Who doesn’t love the look of a perfectly manicured lawn with some beds of brightly colored flowers and a few simple landscaping features? Summer is the ultimate time of year to get outside and enjoy your yard. Whether you and the kids like to have a casual backyard game of soccer or you prefer to entertain friends in the neighborhood with a Friday night BBQ, you can keep your yard in good condition and be the envy of the block. Here are some tips for keeping your yard healthy and looking perfect:
Assess Your Yard, Make a Change
Every lawn needs a little bit of TLC, it’s up to the homeowner how much work he or she wants to put it to maintaining a yard. First off, take a good look at your yard. What do you like about it? What makes it a hassle? Look at the spots that are hard to maintain or areas that don’t get good sunlight. Rather than struggling to keep grass mowed or growing in these areas, consider landscaping them instead. For instance, you have a steep slope in your front yard which is a challenge every time you mow. Hillside areas like this can be transformed into easy to manage flower beds and have attractive curbside appeal. Additionally, if you have a shady spot beneath a tree, in your yard, you can remove the grass and replace it with plants that thrive well in the shade, such as hostas. A goal for having a beautiful lawn is easy maintenance with more time to enjoy.
Fix Problem Spots
Parts of your lawn may look great and others may be full of weeds and have little grass. While some homeowners prefer to rip out their yard and start over by laying down sod, it’s not always the most cost effective option. Many lawn experts recommend tearing out problem areas and simply re-seeding the area. While this is often done by lawn professionals, you can do it yourself, just check in with someone at your home improvement or garden center to make sure you have the right products and seed type for your lawn.
Water & Food
Like other plants, your lawn relies on water, sun, and food. When you water your lawn, it’s important to know what kind of soil you have. If you have clay soil, you don’t need to water as often as a lawn with sandy soil. If you’re hydrating a newly seeded area, do not water more than 10 minutes a day (any more and the fragile seeds and growth could wash away). Experts recommend watering about once a week (and equal to an inch of water a week), but remember, each lawn needs specialized care. While your neighbor may water every day, you may only need to water for about a half hour once a week.
When it comes to fertilizing your yard, do it in the spring, in the fall, and consider giving your lawn a little boost in the middle of the summer. It is possible to over fertilize your yard, making it look dry, brown, and unhealthy, so follow the instructions and go easy on your grass.
For millions of homeowners, mowing the lawn is either a “love it or hate it” summer chore, either way, it needs to be done if you want your lawn to be healthy. One of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make is cutting the grass too short. If you cut off too much, your grass is losing the energy-producing top part, making your lawn look less than perfect. Set the deck of your mower to cut off about the top one-third of the grass and opt to keep it your grass longer. Not only will it benefit the grass, but will help retain moisture so you won’t need to water as much. In the summer time, mowing once a week seems to be a sufficient amount. When you mow, it’s the perfect time to do any weeding or other yard maintenance.
According to Mike Sawaya, personal injury attorney in Denver, of The Sawaya Law Firm, lawn mowing accidents happen each summer, sending thousands of adults and children to the emergency room with burns, cuts, and even missing toes, fingers, or limbs. In order to avoid such tragic accidents in your own backyard, always wear proper footwear (not sandals) when mowing, wear eye and ear protection, don’t let any child under the age of 12 operate a push mower, and always survey the yard for objects, such as sticks and rocks, before your mow.