Some people take more pride in their lawn than others, but some recent publications reveal that a healthy lawn and garden, presumably by increasing your home’s curb appeal, can have a significant impact on its value, maybe even up to 15%!
According to a Money Magazine article, remodeling a kitchen or bathroom may return 70 or 20% of your investment respectively, while landscaping investments can return from 100 to 200%. Various other studies support that landscaping investments can provide some of the most significant returns of any home improvements.
Feed your lawn!
The unfortunate reality of keeping a lawn beautiful, it that it will require regular applications of fertilizer and broadleaf herbicide. Many Vermonters are averse to both of these, and for good reason. Your best solution to reducing the environmental impact of keeping a lawn include the following:
- Reduce your mowed area.
By planting trees, shrubs, and expanding your planting beds, you can reduce the are of your yard that is covered by grass. If well executed, doing so can also significantly increase the aesthetics of your yard.
- Mow with a mulching mower.
By finely cutting and recycling the clippings from your lawn, a mulching mower reduces the fertilizer requirements of your lawn. Depending on your soil, using a mulcing mower might mean you only have to feel lightly once or twice a year to keep a beautiful lawn. Remember that a mulching mower is different than a side-discharge mower because it finely cuts the clippings and forces them deeply back into your lawn where moisture and natural bacteria decompose them into nutrients for your lawn. A side-discharge mower deposits long clippings on top of the lawn where they dry without fully decomposing and eventually form thatch.
- Feed your lawn at least once a year.
Feeding your lawn not only makes it greener, but also makes it healthier and more resistant to heat, sun, pests and draught. Select a fertilizer that releases it’s nutrients over time, and that includes iron to encourage blade density, which will naturally discourage weed intrusion.
- Keep the fertilizer out of the watershed.
After feeding your lawn, make sure to sweep any that fell upon your driveway or adjacent streets up and redeposit it on your lawn. The chemicals in the fertilizer have the same effect upon aquatic plants and algae that they have on your lawn, and collectively present a serious environmental problem when misused. Take great care to keep lawn fertilizer out of surface water and away from storm drains.
Mow your lawn!
As much as it hurts, mow your lawn at least once a week, and more often if it’s rainy and warm. A well-manicured lawn without furrows of grass clippings makes an impression well worth the effort. Also, consider the pattern that you leave while mowing. Many homeowners find that mowing a diagonal pattern in their lawn not only yields a more aesthetically pleasing lawn, but also reduces the time that it takes to mow. Experiment with different patterns and time yourself to determine the most efficient one.