Yard care and cleaning tips
Whether it's the size of a postage stamp or a prairie, your yard is an extension of your home and an opportunity for you and your family to expand your living space. But in order to make good use of your yard, you have to keep it in good condition, and this goes beyond simple cleaning up and trash removal. Whether you're landscaping your yard for the first time or caring for the yard already in place, the following tips and advice will help you make the most of your outdoor space.
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If you're landscaping a new yard or altering an old one, the first essential step is planning. Creating a yard is more than just laying sod, no matter how green. Perhaps the most important consideration in planning your yard is drainage. Proper yard drainage is essential to your home's care. Poor drainage can cause water to pool around your house's foundation, leading to leaks and expensive water damage. Ideally, drainage should be uniform throughout the yard, preventing any pooling at all. At the very least, drainage should lead water away from the foundation.
Regular yard care is essential for a lush, green lawn, but there are ways to reduce the amount of time and money you spend maintaining your yard.
Planning a meadow-like yard with a variety of natural grasses can cut down on mowing, but is less than ideal for families with outdoor pets or young children, and may not be popular with the neighbors, either. Some cultivation is probably necessary, but allowing for "wild" spots in your yard will reduce the amount of work and let your property's natural beauty come through. Using mulch around garden beds and plants can reduce the amount of watering required, as mulch helps to retain moisture.
Weeds are inevitable in any yard, and trying to remove them can be time-consuming. While hazardous or overly aggressive weeds (for example, poison ivy) should be eliminated, some plants that are technically weeds, such as white clover, can be both beneficial and aesthetically pleasing if allowed to grow. Deciding that there are some weeds you can live with is an easy way to cut back on your lawn maintenance.
Of course, one surefire way to reduce your yard work is to hire someone else to do it. Whether it's paying the neighbor's kid to cut the grass or hiring a professional landscaper to plant trees and create gardens, many people use professional services to help maintain their lawns.
Some companies specialize in a particular aspect of lawn care, such as mowing or weeding, while others provide an all-inclusive service. Whichever you choose, look for a company that offers what you need at a price you can afford. You should also make sure that you know (and are comfortable with) what chemicals and methods the company uses. Nowadays, the trend is towards sustainable, eco-friendly products and techniques. You may also want to consider composting as a way to reduce the amount of waste your home produces.
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