all you need to know about softscaping

Softscaping 101: All you need to know

Make your outdoor living space a bit more pleasant with our knowledge of softscaping for Canadian soil. Be it revamping your outdoor space from as simple as re-sodding your lawn, to the complexity of water installation services, we will discuss it all in this intro article and an explainer guide.

What is a Softscape?

Softscape involves trees, plants, mulches, grass, etc., that are all the soft landscape elements of your front or back yard. Softscaping refers to the tasks related to lawn care like planting, fertilization, digging, mowing, etc. These landscape materials enhance the outdoor beauty and goodness of the natural environment that surrounds your home. Did you know? The landscaping service industry in Canada is worth $18.4bn, as reported in 2023, and is expected to grow further.

What is softscaping

What exactly is included in softscaping?

In a landscape system, all the living or soft elements like grass, trees, flowers, shrubs, and plants come under the category of softscape. Whereas all the hard elements like bricks, concrete structures, stone paths, etc. are considered the part of a hardscape.

List of all the softscaping Elements:

  • Trees
  • Shrubs
  • Bushes
  • Perennial and Annual Flowers
  • Vegetable Garden
  • Mulch Beds
  • Artificial turf
  • Grass
  • Soils
  • Loams
  • Gravel or Stone
  • Weed Cloth
  • Plants

Importance of Softscaping for your Home in Canada

All these reasons make Softscaping a very essential activity for your homes in Canada:

  • Softscaping helps to nourish the outdoor surrounding beauty of a house.
  • It allows you to nurture the natural environment outside of your house.
  • Improves your local ecosystem ultimately improving your mental and physical health.
  • Softscaping techniques contribute to hyping up the property value of your land.
  • This technique of nourishing your lawn enables you to maintain a healthy ecological environment.
  • Seasonal planting, which is a part of softscaping, brings a more vibrant touch to your hardscape elements in the lawn.

Softscaping Services You Can Avail for Your Home

1. Lawn Mowing Services

Grass cutting is the most essential part of nurturing your beautiful lawn. It’s a weekly activity and a cost-effective method that gives your lawn a fresh new look. For the best results you can rely on professional Lawn Mowing services in Canada that major softscaping companies offer. They know about everything from the best time to cut the grass to which lawn mower to choose which best suits your grass type.

Lawn mowing services

2. Gardening Services

A fact about a beautiful garden is that it transforms a property into something more valuable. And professional gardening service providers in Canada can make your lawn look just the way you want. Skilled gardeners can help you with: bush and shrub trimming, weeding, green waste disposal, edging and more.

Gardening in softscaping

3. Lawn Fertilization Services

Lawn fertilization services make your garden even greener. These services involve revitalizing your lawn’s plant nutrients with certain materials and mixtures, thus boosting health and vitality of your grass. Moreover, fertilizers have the ability to give your lawn a healthy lush green look.

Lawn fertilization in softscaping

4. Lawn Aeration Services

To improve the poor root growth of your lawn grass lawn aeration is one of the most effective services you can avail. The Aeration process after 6-7 weeks makes the grass growth rate much faster and roots much stronger. Lawn Aeration Services are very cost-effective and efficient. In Canada the most beneficial time of year to perform aeration in your garden is Spring and Fall.

Lawn aeration in softscaping

5. Weed Control

Weed Control is a process which saves your lawn’s greenery from noxious weed plants. This technique comes under pest control which effectively stops or reduces the growth of weeds in your garden. In Canada, the weed controlling method is a bit unique for every season. Professionals also suggest scalding the weed with boiling water for complete and permanent removal.

Weed control in softscaping

6. Lawn Seeding

Lawn Seeding exactly means adding more seeds in the ground to grow grass. In Canada, people opt for lawn seeding services to grow grass for a new lawn, to fill the empty patches, or to add more greenery to the garden with thickness. However, the seeding methods for every type of lawn are different. But the professionals with their expertise can handle lawns of every type. The most common technique is to just sow the grass seeds over the existing lawn grass.

Lawn seeding in softscaping

7. Yard Clean Up

You can say goodbye to debris, dry leaves and Gross Gutters with professional yard cleanup services. In Canada, you can hire the experts to get rid of all the dirt elements in the yard and expect a lusher green lawn in a few hours of service. Yard clean-up activities are vital for the fresh growth of grass. Furthermore, lawn cleaning provides a fresh and beautiful look to the property.

Yard cleanup in softscaping

8. Leaf Removal

Leaf removal is hasty but at the same time a fun activity when you get to use the leaf blowers, which are either electrically or gas-powered. This is a daily activity and in Canada, major firms provide professional leaf removal services to revive your lawn’s beauty. And if you are on a tight budget then you can also use cost-effective traditional leaf removal tools.

Leaf removal in softscaping

9. Gutter Cleaning

Gutter Cleaning is referred to as the process to clean all kinds of debris built up in the gutters. The clean up process makes sure that the flow of water in the pipe remains strong which the debris prevents. Gutter cleaning services in Canada cost as per the cleaning area which is measured in square-foot. So, the average gutter cleaning cost ranges between $160 and $270.

