Don’t let the summertime heat prevent you from getting the most out of your yard or patio. Get ready to take on the season of summer with our list of helpful tips below. Scratch these off your to-do list and you'll be the envy of your friends and neighbors.
Check the Sprinklers
You don't want to find out during a summer drought that your old-fashioned oscillator or in-ground irrigation system won’t so much as sputter. Or even worse, is damaged and won’t disperse water evenly leaving certain areas to become oversaturated. Start a lawn watering schedule now to make sure the hoses, settings, timers, and other components are functioning properly.
Stick to a Mowing Schedule
Cutting your grass too short or neglecting to cut it regularly will slowly erode your property's good looks. To prevent that, you (or your lawn service) should cut no more than one-third of the grass blade per mow. Whacking off more leaves your yard susceptible to pests and disease. Debating dumping your lawn service? Here’s some insight from homeowners on both sides of the picket fence to help make up your mind.
Use Grub Control
Grubs dine on your lawn's roots. Left to gorge, they'll destroy your lawn. That's not cheap to replace: up to $2 a square foot to re-sod. Go the preventive route, and spread a lawn grub-control product that will take care of the eggs now — before they hatch and start munching hungrily.
One great step you can take toward creating a more sustainable, eco-friendly outdoor area is to start composting! Composting allows you to get rid of your kitchen and lawn scraps without sending them to a landfill or down the sewer. It also generates high-quality soil for garden plants to grow so you won’t need to purchase enriched soil trucked in from the other side of the world. Composting helps the environment from two different directions at once!
Top Off Mulch
A little extra mulch around trees and shrubs will keep them healthy and lush by helping roots retain moisture during hot summer days. It's worth the extra effort because your trees add value to your home while cutting cooling costs.
Place flowering and fragrant herbs in planters and surround your outdoor space with them. Fresh herbs will be readily available to pick and pluck as a quick addition to an appetizer or beverage and will eliminate extra items off your grocery list.
Grow Native Plants
The quickest, landscaper-approved route to long-lasting curb appeal: native plants. Because they're uniquely suited to your location's natural rainfall and temperature range, you'll spend less money running the sprinkler and less time nurturing finicky out-of-their-element trees and bushes.
Native plants keep maintenance costs low and don’t need any toxic pesticides or fertilizers to thrive.
By filling your backyard, patio, and garden with native plants, you’ll be installing plant life that is naturally compatible with local wildlife which will provide safe harbor to native species of birds and insects.
The Ladybird Johnson Institute has a fantastic guide to getting started working with native plant life. You can also visit your local nursery to get things rolling as well.
Design A ‘Green’ Railing
Use a line of low-to-the-ground, slim planters to create an eco-friendly rail around your patio or deck. Enjoy changing the look annually by experimenting with tall and/or draping plants.
Upgrade Your Outdoor Furniture
If you feel the need to upgrade your patio furniture, aim for long lasting furniture made with sustainable materials. You can also incorporate recycled furniture, which is not only good for the environment, but also adds character. Mix things up by adding different cushions and pillows for the seasons. Look for end of seasons sales to get the best deals.
Along with growing herbs and native species of plants, you can lower your water usage outside by collecting rainwater in rain barrels. While they used to be clunky looking, several new designs have come along over the past few years that blend in beautifully with the landscape, and actually add to your outdoor décor. Make sure that your rainwater collector is not a mosquito collector!
Switch To Solar LED Lighting
If your outdoor lighting is getting a bit old, or you’re ready to make an eco-friendly change, consider switching over to solar LED lighting. Solar LED lighting has several advantages over traditional wired lighting. The most significant advantage is that there’s no need for an electrician to come wire everything up for you! Solar LED lighting is generally set-and-forget. For most systems, the lights automatically come on when night falls, run through the night until dawn, and then recharge during the day. Solar LED lighting comes in a wide variety of designs, though typically they are broken down into a few categories, such as solar lanterns, solar path lights, and solar string lights.
Buy Outdoor Power Tools Now
Trim 15% to 30% off the cost of powered edgers, saws, and more by taking advantage of Father's Day sales — which typically offer the lowest prices of the year.
With a little bit of planning and a few of the tips above you can ensure that your yard and patio are in tip top shape this summer. The earth and your wallet will also thank you. Bring on the grilling!