Landscaping ideas to add curb appealMore now than ever you may have a little extra time to spruce up your home's exterior. Landscaping not only adds curb appeal to your home, but it also adds resale value. So, in honor of National Gardening Day, here are some cost-effective ways to improve your yard - even if you don't have a green thumb.

Clean Up & Fertilize

Don't underestimate the power of clean beds, Kazantzis Realtor Val MacNeil said. Grab a rake and clear out any leaves, twigs or brush from the beds, then weed. To keep more weeds from popping up, MacNeil said you can lay down a fresh layer of mulch.

"Buyers will appreciate the landscaping being tidy," said MacNeil, who also suggests pruning back shrubs and bushes. You want bushes and trees to add to your home's exterior - not cover it up.

Hart's Greenhouse in Brooklyn says you'll also want to give your trees, shrubs, and perennials the best start possible by applying Espoma organic fertilizers in early spring. 

Here's what Hart's suggests in one of its recent newsletters:

"Wait until plants are showing signs of growth - it is best to fertilize when your plants start actively growing; the time is now or very soon. Choose the right fertilizer type: 

- Holly-tone for evergreens

- Rose-tone for roses and blooming perennials

- Plant-tone for shrubs and small trees.

Apply - Sprinkle around the dripline of the shrub, this is where the most active roots are. For shrubs, follow instructions on the package, although since it's organic, you really can't overfeed! For existing perennials, apply about 1 cup per plant.

Water it in - Scratch the fertilizer into the top layer of soil, and gently water it in.

Watch your plants thrive - Your plants will certainly thank you for this boost of nutrients!"

Brighten Up

Flowers - either perennials (which bloom year after year) or annuals (which last only one growing season) - are a great way to add curb appeal to your home.

If you don't want to worry about planting flowers each year, MacNeil said you can soften hardscapes by using flowering perennials that complement the color of your home.

If you want to add more flowers on the cheap (or free), MacNeil suggests asking family or friends if they have perennials - like daylilies or hostas - they can dig up and split. You can also go to a plant swap and trade plants you may have too many of for different ones you’d like. 

Annual flowers planted in colorful pots or hanging baskets on your front steps or porch can also make your home look more inviting. 

Logee's Greenhouse in Danielson suggests the following to create the perfect container: 

-Decide what type of look you're trying to create

-Select plants that have similar growth rates

-Choose complementary colors

If you want to take the guesswork out of your container, Harts sells Blooming Perennial Bowls - which feature both annuals and perennials already planted. 

If you don't know which flowers are best for your yard, the experts at both Harts and Logee's can help you.

Remember, you don't have to make your yard look like a botanical garden to spruce up your home. Small steps can make a big impact.