Some people like to putter around the yard, others just want to do the minimum to keep it looking good. If you’re part of the later group, here’s some easy care tips that will make your job easier:
- Don’t go big. Plant only as much lawn as you need. Replace some areas with ground cover, shrubs, or perennials. If you have a remote area, plant a special meadow mix that needs cutting only monthly. Add a patio or deck to high traffic areas.
- Don’t butcher your turf. Cut just one-third of the leaf blade off at a time. Cutting any more weakens your lawn, and opens the door to weeds, pests, and drought damage.
- Mulch your clippings into the lawn. Mulching will recycle plant nutrients back into your lawn. A mulching mower can help.
- Water during dry spells to prevent drought damage, but don’t go overboard. One inch of water a week is enough. Any more is a waste and can cause harm.
- Go light on the fertilizer. Apply only one feeding with a timed release high nitrogen fertilizer in October to encourage winter hardiness. If you want to give your lawn a bit more food, apply a light feeding around Labor Day.
- Design your lawn for easy cutting. Avoid nooks and crannies that are tough to mow. Use a row of stone or brick pavers at ground level for edging around flower beds. Run the mower wheels right up on the edging so you don’t have to trim. Or edge your flower beds with a small trough.
- Rake your fall leaves often. Leaves block the sunlight that is needed to make food for winter survival. Better yet, use a power mower to mulch the leaves right into the lawn.
- Continue cutting your lawn as long as there is any growth in the Fall. Don’t wait for it to grow enough to cut off 1/3. Extra foliage over the winter can harbor disease.