The yard is arguably the most important element of a home’s curb appeal. It projects color, life and style onto the home. Many homeowners, however, can’t justify spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on professional landscaping. Thankfully, there are ways to beautify a yard on a tight budget.
Add Grass Clippings to Flower Beds
Rather than dumping grass clippings in the woods after mowing their lawn, homeowners should store them in a large drum or box-shaped container. Once dry, homeowners can use them as mulch in flower beds. Dried grass clippings contain valuable nutrients that stimulate plant growth. And like store-bought mulch, grass clippings block out the sunlight whenever they are placed, thereby discouraging invasive weeds from growing in flowerbeds. Reusing grass clippings as mulch is a great way for homeowners to beautify their landscape without spending on a dime.
Neglecting to trim hedges will make a home’s yard look unkempt and disheveled. As the hedges outgrow their intended size and shape, it lowers the yard’s aesthetics. This is why most experts recommend homeowners trim their hedges two or three times annually, preferably during the growing season. However, if a homeowner has a fast-growing variety, such as leylandii, he or she may need to trim them up to six times a year. Use a hedge trimmer and pruning shears to control hedges and maintain a beautiful yard.
Edge Sidewalk and Driveway
Grass has a mind of its own. If not properly contained, it will encroach upon adjacent spaces, including sidewalks and driveways. For homeowners, grass growing around these paved surfaces is troubling because it can cause structural damage. Grass or weeds may grow under a sidewalk or driveway, forcing its way up and breaking through the surface. To prevent prevent this, homeowners should edge their sidewalk and driveway. A basic string trimmer should easily remove unwanted grass and weeds around paved areas while helping to define the yard’s borders in the process.
Homeowners should be conscious of how much water they use on their lawn. Allowing the sprinklers to run all day isn’t just wasteful; it’s also expensive. Depending on the variety, grass needs about 1 to 2 inches of water a week to grow and stay healthy. Any excess water will simply saturate the soil, turning it into a soggy mess. And rather than watering their yard in the middle of the day, homeowners should water it in the morning. The lack of solar heat during the early hours means more water is absorbed into the soil.
When designing flower beds for their landscape, budget-conscious homeowners should choose perennials. Not to be confused with biennials, perennials typically live longer than two years. As a result, homeowners don’t have to replace their perennials as frequently as biennials, which have a shorter lifespan.
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Keep It Mowed
Maintaining a beautiful yard requires frequent mowing. Overgrown grass is a major eyesore, but it’s also something that homeowners can avoid. Using either a push mower, self-propelled mower or riding mower, homeowners should mow their yard at least once a week during spring, summer and fall. However, it’s important that homeowners mow their yard to the right height. If a yard is cut too short, it will stress the grass and increase the risk of disease. If it’s cut too high, weeds and other invasive plants may thrive. A good rule of thumb is to mow one-third of the grass’s current height.
Homeowners don’t have to spend a fortune to create a beautiful yard. By following the steps here, they can enhance their landscape’s appearance and functionality.