How to Create an Attractive Fence Line

9 tips for turning these humble barriers into a beautifully landscaped part of your yard.

How to Create an Attractive Fence Line

Whether picket, wood, chain link, wrought iron, vinyl, or something else, fences are great. They define a space. They provide privacy. They can be nice to look at. Fence lines, on the other hand? Not so much. They're difficult to mow. They're a harbinger for out-of-control weeds. They can look messy and ugly. Landscaping along these awkward areas can be tough if you don't know where to begin.

Don't let the notion of beautifying these humble barriers seem daunting—it doesn't have to be! These smart ideas and simple steps will help you transform something dreadful and dreaded into a wonderfully landscaped fence line.

1. Rake and dig.

Rake up debris, leaves, and anything else that has collected along your fence line. If you're thinking of beautifying the stretch with a garden bed or creating a border with mulch, river rocks, or pavers, go ahead and dig out the space. To do so, mark a cut line with spray paint or lay out a garden hose. Then dig a flat-bottom trench that's just deep enough for pavers or mulch. For garden beds, it's best to dig a little deeper—2 feet ought to do it.

2. Kill weeds and unwanted grasses.

With places to climb and space to put down roots, weeds and grasses love an unattended fence line. There, they can grow wild and unfettered, thwarting weed wackers and mowers by re-growing in short order.

Put an end to out-of-control weeds and unwanted grasses withRoundup® Ready-To-Use Weed & Grass Killer III with Sure Shot® Wand, which provides visible results in 3 hours, with a complete kill in 1 to 2 weeks. Even better for fence lines, it kills all the way down to the roots so treated weeds don't grow back. Just be sure to follow all label directions, and spray only the plants and grasses you want to kill. The Sure Shot® Wand's protective shield can help with that, as it fits right over weeds, targeting them while helping protect the plants you want to keep.

3. Wash off dirt and mud.

Depending on what kind of fence you have (follow manufacturer's care instructions), you may want to wash it with a garden hose, pressure washer, or power washer. Washing can help get rid of grime, mildew, moss, algae, and some stains. For stubborn stains, a little elbow grease and a hand brush can work wonders.

If you just usedRoundup® Ready-To-Use Weed & Grass Killer III with Sure Shot® Wandto control weeds and grasses along your fence line, wait 10 minutes for it to become rainproof before cleaning your fence with water.

4. Fix broken links and make repairs.

Now that things are looking a little clearer and cleaner, take a walk along your fence line. If you notice that any part is in disrepair, spend a few minutes shoring things up. Replace broken or missing boards, hinges, nails, or screws. Do a little daydreaming, too: Think about what to plant here while you're in the space. (Tips on that below.)

5. Freshen up your fence.

Give a wooden fence a makeover with a fresh coat of stain or whitewash. You might even want to paint it a bright, fun color. (If you belong to a homeowners' association, though, make sure to check the guidelines first). Chain link fences can be painted, too. You can also add prefab panels or privacy slats.

6. What to plant along a fence line.

Now that the weeds are gone and the fence is almost as good as new, it's time for the fun part: beautifying with plants! Try adding a variety of ornamentals and tall flowering plants, including pollinator-friendly plants to attract bees and butterflies. To add even more color and interest along your fence line, add decorative pots filled with seasonal annuals or create a vertical garden that attaches directly to the fence or a trellis.

7. Prevent new weeds.

To keep all your hard work in good shape, you'll want to stop new weeds from growing. The best way is to applyRoundup® Landscape Weed Preventerdirectly to soil around plants before mulching. It forms a weed barrier to stop weeds before they start and prevents weeds for up to 6 months. It's ideal for using around annuals, flowers, trees, and shrubs—but skip this step if you're planting herbs or other edibles in your fence line landscape.

8. Lay some mulch.

Top off your fence-line handiwork with some fresh mulch. Not only does mulch punch up the look of things, but it also helps keep moisture in and weeds out.

9. Create a vignette.

Here's the final fence line touch: Add something extra special or fun that complements your style. Think lighting, planters, garden tools, shutters, artwork, floating shelves, an outdoor bench—there are loads of possibilities. For a whimsical touch, consider adding a surprise element such as an antique wagon or retro bicycle, complete with blooming flowers.

Even if the landscape along your fence line has been overlooked, underappreciated, or ignored for longer than you'd care to admit, you now have 9 things you can do to not only make your fence line look better for you, but it'll amaze the neighbors, too. What are you waiting for?