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The Home Depot

Softscape Installation Guide

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Landscaping > Softscape Installation Guide
Softscape Installation Guide

When it’s time to work on the landscape, the softscape design will be one of the main focal points of the project. Although the process of planning and planting might not seem difficult, there are important details to consider to ensure the success of your landscape. This is the time to call in an expert to take charge of installing your softscape.


With a softscape professional on the job, you can set aside worries about what grows in your geographic location and where to plant the pansies. All these details and more will be a matter of course for an expert landscaping professional. This will free you for more important jobs, such as sitting on the deck and enjoying life.

  1. 1.What is Softscape?

    "A landscaper also has a working knowledge of flow and appearance to ensure an overall design that will grow cohesively and attractively."

    First – a definition of softscape to ensure you understand the parameters of the project. Softscape includes the light landscaping features that you install or plant in your yard. Examples of softscape include soil and compost, grass, flowers, vegetables, shrubs and trees. If you think of softscape as the living aspects of a landscape, you will be able to readily define these features and discern them from hardscape features. By contrast, hardscape includes gravel, stone, rock and bricks, to name a few.

  2. 2.What are the Benefits of Softscape?

    Adding softscape features to your landscape provides a variety of benefits. Softscape can add curb appeal and aesthetic design to your landscape. With trees and shrubs in your yard, you break up the expanse visually and add interest. Softscape can also add energy efficiency to your home, breaking winds in the winter and providing shade in the summer. You can also achieve natural privacy with softscape planted strategically in your landscape. The enjoyment you and your family can experience with softscape might include experiencing the beauty of flowers, shrubs and trees and enjoying the bounty of a thriving vegetable garden.

  3. 3.Square Footage & Location

    The softscape installation in your landscape depends on the size and the layout of the land. A smaller yard will not require the same extensive layout and design as a larger plot of land. If you have special features in your landscape, such as a pond or rocky areas, a professional should design the softscape accordingly to enhance and show off these features.

  4. 4.Design Planning & Preparation

    Speak with a professional about your vision and desires for your landscape to enable the landscaper to create a design plan. Professional landscapers have a thorough knowledge about growing regions and plant hardiness, enabling the correct selection of plants that will thrive in your geographic location. A landscaper also has a working knowledge of flow and appearance to ensure an overall design that will grow cohesively and attractively. An artistic hand in the planning phase will ensure a beautiful horticultural result in your yard.

  5. 5.Problems That May Arise

    Planting the wrong plant in the wrong location will not result in healthy growth. If a sun-loving plant sits in dark shade, the plant will not thrive. Similarly, if a plant that requires shade bakes in the hot sun, you can expect that the plant will not survive. In addition, it’s important to select plants that will thrive in your weather conditions, including temperature and moisture level. Plants that need abundant water will not grow well in arid conditions, and vice-versa. A plant sensitive to freezing temperatures would not survive a winter in a northern climate.

  6. 6.Maintaining Softscape

    After installing the softscape, important work continues. Plants, trees and shrubs experience a period of high vulnerability immediately after planting. If you do not meet optimal conditions during this time, it’s common for plants to wither and die. Even after plants survive the initial transplant shock, they still need special care to ensure that they acclimate successful and begin growing energetically.


    Plants also need ongoing care at the beginning, during and end of the growing season. Once you install your softscape, you might consider retaining the landscaper to provide ongoing maintenance of the plants. In the spring, many plants need pruning and fertilizing to help them begin growing again energetically. During the summer, plants need regular water, fertilizer and maintenance to ensure that they stay healthy. Finally, in the autumn, the landscaper will perform end-of-season work to finish the final pruning and cover plants to protect them during the winter. For annual beds, including flowers and vegetables, the landscaper will clear the growing area and clean it up before winter.

  7. 7.Cost to Install Softscape

    The overall cost to install softscape depends on your geographic area, the size of your landscape and the type of softscape you plan to install. Some projects might be simple and minimal, with the planting of a few flowers and adding some mulch. Other projects can be extensive, designing landscape areas with shrubbery, trees, perennial plants and annual plants. The extent of the work also determines the length of the project, which will impact the overall price of the work. Installing softscape will range from $91 for a simple project to $620 for a large project. To learn more, see Softscape Installation Cost Guide.

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