Green Thumb: Your Guide to Backyard Care
You’ve spent a long time — not to mention a considerable amount of money — designing your dream backyard.
But if you don’t know how to properly take care of it, you’ll see your flowers wilt and your investment go down the drain.
Plus, gardening and other basic backyard care have been shown to have numerous mental health benefits. This means that tending to your yard won’t just ensure your home looks its best — it will also help you to de-stress.
So, where should you start when it comes to backyard care?
Read this post to learn the most important basics. Hopefully, by the end, you’ll finally get the green thumb you’ve always wanted.
No matter the size of your backyard or the climate you live in, you’re going to have to deal with weeds.
There are several different methods you can use to get rid of weeds.
You can hire professional lawn care services, or simply apply pesticides yourself. For best results, apply the weed killer early in the morning, when the dew is still out. The morning after a rainstorm is also an ideal time to apply pesticide.
If you’re concerned about the potential health hazards of weed killers, you can go the organic route.
Make your own weed killer by combining a half a cup of salt with about two cups of white vinegar in a spray bottle. If you like, you can also add a few squirts of dish soap to the mix.
Shake it up and spray directly on any weeds — but avoid your plants and vegetables.
Other natural methods for killing larger patches of weeds? Pouring boiling water on them, or simply pulling them out by hand.
Of course, the best backyard care tip for dealing with weeds is to do what you can to stop them from growing in the first place.
To do this, invest in some weed preventers. These work to nip weeds like crabgrass, ragweed, and yarrow in the bud, preventing their seeds from taking root.
Generally, you’ll want to apply weed preventer between March and May. Or, you can simply wait for your forsythia blooms to drop, and take a natural cue.
Keep in mind that if the weeds are already visible, you can’t get rid of them with weed preventer. Instead, use the methods we mentioned above.
Also, remember to activate your weed preventer by watering the targeted areas directly after application. Avoid planting flower beds for a few days after the initial application.
Feed Your Lawn With Fertilizer
We’ve all felt green with envy when we see someone else’s lush, gorgeous lawn.
What’s their secret?
Most likely, it’s fertilizer, another important staple of effective backyard care.
The best time to fertilize your lawn is when your grass is actually growing, as the fertilizer provides nutrients. The exact time period will depend on the region in which you live.
Stick to this general rule: if you live in the North, aim to fertilize in both the spring and fall. If you’re a resident of the South, the spring and summer months are your best bet.
Keep in mind that there’s no need to fertilize your lawn when your grass is dormant — you’ll just waste money, and may even harm your grass.
Water Your Garden And Lawn
Of course, fertilizer isn’t the only thing your lawn needs to be happy!
No matter what type of climate you live in, keeping your lawn properly watered is essential to fostering continued growth.
The best time of the day to water is early in the morning. This isn’t just because you want to avoid the discomfort of taking care of your garden with the sun blazing overhead.
You need to water as early as you can because the sun actively dries up the grass. Though this may sound counterintuitive, this is actually a good thing.
Because it prevents your plants from getting over-watered, while still allowing them to get enough to drink.
If you water by hand or turn your sprinkler system on at night, your grass and plants will hold onto that moisture for too long. This could end up drowning them or making them susceptible to disease.
Try to water your garden and lawn a minimum of once a week. If you live in a drier area, twice a week is even better.
Mow Your Lawn
Many people see mowing the lawn as an annoying and time-consuming chore.
While it’s certainly tempting to outsource your mowing to a neighborhood teenager, think twice before you leave your lawn in the care of someone who may not have the experience you need.
When your grass isn’t in a high-growth phase, mowing your lawn once a week should be enough. However, keep in mind that you may need to mow more frequently — even every four days — when your grass is growing.
It’s best to mow your lawn when the grass is dry, so midday is a great time to get out and do a little yard work.
Also, always make sure you’re not “scalping” your lawn — AKA cutting your grass too short. Too-short grass encourages weed growth and may even make your lawn more likely to catch diseases.
Plus, mowing too close destroys the root systems of your lawn, meaning it’s more likely to be scorched by high temperatures.
We hope this post has made backyard care feel a bit less intimidating than you initially thought.
While backyard care certainly requires a fair share of effort, the payoff of a healthy, thriving garden is huge.
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Check out our blog to learn more about how to get the most out of your outdoor space. Your thumb has never looked greener!