It's logical that a nice landscape can increase the resale value of a home, but other than anecdotal evidence, I can't find any studies that have proved this to be true. Can you point me in the right direction? — via the Internet


A researcher at Clemson University published research that evaluated the contribution of landscaping on the price of single-family homes. The study was conducted in Greenville, South Carolina in 1994, but I'm sure the same principles hold true today. The sale prices of a sample of 288 homes were related to house characteristics, location and landscape quality. Local landscape professionals rated the landscapes: excellent, good, fair and poor quality. A house that ranked an “excellent” landscape quality rating could expect a sales price 4 to 5 percentage points higher (depending on size of the lot) than equivalent homes with “good” landscaping and 8 to 10 percentage points higher than homes with a fair to poor rating.

Henry, Mark S. 1994. The contribution of landscaping to the price of single family houses: A study of home sales in Greenville, South Carolina. J. Environ. Hort. 12 (2): 65-70. June 1994



I am installing an irrigation system in a backyard that is approximately ½ of an acre with turf and numerous raised beds with shrubs, flowers etc. Should I use gear driven heads, or just spray-heads? — Via the Internet


You can use both. The gear-driven head rotation is water powered. These heads are used for medium to large turf areas and throw water 15 to 35 feet, depending on the model and size. You can adjust in the precipitation rate and arc to part circle or full circle capabilities.

Spray-heads are generally used for smaller or oddly shaped turf areas. Spray-heads have no moving parts and emit a spray of a particular pattern. The nozzles are interchangeable and come in circular, rectangular and square patterns, with throws of 4 to 15 feet. The precipitation rates of the types of heads are dramatically different, and you should never mix them on the same zone. You can use spray heads on the shrubs, but you may want to consider drip irrigation as an alternative.

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