As a homeowner, one of your biggest responsibilities is maintaining your yard and outdoor space. A well-cared for lawn and landscape shows pride of ownership and provides enjoyment for not just you but the entire neighborhood. Putting in consistent work on your yard pays dividends through increased curb appeal, added monetary value to your home, and creation of an outdoor space where your family and friends love spending time. But what are the key tasks you need to focus on to achieve a lush, beautiful yard? There are five major routes to take when it comes to essential yardwork along with additional seasonal upkeep.
Yardwork is an important task for any homeowner. Maintaining a well-kept yard not only makes your property look attractive, but it also has many benefits. Here are five key areas to focus on when doing regular yardwork and why they are so important:
Keeping your grass neatly mowed and edged is one of the most basic but important yard tasks. When you mow regularly it helps the grass stay healthy and prevents weeds from creeping in. It’s best to mow your lawn weekly during peak growing seasons. Use sharp blades and vary your mowing pattern to avoid ruts. Edging along sidewalks, driveways and garden beds gives your yard a manicured look.
Weeds are the bane of any beautiful yard. They pop up without notice and can quickly take over your lawn and flower beds. Staying on top of weeds is critical for a pristine landscape. Begin by learning to identify common yard weeds – this helps you recognize them as seedlings before they get out of control. Some frequent offenders are dandelions, crabgrass, clover, plantain and wild violets. Also look for prickly broadleaf weeds like thistles and stickers.
When you spot weeds, take quick action by pulling them as soon as possible. Use a hand fork or weed pulling tool to remove the entire root system so they won’t grow back. Discard weed plants immediately before they go to seed. For severe infestations, use herbicide sprays formulated specifically for lawn and garden weeds. Always read labels thoroughly and follow directions to avoid harming desired plants.
A shredder is a useful tool for managing yard waste like branches, sticks, and brush. It can quickly break down piles of yard debris into fine mulch or woodchips. Shredding pruned branches from trees and shrubs is much easier than sawing them by hand or hauling them away. The shredded material can be used as mulch in gardens to suppress weeds, retain moisture, and improve soil nutrition. Shredding leaves in the fall allows them to decompose faster than whole leaves. Overall, a shredder makes quick work of reducing yard waste volume and recycles natural materials into useful mulch or compost. Having a shredder on hand helps keep the landscape tidy and enhances the health of gardens and lawns.
Pruning landscaping plants on a regular basis helps stimulate new growth and gives shrubs and trees a shapely appearance. Prune overgrown branches, dead limbs and any growth that is obstructing pathways or your home. Most plants benefit from pruning in late winter or early spring before growth starts. Disinfect pruners between cuts to avoid spreading disease. Always make clean cuts and don’t remove more than one-third of the plant.
Raking and removing fallen leaves is imperative for a healthy yard. A heavy layer of leaves left on your lawn will block sunlight and nourishment from reaching the grass. Use a rake or blower to gather leaves into piles. For easier disposal you can run over small piles with a mulching mower. Never let leaves sit in garden beds where they can smother plants or cause fungal issues. Removing leaves in the fall also eliminates hiding spots for pests.
Applying fertilizer and aerating your lawn helps stimulate root growth and allows air, water and nutrients to better penetrate the soil. This leads to thicker, lusher grass. Fertilize cool season grasses in early fall and warm season varieties in late spring when they are actively growing. Prior to fertilizing, use an aerator to punch holes in compacted soil. This allows fertilizer to work down into the roots zones where it’s needed most.
In addition to these five key yard maintenance tasks, there are a few other important upkeeps to remember. Pressure washing patios, decks and siding periodically removes grime and brightens up your home’s exterior. Trimming overgrown plants keeps walkways clear and landscape beds neat. Sealing cracks and reapplying coatings on driveways, sidewalks and other hardscapes helps prevent costly repairs. Proper drainage is also vital for a healthy yard – fill any low spots and keep drainage areas clear of debris.
Investing time weekly or monthly into yardwork pays off with a landscape you can take pride in. A well-maintained yard adds value to your home, provides enjoyment for your family and gives an overall polished look to your property. So put on your gloves and get ready to create the yard of your dreams! Consistent care for your lawn, plants, trees and hardscapes will transform your outdoor space into an enviable showpiece.
Written by Taylor McKnight, Author for Torrent Mulchers