September 26th, 2012 - Posted by Luke Whittaker
of keeping your yard in tip-top shape seems completely overwhelming, you’re probably not approaching the situation the right way.
While there are certainly people who devote several hours per week to maintaining their yards, you don’t have to do so in order to keep your yard in excellent shape.
By getting into the habit of doing a few routine things, you can maintain your yard without devoting excessive amounts of time to it.
There are also a few quick and easy tricks that you can use to enhance the appearance of your yard without adding to your workload.
A good rule of thumb is to aim to give your lawn at least one inch of water per week.
A quick and easy way to make sure of this is by putting an empty tuna can where the sprinkler can hit it.
From top to bottom, it measures about one inch.
When it is full, your lawn has received an inch of water.
This is a good way to avoid over-watering the grass too, which can cause serious problems.
Do you put off mowing the lawn because you dread how long it takes?
One way to make life easier is by using creative landscaping.
For example, invest in some mulch and create a few islands around trees and other parts of the yard.
The goal is to reduce the amount of grass that actually needs to be cut.
Mulch is inexpensive, and using it to reduce the amount of lawn that you have is easy.
Don’t wait for the branches on your trees to become too unruly.
On a similar note, don’t allow broken or diseased branches to hang off of trees for too long.
It’s tempting to put off this kind of thing because it’s time-consuming and expensive.
However, you should get into the habit of having someone prune your trees as soon as they need it.
This is why it pays to have the number of a reliable tree trimming service on hand.
If you put off these things, you can end up with more serious problems later.
A compost pile isn’t going to make your yard more attractive in and of itself.
The compost that it generates, however, can help you keep plants and gardens fertilized for less.
Some people just allow piles to develop in corners of their yards.
This can create an eyesore, so you should plan on using an actual compost bin instead.
You can buy a compost bin, or you can put one together.
There are plenty of instructions for doing so online.
With compost within easy reach, you’ll be a lot more likely to keep your flower or vegetable garden properly fertilized.
When you see a dandelion or another weed pop up on your lawn, do you just shrug and figure you’ll take care of it later?
If you do, you’re setting yourself up for major issues down the line.
That’s not to say that you have to drop everything whenever a weed rears its ugly head.
It just means that you should make a point of eliminating weeds in a timely manner.
Nothing can detract from the appearance of your yard like untended weeds, and dealing with them early is faster and easier.
Like most people, you probably clean your patio furniture thoroughly at least once a year.
Do you keep it covered up when it’s not in use, though?
If not, you’re not doing what it takes to keep your yard in exceptional shape.
If your patio furniture starts to show signs of wear and tear, it can have a negative impact on the overall appearance of your yard.
As expensive as this furniture can be, replacing it may be out of the question.
It’s far better to invest in furniture covers and use them than it is to leave things to chance.
How often do you get out there and do a thorough, extensive cleaning of your yard?
Most people just reserve that chore for the early part of the spring, but you’ll have less work to do if you do it four times per year instead.
After all, branches can get blown down and other debris can pile up in the yard in the winter and fall too.
It’s easy to remember this task too; just do it when the new season officially begins.
Don’t let your dog have free reign over your yard.
When he needs to relieve himself, make sure that he does so in a designated area.
This is something that you can train your dog to do, and it will make life a lot easier.
If it doesn’t work out for whatever reason, make sure to clean up after your dog promptly.
That kind of waste can wreak havoc on the appearance and overall appeal of a yard.
If you don’t keep up on watering your lawn, it could be because you just dread dragging out the hose and sprinkler again and again.
Instead of changing your habits and being more dedicated, you could just bite the bullet and have a sprinkler system installed instead.
At first, this may seem a little extravagant.
When you see how much simpler your life is with one though, you’re sure to make prolific use of it, and your yard is sure to get all the water it needs.
You can’t expect your lawn to look lush, green and healthy if you don’t fertilize it regularly.
The easiest way to make sure of this is by hiring a company to come out four times a year.
Of course, it’s also more expensive to have someone else do it for you.
If money is tight, just set up a reminder on your calendar and do it yourself.
