The Simple Yard Maintenance Tip Erin Napier Swears By

Mississippi native and home improvement guru, Erin Napier knows a thing or two about the importance of maintaining a yard. In fact, during Season 5, Episode 7 of HGTV's home renovation show "Home Town" in which Napier stars alongside her husband, Ben, the yard of the house being renovated was the biggest issue. It simply hadn't been maintained and was overgrown with all types of vegetation and greenery. Overgrowth and lack of maintenance in a yard are issues because they distract from the beauty of the home (even one that has been tastefully renovated) and lower its value. However, Napier had the perfect solution for the yard issue — go scorched earth and start all over.

In fact, Napier's advice for times like this is that starting from a clean slate can be better than battling with the existing landscaping, according to Southern Living (via Yahoo Money). So, if you've recently moved into a new home with an overgrown yard or simply want to completely redo the look of your current yard, grab the shovel and start digging everything up. While this will take some work, starting with a clean slate gives you more room for creativity and the ability to design a layout that fits your style instead of trying to work around what was planted years before.

How to plan a clean slate yard

The issue with a clean slate yard is that it can be pretty daunting. Once you've mowed down any overgrowth, dug out the old garden plants, and are staring at an unlandscaped yard, it is very easy to feel overwhelmed. However, it is important to remember that building a lovely yard will take some time and it doesn't all need to happen at once. As one Redditor on the "Native Plant Gardening" forum of the website put it, at first you should "do a lot of daydreaming." Think of what your perfect garden would include and what it would look like.

Once you have some ideas, you can start planning. At this stage, it is important to get out your paper and some pencils and draw out your yard adding prospective garden beds and features to scale. This will help you truly visualize your space and make the best decisions. Not doing enough planning is a mistake commonly made by beginner gardeners and can cause your yard to have a haphazard appearance.

In the first year, as you are planting all your new perennial flowers and bushes, your yard may look a little lackluster because perennials typically don't bloom until at least the second year. So, for the first year, it's a good idea to plant some extra annuals like marigolds, zinnias, or medicinal herbs to make sure your yard doesn't feel empty.

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