Gutter cleaning in softscaping

10. Mulching

In Mulching, the mulch means to cover soil. The mulching process involves covering the ground or solid to create a favorable condition for plants or grass to grow effectively. With this process, the people ensure efficient crop development and production. In Canada, you can hire four types of Mulching services including stubble mulching, plastic mulching, straw mulching, and vertical mulching. Hence, you will get increased production with less effort.

Mulching in softscaping

11. Sodding

If you want a full-grown lawn prepared in no time, then you are looking for sodding services. Sodding is a technique to install small or large matured grass patches on the ground for a faster growth rate. It’s just like transplanting grass with its roots to another ground or soil. This process not only helps to build a new lawn faster but also enables us to repair existing damaged gardens.

Sodding in softscaping

What is the Difference Between Softscape and Hardscape?

Landscape designing is distributed in two different parts Softscape and Hardscape. In simple terms your outdoor living space needs two kinds of landscaping services to modify, Softscaping and Hardscaping. Different types of lawn elements fall under both these terms, and they are completely opposite of each other.

As the name sounds, under Hardscape all the hard stuff of your lawn like concrete, stone path, water structures, etc. is involved. On the other hand, materials falling under the category of Softscape are all soft and growing like plants, grass, flowers, shrubs, etc. The second most major difference between these two categories are that the elements of softscape are living and hardscape are non-living.

Hardscaping vs scoftscaping

So, an ideal landscape environment has the proper balance of the materials falling under the categories of these two. Without the balance the landscape of your lawn will lose its beautiful touch. Like if you have more softscape element materials in your lawn then it will look like a jungle and then it will be fixed by introducing some hardscaping elements like stone path or concrete structure.

Softscaping hardscaping balance
a good example of balancing hardscape and softscape for your outdoor living space

Make your outdoor space worth living in

1. Add Some Mulch Beds

Dead plant materials are used to make mulches. They are the most cost-effective way to make your lawn more intrigued. On average a 3 cubic yards of mulching can cost you around $274 in Canada, but you can save this amount entirely by doing it yourself. And you can’t even imagine how much discount you will get by doing it on your own.

Mulch being a layer of dead plant material on your soil, cannot only be used for looking good. It also promotes faster and healthy growth of your grass by surrounding them with moisture allowing them to nourish properly.

2. You Can Plant Perennials

Perennials are the type of flora that you can buy and plant once and enjoy its beauty year after year. This is the special trait of Perennial flowers and plants. Although you will save a lot of money, it still will cost you an upfront amount for planting seedlings or blooming flowers. But when they grow and bloom you will feel a pleasant vibe in your lawn with a variety of colorful options.

3. Revamping an Existing Patio

If your lawn already has a patio, then you can maximize or boost its beauty by adding more greenery. By adding a little planned landscape buffer, you can enhance visual influence of your lawn. Because the patio minimizes the space of your garden and less softscaping materials can make it a little boring. So, how will you do it? Just add some mulch. It’s simple. Fill the surrounding with mulch, they are not so expensive and aren’t required to be replaced on a regular basis.

4. Take the Help of Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping is a type of landscaping that focuses on creating a sustainable and low-water use environment, particularly in dry or arid regions. Xeriscaping involves using plants that require minimal watering and implementing techniques to reduce water usage in the landscape. Here are some of the Xeriscaping Elements:


Drought-tolerant plants: These are plants that require very little water and can thrive in hot and dry climates. Examples of drought-tolerant plants include succulents, cacti, agave, yucca, lavender, and sage.

Mulch: Mulch is used to cover the soil around plants to help retain moisture, prevent weed growth, and regulate soil temperature. Common types of mulch used in xeriscaping include gravel, rocks, wood chips, and recycled rubber.

Hardscaping: Hardscaping refers to the use of non-living materials such as stone, brick, or concrete to create functional and aesthetic features in a landscape, such as walkways, patios, and retaining walls. Hardscaping reduces the amount of water needed for the landscape and can also provide shade and wind protection.

5. Take the Help of Native Plants

Try spending some time doing a little bit of research about the native plants that grow on their own in your area. They don’t require much watering and care, because the environment is highly favorable for them to grow without any help. Native plants will not only add some beauty to your lawn but they will also save your money. For the scientific proof, expats say that native plants are naturally compatible with the rainfall and climate conditions of that particular region.

6. Make Vines Grow on Walls

Growing colorful vines on the walls, stones, or sculptures made of wood that are a part of your landscape will be a great idea. These areas are not capable of growing greenery by themselves, because of no soil fertility. So, you can take help of colorful vines to make your lawn look beautiful. However, growing vines can be a tough task, as until they grow they need assistance and help. You will have to give support and direction to the vines to grow in a way you want.

What can you expect to pay for Softscaping job at your home?

When it comes to renovating your lawn you must have a lot of questions in your mind related to the total cost it bears. Out of all the most essential queries that you must be asking everyone- What is the cost of soft scaping in Canada?

