Your yard is an important part of your home. When you leave for the day it’s the last thing you see, and when you come home it greets you even before your family does. Your yard makes a statement to the neighborhood and it is an extension of your personality. No matter the style of your house or landscape, it offers the most when it looks its best. If you are the kind of person who wants to keep things dialed in, the following suggestions will help you maintain and improve the appearance of your yard.
Find The Next Level
When it comes to landscape maintenance, things can get confusing in a hurry if you don’t have a plan. It is easy to focus on eliminating weeds in the lawn and neglect shrubs that are blocking windows. To combat this potential problem, use a checklist to periodically create your own landscape status report (LSR) like many professional landscapers use. A useful LSR checklist may include:
Look for weeds, thin spots and signs of disease or insect damage.
- Annual Color Beds
Are the flowers actually flowering? Are there spent blooms that need to be removed? Weeds and dead flowers will need to be removed by hand. Off color foliage and/or no flowers may indicate the need for fertilization.
- Landscape Border Beds and Natural Areas
Look for fallen branches or other debris buildup. Damaged or dying branches within the landscape plants should be removed promptly. Are weeds beginning to encroach, or are there seedlings or vines growing into shrubs? Take note of shrubs or perennials that may require pruning or division. Make sure that the mulch is of a proper depth and the color is as it should be.
- Specimen Plants
These focal points should be kept properly pruned and mulched at the least. If landscape lighting is present, it should be in good working order and aimed in the right direction.
- Hardscape and Irrigation
All hard surfaces should be kept weed free and clean. Sometimes plantings, especially vines, are used to soften the look of a stone wall – these plants should not overtake the wall completely. After all, the stone is expensive and should be seen! Be vigilant for leaks in any irrigation systems. Consider using smart technology in the control of irrigation in order to conserve water.
Is anything missing? Perhaps a tree was removed and a replacement is needed. Maybe it’s time to add a playset for the kids. Planning these elements into the landscape will help ensure that the look and feel of the landscape stay consistent and the layout is functional.
Keep It Going
A monthly walk through the yard with these details in mind will help you organize your thoughts and create a work plan that can be easily accomplished during the following weeks. It will also help you uncover small items that may go unnoticed otherwise. If you really want to elevate your game, have a neighbor walk your yard and give you their observations. It’s amazing what a fresh set of eyes can discover! By “planning the work and working your plan” you will maximize your effort and get the chores done more efficiently. The end result will be a fantastic landscape and a little extra leisure time on your hands.
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