The point is that you should make sure that your grass gets the nourishment it needs like clockwork, or it will quickly develop major problems.
This is another clever way to reduce the amount of lawn that you actually need to mow.
A strategically placed rock garden can make your landscaping work a lot easier.
In between the rocks, you can use mulch, small rocks or other materials.
When done correctly, a rock garden can create a stunning focal point in your yard too, and there’s a minimal amount of maintenance involved.
At the very most, you may have to pull weeds from time to time.
Scraggly bushes can make your yard look overgrown and unattractive.
This is another example of why it pays to stay on top of these kinds of chores.
One idea is to schedule a specific day of the month to trim the bushes.
Some bushes may need to be trimmed more often than others.
Over time, you should develop a good rhythm or pattern.
Just stick with it and don’t let things get out of hand.
You’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes.
It’s tempting to cut the grass extra short to go longer between mowing it.
However, this can have a really negative effect on the appearance of your lawn.
When grass is allowed to grow a little longer, it’s able to develop longer roots.
With longer roots, grass is more likely to be healthy, vibrant and attractive.
Just don’t take things too far.
Make sure to keep up with mowing it.
Simply adjust the height setting on your lawnmower to ensure that you don’t chop it too short, and set a schedule that allows you to keep your grass at the perfect height.
If you don’t own an edger, go out and buy one right away.
It’s especially important if you have paths winding through your yard.
By edging sidewalks, driveways, around patios and around other places in your yard, you can neaten things up and keep your yard looking tidy and appealing.
This is one of those things that you should automatically do at a certain time.
For example, do the edging after you’re finished mowing.
It’s one more chore to tackle, but it’s not so bad when you keep up with it.
How thick is the thatch on your lawn?
You shouldn’t allow it to get thicker than half an inch.
If it’s thicker than that, your lawn probably isn’t getting enough oxygen.
From time to time, pull out a small chunk of grass from an inconspicuous area of your lawn.
Measure the thickness of the thatch.
If it’s getting too thick, hire a company to do a core aeration of your lawn.
The best time to have this done is early in the fall.
Don’t bag your grass clippings.
As long as you keep up with mowing your lawn, the clippings shouldn’t be too heavy, so they shouldn’t affect the health of your living grass.
In fact, those clippings can help nourish your grass and make it even healthier and more attractive.
Besides, it’s a lot easier to just let the clippings fall where they may.
You’ll save a lot of time, and your lawn will benefit enormously.
When you see sticks, twigs, branches, stones and other debris in the yard, take care of them right away.
It’s easier to deal with these things on a case-by-case basis than it is to wait until they’ve accumulated a lot.
One idea is to reward the kids for clearing away these types of things.
Make a game out of it.
Another option is to do a quick walk-through of your yard after getting home from work for the day, or doing so just before leaving for work.
People often have good intentions when buying string trimmers, which are commonly known as weed wackers.
All too often though, they end up being relegated to a corner of the garage and completely forgotten.
When used regularly, this tool can keep your yard in amazing shape.
Store it someplace where it’s easy to access.
Make it a part of your regular yard work routine.
You’ll be glad you did.
Your lawn doesn’t have to be developing bald patches to require seeding.
Whether it blatantly needs it or not, you should over-seed it at least one time per year.
This will give it the chance to generate fresh growth, which will replace the grass that has inevitably died during the year.
Is your yard usually strewn with toys, bikes, tools and other things?
If so, you probably don’t have a shed or another place to store them easily.
Invest in a small shed, or buy a storage bench and keep it out on the deck or patio.
Teach children to put their things away when they’re done playing with them.
Make sure to practice what you preach too.
With a convenient place to store outdoor items, your yard should never be cluttered.
After reading through these tips, you may feel a little overwhelmed.
Implementing them is easy, and they will be like second nature to you in no time.
Luke is the Co-Founder of INSTALL-IT-DIRECT and Estate Weddings and Events .When Luke is not working on EWE or IID, his second passions are in health, education(obsessed with learning) and traveling the world(life is too short to remain idle). His favorite destination to date is Laos. Tuscany, Italy is next on the list for 2013…Follow him on Google+, Twitter, and Linkedin.
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