See how to set up your outdoor areas for more enjoyment this year and make them a bit more earth-friendly in the process.
To get started, choose a fruit tree that will produce well in your region. This is largely determined by your soil type and “chill factor” (number of hours the temperature drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, or 7.2 degrees Celsius, between November and February) of your region. Source fruit trees through a local nursery or reputable online source, rather than a big-box store, to ensure that you’re receiving trees that are appropriate to your climate and grafted on root stock that will thrive in local soil. Fruit trees all grow best and produce the sweetest fruit in areas with at least six hours of full sun.
You can get started right away in mild climates by planting, clearing the space and installing new walkways or features like arbors. In snowy climates, bookmark ideas for your side yard now and wait until the ground warms up to start digging.
You may not be ready to trade in your existing garden for an all-native landscape, but consider adding some native species to mixed beds or devoting a section of your backyard to native, pollinator-friendly plants.
While adding a luxe outdoor living feature such as a fire pit, outdoor kitchen, bocce court or pool can provide a reason to get outside, often simple add-ons can help entice us out as well. Colorful throw cushions on the seats and backs of this L-shaped brick bench, for example, make the seating area far more inviting with or without the fire pit.