Lawn Care Tips To Help Save Money
There’s nothing more satisfying than looking out at your yard after a hard day of work and seeing how your lawn care efforts have paid off. Luckily, you don’t have to spend a fortune to make your yard look beautiful!
For most of us, lawn maintenance is something that is continual work. Whether you are hiring someone to take care of your grass, you do it yourself or you have an association that pitches in, lawn care is an on-going concern that has to be managed. Here are some ideas that will help you save some green on your green (sorry, I couldn’t help myself!).
Buy Your Own Equipment
You may think that hiring someone to come do the work is the way to go, but after only a few years, you will have covered the cost of any equipment you purchase if you do it yourself. If you need to mow your lawn six months out of the year or more, your equipment will actually pay for itself much sooner. If you purchase a push mower (for smaller lawn areas like in the city), the costs will be covered even more quickly.
It is not always easy to get the money together to buy your own equipment, but there are ways. Consider spitting the cost with a neighbor or close family member. Remember that this is a person that you will now have a business relationship with, so make sure that you are choosing someone that you can trust. Even further, consider creating a little contract about when each of you get to use the mower. If everyone knows that you have possession on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and every other Sunday, there should be less tension than if everything is left up in the air.
Don’t Cut the Grass Too Short
A mistake that people often make is to cut their grass as short as possible thinking that they’ll have to mow less often. Unfortunately, what you’re really doing is killing your grass.
Grass should typically never be cut shorter than 2-3 inches long. When you cut grass too short, there’s no way to protect the roots from the sun and your grass may die. Cut your grass to a longer length (even though it may feel counterintuitive!) and mow once a week. This should leave you with the best looking lawn that doesn’t require constant watering to keep it alive.
Water Early in the Morning
The best time of the day to water your lawn is in the mornings. You don’t want the sun quickly baking off the water that you’ve just generously applied! If you find that it’s going to be a cloudy day, feel free to try watering a bit later, but generally speaking, you want to water when the sun isn’t high in the sky.
Keep the Water Low
The two best ways to water your lawn are manually with the hose or by using a sprinkler system. If you are choosing a sprinkler system, you’ll want to pick designs that keep the water low-to-the-ground. Sprinklers that send the water high in the air can ultimately be a waste of water and money. When the water fans high in the air on a warm or sunny day, the water evaporates much faster.
You may be thinking, the fan sprinklers are what we used to play in as children! And while that’s true – and lots of fun for the kids! – when taking care of your lawn, focus on the low-to the-ground options.
Let the Clippings Fertilize the Lawn
Many homeowners don’t like to see lawn clippings because it may look careless or untidy, but they can actually be your best friend. When you allow the clippings to decompose on the lawn, you’re less likely to need to fertilize because he remaining grass actually decomposes into natural fertilizer. Not only does this method of fertilizing save money, but it’s all-natural!
Also, in the fall specifically, mow your leaves with a mulching mower to add shredded bits of additional natural fertilizer to your lawn. This will help keep your lawn healthy through the winter months. It won’t be perfect when everything thaws, but it will be better than it’s been in the past.
Last, but not least – and especially if you don’t like caring for your lawn – the easiest way to save on lawn care is to get rid of the grass completely. When you create a patio or graveled area, you have less grass to mow and care for. Yes, there is the initial investment of the gravel or patio stones, but you’ll save a lot of money on the other end.
ONLY take this step if grass really isn’t your thing because starting over can be fairly time consuming. That said, there is very little care needed when there’s nothing to mow or weed!
You don’t have to spend a fortune keeping your lawn looking beautiful! All it takes is being smart about how you mow and water, and creating a bit of a long-term strategy. Even better, you don’t even have to invest in fertilizer when you use your clippings and dead leaves instead! Cut the costs this year by being smart about your lawn care.