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If you’re looking to increase your home’s property value, common sense will tell you to renovate your bathroom or install solar panels on your roof. However, according to Living Cozy, looking outside your four walls may be the key to maximizing your asking price. Thoughtfully maintained backyards aren’t only good for the environment (bring on the bees!) and your overall well-being, they have serious real-estate benefits. After analyzing the average home value and yard size in each state, the site’s team found that Hawaii and New Hampshire top the list of places where a large garden can add the most value to your property. Here’s a full look at the top 10 states where a spacious yard pays off (and only one of them isn’t on a coast). 

  • Hawaii
  • New Hampshire
  • Montana
  • Vermont 
  • Alaska
  • Massachusetts
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Virginia
  • New York

While bigger is better, it still matters what you do with your land. If you don’t consider yourself a green thumb, have no fear: We have a few tips and tricks to get your garden in tip-top shape. 

Look to Nature

Katy Perry’s and Adam Scott’s garden designer, Lauri Kranz, doesn’t like straight rows of vegetables and flowers. “I like to plant as nature would, inviting serendipity. I like surprises, as if a bird dropped a seed and a wonderful flower bloomed in an unexpected place,” she says. It not only looks more organic, it requires less maintenance. 

Make Your Own Eco-Friendly Potting Mix

Dominique Drakeford doesn’t rely on bagged soil to help her seeds thrive, she takes it into her own hands. “The amendments I like to add to my soil are ground-up eggshells—they have to be a powder so that they become bio-available,” she says. Also in her mixture: magnesium sulfate, which is basically like Epsom salts for peppers and tomatoes, and coffee grounds left over from her kitchen. “I’m also very big on cinnamon—it’s an antifungal—because I don’t spray any pesticides or herbicides or insect repellent,” she adds.

Invest in Your Watering Routine

Rather than having to incessantly look at a weather app or stick to a weekly hose-down schedule, Nick Spain recommends a drip-irrigation system, like this WaterWise kit from Amazon. He explains, “For a few hundred dollars and a little manual labor, you get a system that delivers a steady stream of precipitation directly to the roots of the plant.” With a reliable source of H20, your garden will be thriving (and adding major curb appeal) in no time.