Having a backyard means extending your home’s living space into the outdoors. It is a place where kids can play, families can dine and guests be entertained. But just like you home’s interior, this exterior living space also needs constant care and maintenance.
To make backyard upkeep easier for yourself, you can go for a few different options. For instance, you could opt for low maintenance features such as set some areas in stone. You could also use artificial grass in others to minimize upkeep. Or simplify things by investing in perennials and other non-fussy plants.
For the most part, every yard needs some degree of mowing, mulching and weeding. These tasks seem simple enough but need to be done right. You can pair these fundamentals with a few more routine things so your yard looks great without adding to your workload. Here are a few of those tasks that will tidy up the lawn if you follow these on a routine basis:
Trimming and Pruning
Timely trimming and pruning the backyard makes a huge difference in its appearance. The schedule and techniques for pruning trees, shrubs and plants vary but there are some broad guidelines.
For instance, smaller stems need more meticulous cuts so handle them carefully. For these, you should go for a handheld pair of shears but for slightly longer stems, you can use a looper instead. Thicker stalks and branches, on the other hand, can work well with a pruning saw.
Take care of branches that start to become unruly as soon as possible. At the same time pay attention to dead leaves, broken branches and any decayed wood.
For shrubs, more frequent and minimal pruning will not only boost growth but will also clean up the look of your backyard.
Eliminating weeds early is fast and easy before they turn into an utter nuisance. And while mowing will get rid of pesky weeds, how often do you really mow?
Plus, removing the entire weed by its roots is the only way to get rid of it completely and mowing misses that aspect.
So keep weeds to a minimum by layering your soil with an inch or so of mulch as it helps keep plant beds relatively weed free.
Another way to go is to plant grass which, when healthy, will grow to be thick and bushy and choke out other weeds.
Many people put off mowing because it can be a time-consuming task. So what do you do instead? An easy way to deal with this issue is by investing in some mulch.
This way you can create some islands around trees or put mulch beds around the patio. Both of these tips will reduce the amount of grass that will need tending to. Mulch is also low maintenance and requires no mowing or watering. Plus, it breaks down while fertilizing your plants and prevents weeding.
Plus, it is inexpensive and only needs replacement in the spring.
When you mow, it’s important to not cut the grass too short as longer stalks are healthier and retain water better. You can set the height setting on your mower to make sure that you don’t cut it too short.
You can also use a mower which features a mulching option. What this does is cut grass into tiny bits and then return it to the lawn.
If your lawnmower doesn’t do that, you can leave your grass clippings on the lawn, which will nourish your lawn and make it healthier.
Edging and Thatching
Another thing you need to keep an eye out for is timely edging. If you have a winding pathway through your yard or a patio, you should edge the sides weekly or after two weeks.
Edging on time will neaten up the yard and keep up its appeal. An ideal time would be to follow mowing with edging to keep things up but you can edge more frequently if your yard demands it.
Backyard aesthetics also require that you don’t let the thatch get out of control. Ideally, thatch should not be any thicker than half an inch or else it won’t let your lawn breathe.
Leaf Removal and Cleanup
Leaves, along with sticks, branches, twigs and other debris should be removed every day. It may seem like a lot, but if you do so on a day to day basis, it is easier to deal with rather than after a week or longer.
You could also give gutters and eaves troughs a regular inspection since these areas can clog up with leaves and other debris as well.
Traditionally, a compost pile won’t make your yard any more attractive, but the way you set it up can prevent it from becoming an eyesore.
For instance, if aesthetics is your thing, you could set one up as a bin system with mesh sides. Another idea is to put together a wooden slated box for holding your compost. Some people like to use a model called a worm factory composter which is basically a stackable, recycled plastic tray system. It hides all the compost and is a suitable option for any sized backyard.
If you’re really on a budget, then you could go for a large sized plastic storage bin with some holes drilled in for ventilation. The point is to keep the compost out of sight and use it to improve the structure of your soil or even as a layer of mulch.
Watering may not help you keep the yard tidy, but will definitely add to its visual appeal. To keep up its lush appearance, it is recommended to let your lawn get at least one inch of water every week.
One DIY way of doing so is to place an empty tuna can in a spot where the sprinkler can reach it.
Since the can measures approximately an inch in height, filling it up will let you know how much and how often you need to water. You can then set the sprinkler timer accordingly.
If you have a dog, make sure to train it properly. Provide your pet a designated area instead of letting them run haywire in the backyard. And while you are training them to relieve themselves pick up after your dog promptly without delay.
Invest in a Storage Spot
For households with kids, backyards often get strewn with toys and stuff. For others, where people garden, backyards can start cluttering gardening tools easily.
Instead of leaving these and other things out in the yard, it may make sense to put in a small shed or a storage bench to keep your backyard tidy. When you have a place to store outdoor items your yard will stay clean.
Keeping your yard tidy is easiest when done or a regular basis. Not only does it reserve the health of your lawn but also adds to your home’s aesthetic value.