What Will be the Average Cost?

First you should learn that softscaping and its total cost is not the same for every lawn, it varies greatly on the structure and other resistant factors. For example, a homeowner in Toronto spends between $1,809 and $6,901 to avail a customized softscaping project for his or her lawn. Also, this cost can be as high as $17,204 approximately for an entire softscaping and hardscaping project for a lawn combinedly.

Factors that Make Up these Costs:

See, if you are checking out your neighbor getting his lawn remodified under a specific budget friendly cost. Then, you must know that the same will not be the case for you. Softscaping projects are different for everyone depending upon their lawn size, their modification goals and needs. So, below are the unique factors that determine your budget for Softscaping:

1. Lawn Size

It’s one of the major factors because of which the cost of a Softscaping project for your lawn can be affected directly. Size and shape of your yard or lawn will be considered as a direct cost affecting element. Because it increases or decreases the material quantity and labor efforts to be used in modifying your lawn. And if the estimated budget surpasses your pocket capability then you can choose to work with professionals to rejuvenate your lawn effectively with minimum expense. Because in a self working scenario you will not be able to decide upon such factors efficiently, professionals are trained for it.

2. Location of the Lawn

If your lawn is near the pond or a lake then softscaping will cost you more than it had cost you in other areas. Professionals will have to take direct measures to prevent any type of flooding to get to your plants, ultimately destroying them.

Softscapes and Technology

Though softscape requires intricate knowledge and requires landscape experts for a beautiful combination of softscape and landscape, there are a lot of new innovations in terms of technology. These advancements help landscapers design, plan and finally build something that leaves people in awe and sometimes envy.

Softscape and technology

This section covers the softwares for landscape designs, garden planning, irrigation planning. Additionally, this section also contains calculators that landscapers generally use for costs and estimation and equipment that make their work easy.

There are multiple softwares and apps on the market that help landscapers and homeowners plan their softscapes. For the purpose of simplicity, these are categorized as:

landscape design software, garden planning software, irrigation software.

Note: The apps listed below are NOT reviewed by us. They are the most common names thrown around in the industry. Please make an informed choice before buying any of these.

1.1 Landscape Design Software

Landscape design softwares helps teams collaborate on scale, save costs surveying the actual site and run multiple iterations before going ahead with the design. These also help homeowners by saving time in decision making and have a first hand idea of how it’s all going to come together. Though, the softwares available for this purpose is mostly suited to landscaping professionals.

Best landscape design software

Some of popular landscape design software are:

  • AutoCad with Sketch 3D suite
  • VizTerra for 3D rendering
  • RealTime Landscaping
  • Smart Draw.
  • iScape

1.2 Landscaping Planning Software

Garden planning software helps landscapers plan their softscaping projects. These software may include multiple tools such as invoice generations, estimating or job costing, worker scheduling and expense management capabilities to name a few. Since these planning software focuses more on supporting business processes, they offer integrations with other actual landscaping softwares as value added features.

Landscaping planning software jobber

Some of popular landscape planning softwares are:

  1. Jobber
  2. Arborgold
  3. Lawn Pro
  4. LMN
  5. Yardbook

1.3 Irrigation Management Software for Landscaping

Irrigation management software includes irrigation controllers, smart sprinkler systems, watering schedulers and more. These help in managing every part of the irrigation for your softscape and take up tasks that are burdensome and require intermediate monitoring. Additionally, they also help in doing irrigation audits to keep your lawn lush green.

The technology around these irrigation management software have evolved so much during the past couple of years. These systems can detect air temperature, maintain uniform humidity, and even act on the basis of rain forecasts. They can be controlled and managed by homeowners easily using their smart devices either at home or from a distant place.

Note that these need to be coupled with specific hardware that they are compatible with.

Some of popular irrigation management softwares are:

  1. IrriRT
  2. IRRICAD™ for commercial irrigation designs
  3. Rachio
  4. Orbit B

2. Softscapes Calculators

Softscaping calculators can help a homeowner on two levels. First, these can help for getting an estimate of a job. Second, the calculators can help you with measurements and quantity required if you want to get the materials yourself.

Note that there is are significant difference in prices for every province and the actual prices differ based on the negotiation, and competition prevalent in that region. The cost of softscaping jobs in Alberta is the lowest because the number of companies serving the region are much more as compared to Ontario and Quebec.

Instead of going detailed on how these work, we have mentioned some resources for you. You can use these calculators to get an estimate or plan materials for the next softscaping job on your outdoor living space. These resources also have conversion tables and other information about the quantity of materials you might need for a particular job. The only requirement is that you know the approximate dimensions of your softscaping area.

  • Garden Calculator: number of plants required for cubic yards of space, Seed coverage, Ground coverage, water requirements, and more.
  • InchCalculator’s Lawn and Landscape calculator: Has multiple calculators such as quantity of mulch, gravel, elevation, paver, number of plants, flowers etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a suggestion? Contact us!

We are glad that you preferred to contact us. Please fill our short form and one of our friendly team members will contact you back.