. A tree that sheds leaves, flowers, or fruit can mean extra maintenance, stained driveways, and blocked gutters.

A tree with brittle wood could eventually break and damage your property. Likewise, a weedy or invasive plant might not just dominate your yard but could spread throughout the community.

Certain plants work well in specific settings but can become problematic if they’re too big or planted too close to the house. When unsure, it’s best to remove them.

Plan ahead

Think about your top garden priority at this moment. Is it entertaining friends? Fantastic!

Visualize your garden a decade from now, whether you imagine it bustling with family, pets, or a more mature circle of friends. What will your priorities be then? Extend that vision to 20, 30 years and beyond.

Why does this thought exercise matter? Before transforming your entire yard into an ultimate party space with a pool, or a tranquil Zen garden, think about how you’ll use that area in the years to come.

Create your dream garden, but also make sure it aligns with the future dreams of your family.

Start with mulch and groundcovers

Weeds are a given, but a lackluster lawn or an incomplete garden bed makes ideal conditions for them to thrive.

Mulch serves as an initial barrier against weeds and helps retain soil moisture. Start with a 2-3-inch layer. You can pick from a wide array of mulches, including straw or shredded bark. Organic mulches will help nourish the soil as it decomposes.

Effective groundcovers like mondo grass, Japanese forest grass, or creeping phlox help suppress weeds. Plant them generously; you can later divide and replant them, saving money in the long run. Use these groundcovers to edge your borders and transplant them when starting new beds.

Post-installation upkeep

Landscaping a newly built home goes beyond just planting; consistent upkeep is key to sustaining a thriving outdoor space.

Post-planting, avoid walking on the sod or seeded area to let the grass take root. Maintain soil moisture – avoiding sogginess – until roots form. Then adjust watering according to soil type and needs. Depending on your grass type, hold off on mowing until it reaches a height of 2 to 4 inches.

To prevent soil compaction and enhance lawn health, consider annual aeration to introduce oxygen. Leaving the extracted plugs on the lawn will return vital nutrients like nitrogen as they break down.

Adequate fertilization and trimming of dead or excessive growth on trees and shrubs allows for better sunlight exposure, keeping your lawn healthy. Fertilizing trees and shrubs also contribute to plant well-being.

Finally, regular soil testing can identify any nutrient deficiencies in your soil.

DIY or professional help?

Laying sod or planting grass seed isn’t a small task, expect to exert some effort. While you don’t need to be an expert, you will likely need to rent or borrow specialized equipment for the job.

Even if you are a DIY-er or are blessed with a green thumb, a landscaping professional can be well worth the expense, most especially if you are starting from scratch and dealing with a blank canvas. It may be more expensive, but it allows you to simply sit back and watch as they transform your landscape.

Some landscape professionals offer design services, plant lists, and ongoing consultation. Others can manage the whole project for you Just as you carefully invested in your new home, the same diligence should apply to your landscaping. Following expert landscaping tips will also help you have a lawn that exudes curb appeal, and creates an inviting outdoor space for both relaxation and social gatherings.


“What Is Mushroom Compost and Why Use It,” The Spruce,
“10 Easy Steps to Create Gardens in Your Yard for the First Time,” Better Homes and Gardens,
“How to Choose the Best Mulch for Your Landscape,” Better Homes and Gardens,
“Lawn Care Tips for Beginners,” Pennigton,