DIY v. Pros: How to Divide and Conquer Your Yard

How do you know what yardwork to tackle yourself and when you should call in the pros? Tiffani Wroe offers this guide to divide and conquer your yard.

How First-time Homeowners Should Divide and Conquer Their Yards

It’s exhilarating to buy your first home — but it’s perhaps equally terrifying. Houses don’t come with how-to books, and there is an overwhelming number of new responsibilities you gain when you are the owner of a property.

Perhaps your most significant new concern is your yard. Few renters are trusted to conduct yardwork. Even if you did care for your apartment’s garden, you probably didn’t mow the lawn or trim the trees. However, now that you have a yard of your very own, you either need to learn how to maintain it properly or pay someone to do it for you.

The truth is that first-time homeowners should probably split the difference: assume some yardwork responsibilities now while hiring pros to do the trickier tasks. This allows you to gain knowledge, skill, and expensive tools slowly while you settle into being a true-blue homeowner. Here’s a good beginning division of labor between you and the experts:

Containers and Garden Beds: DIY

“Container gardening” is a fancy way of saying “growing plants in pots.” Containers, as well as garden beds, provide a limited growing space in your yard. You can care for smaller, annual plants like herbs, veggies, and brightly colored flowers. Because these plants are often rotated with the seasons, you can experiment more with the types of plants you keep in your containers and beds. This will help you identify exactly what kind of gardening you enjoy — or at least what gardening you don’t mind participating in.

Typically, smaller plants like these are easier to care for, requiring moderate watering and simple tools for planting and pruning. Thus, caring for containers and garden beds allows you to develop yard work habits without immediately investing in extensive amounts of equipment or devoting a significant amount of your time.

Grass, Trees and Large Shrubs: Pros

On the other hand, larger landscaped features are much more difficult to care for, in terms of equipment, knowledge and time required to maintain them properly. Grass is much more finicky than you might expect; it’s easy to do serious, lasting damage to your lawn in a short period of time due to improper watering, mowing or fertilizing, Meanwhile, trees and shrubs can be dangerous to care for if their limbs are large enough or difficult to reach — or if threatening creatures like rats or bees live around them.

Thus, you shouldn’t feel guilty about outsourcing these tasks to professionals. A professional lawn care service knows the science behind lawn maintenance, so you should expect to enjoy a perfect, lush, green lawn when you utilize the knowledge and skill of pros. Often, you can use the same service to manage care for your trees and shrubs, which require less attention but similar technical skill.

Hardscaping and Decor: DIY

To reduce the amount of work your yard requires, it’s a good idea to add a little extra hardscaping. Hardscape is an artificial element of your landscape: patios or decks, walls, paths, fountains, and pools, etc. Hardscaping is easier to care for because you don’t need to worry about watering it, pruning it, or picking up after it. Plus, if your yard isn’t huge and your hardscape dreams are moderate, you can usually install hardscaping yourself. Laying pavers, erecting pergolas and making other hardscaping changes is relatively easy when the scope of the project is small.

Even if you do hire professionals to complete larger projects, like laying pavers for a longer driveway or creating an outdoor kitchen and living space, you should retain control over the overall look of your exterior space. If you outsource design and décor, you could end up with a yard that doesn’t suit your needs, fit your style, or look appropriate in your neighborhood. As you make changes to your landscape in any way, you should follow a plan to ensure you get the look and function you desire from your yard.

Pest and Weed Control: Pros

As much as you can, you should avoid coming into contact with poisons. While it is possible to mitigate the proliferation of pests and weeds in your yard using so-called natural methods, like planting pest-repelling flora or hand-pulling weeds, they require an extensive amount of homeowner dedication to ensure success. If you want a pest- and weed-free yard, your better bet is to hire pest and weed control professionals, who know how to handle the pesticides and herbicides that work. Because they have experience with the chemicals, they are less likely to do damage to your landscape or toxify it with overzealous use. Plus, this service typically only needs to be performed once or twice per year, making it a minor expense.

As a new homeowner, you have an overabundance of new responsibilities. To avoid extra stress and burnout, you should slowly transition into yard care by entrusting the heavy-duty tasks to qualified professionals and assuming more responsibility as your comfort grows.


Tiffani Wroe is a leader in marketing authority. She prides herself on her ability to create and provide high-quality content that audiences find valuable. She also enjoys connecting with other bloggers and collaborating for exclusive content in various niches. With many years of experience, Tiffany has found herself more passionate than ever to continue developing content and relationship across multiple platforms and audiences.

When Tiffani is not researching, editing, or submitting content you can find her doing Yoga, photography, D.I.Y crafting, and dog training.