How to Landscape Your Home in Des Moines, Iowa

How to Landscape Your Home in Des Moines, Iowa

Landscaping is an excellent way to beautify your home’s exterior, enhance its curb appeal, and maximize ROI. But when it comes to landscaping, the process can be overwhelming, especially if you’re unsure of where to start. In this article, we’ll provide you with a nuts and bolts guide on the process of landscaping your home in Des Moines, Iowa, from selecting plants to creating hardscapes.

Understanding Your Space

Before you start to landscape your home, it’s crucial to understand your outdoor layout and the intended function.  Walk around your property and take note of existing features like trees, fences, and patios. Measure your outdoor space and draw a rough sketch to visualize the area you want to landscape.

When planting you should also consider the amount of sunlight or shade your space will receive. Most plants require a certain amount of sunlight to grow and thrive. Observe how the sun moves across your yard throughout the day and note the areas that receive the most sunlight and shade.

Creating a Landscape Design PlanHow to Landscape your home with a design plan showing what it could look like.

Creating a landscape design plan is an essential step in the landscaping process, especially if you’re a visual person. The plan should include a layout of the area you want to landscape and the type of plants and hardscape materials you’ll want to incorporate.

Consider using professional landscaping software to create a 3D model or photo overlay of your space, which will help visualize the final outcome. It will also allow you to experiment with different designs and layouts before making a final decision.

Choosing Plants for Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa, experiences a humid continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. When selecting plants for your landscape, you must choose the correct hardiness zone that can withstand harsh weather conditions. Des Moines, Iowa is in zone 5 when selecting plants. 

Some plants that thrive in Des Moines Metro  include:

Creating Hardscapes

Hardscapes are non-living features in your landscape design, such as patios, walkways, and retaining walls. Adding hardscapes to your landscaping project can provide a functional and aesthetic appeal to any space.

When creating hardscapes, consider using materials that complement your home’s architecture and style. For example, if your home has a modern exterior, consider using modern-looking pavers for your paver patio.

Building Water Features

Water features, such as fountains and ponds, can add a tranquil and calming element to your landscape design. When building a water feature, you should consider the size of your space, the type of water feature you want, and the materials needed.

It’s also essential to ensure proper maintenance and upkeep of your water feature to prevent any issues like algae growth or leaks.

Installing Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting can enhance your landscape design by providing an ambient atmosphere and highlighting specific features of your space. When selecting outdoor lighting, consider the type of lighting you want and the areas you want to illuminate.

Installing outdoor lighting can also provide an added layer of security to your home.

Maintaining Your Landscape

Maintaining your landscape is as crucial as knowing how to landscape in order to keep it looking beautiful and healthy. Regular maintenance tasks include watering, pruning, and fertilizing your plants, removing weeds, and mowing the lawn.

You should also regularly inspect your hardscapes, water features, and outdoor lighting to ensure they are functioning correctly and fix any issues promptly.

Protecting Your Landscape from Pests

Pests can be a significant threat to your landscape’s health and appearance. To protect your plants from pests, consider using natural pest control methods like companion planting, insect-repelling plants, and organic insecticides.

You should also regularly inspect your plants for signs of pests and take action immediately if you notice any.

Eco-Friendly Landscaping in Des Moines, Iowa

Learning how to landscape in an eco-friendly manner is a commendable approach to lessen your environmental footprint while enhancing your garden. Essential eco-friendly landscaping practices encompass using native plants, composting, and setting up a rain garden.

Des Moines, Iowa, has several resources available for eco-friendly landscaping, including the Des Moines Botanical Garden and the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach program.

Landscaping with Native Plants in Des Moines, Iowa

Landscaping with native plants is an excellent way to promote biodiversity and support the local ecosystem. Native plants are well adapted to the local climate and require less maintenance than non-native plants.

Some native plants to Des Moines, Iowa, include:

  • Purple Coneflower
  • Wild Bergamot
  • Wild Indigo
  • Butterfly Weed
  • Prairie Smoke

Landscaping on a Budget in Des Moines, Iowa

Landscape your home on a budget doesn’t have to compromise the quality of your outdoor space. You can save money by opting for affordable plants and materials, choosing low-maintenance options, and doing the work yourself.

Consider visiting local nurseries and garden centers to find affordable plants and materials. You can also search for free or discounted mulch and compost from local composting facilities.

Hiring a Professional Landscaper in Des Moines, Iowa

If you’re unsure of how to landscape your home or don’t have the time to do it yourself, consider hiring a professional landscaper in Des Moines, Iowa.

Before hiring a landscaper, research local companies read reviews, and ask for references. You should also ask for a detailed estimate of the project’s cost and timeline and ensure that the company is licensed and insured.


Learning how to landscape your home in Des Moines, Iowa, is both rewarding and fulfilling. By understanding your space, drafting a landscape design plan, selecting the appropriate plants and materials, and upkeeping your outdoor areas, you can convert your exterior into a picturesque and functional oasis.

With these tips, you can create a beautiful outdoor space that enhances your home’s curb appeal and provides a peaceful retreat for you and your family.

As always, if you need any help feel free to reach out to Excel Lawns & Landscape. We are happy to help in any way possible.

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