‚ÄčLandscaping and gardening labors pay off at selling time, claims a Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report. Not only does a well-groomed exterior invite potential buyers into the home, but curb appeal projects are the most valuable home improvement projects. Furthermore, Smart Money Magazine reports that homeowners who spend 5 percent of their home’s value on landscaping could recoup 150 percent or more of their money. And, a study by the National Garden Association revealed that 99 percent of real estate professionals believe that the landscape enhances the overall sales appeal of the home.

So, before you put your home on the market, consider upgrading your curb appeal by adding backyard gardens, trees and shrubs to your property.

Trees and Shrubs

A study by the Forest Service in Portland, Oregon, found that trees with large canopies within 100-feet of other homes added nearly $9,000 to the sale price of the home. And the same study revealed that properties with healthy, mature trees spent less time on the market.

House Logic recommends planting evergreens on the north side of your home to block the wind and deciduous trees on the west side of your house to provide shade in the summer. The site also strongly suggests planning out where you will plant your trees. Trees should never be planted under power lines or near your home’s foundation or sewer lines. Real estate appraiser Frank Lucco states that a tree planted in a hazardous location can actually reduce the home’s appraised value.

If your property has existing trees, use the National Tree Benefit Calculator to get an estimate of their value. Simply enter your zip code, tree species, the diameter to instantly have access to its benefits, including air quality, energy and property value.

Backyard Gardens

Beautiful backyard gardens can potentially catch the eye of prospective buyers, especially if they have a green thumb. According to Better Homes and Gardens, homes with paths, foundation plantings and flowerbeds result in a high value per investment.

One of the major challenges you may encounter while planting your garden is figuring out how to keep the bugs away. While many insects are beneficial to the garden, pests like aphids can destroy your roses and soil-dwellers like snails and slugs can ruin your veggies or succulents. Many pest control professionals can solve your bug problem with eco-friendly solutions that won’t harm your garden or pose a risk to small children or pets. Find an exterminator near you by visiting exterminators.com.

Add Color to the Landscape

Seasonal color can make your front yard flower  beds pop. Annuals are relatively affordable and easy to tend. Use a variety of colors that complement your home’s exterior, suggests HGTV. These professionals also recommend labeling each plant as a courtesy for the new buyer. This way, the new owners will be able to research the growing needs of the plants on the property.

An additional way to add color to your flower beds is by adding fresh mulch. This can enhance the contrast of the nearby plants and flowers around your home. HGTV notes that mulch is cheap and very easy to apply.