Whether you’re a green thumb or not, maintaining your home is a big part of homeownership, and if you do it right, you’ll have a yard that not only survives but thrives. And regular and consistent landscape maintenance is vital to ensuring you have a yard you love. Whether you’re a new homeowner or one that’s been mowing the same yard for years, this landscape maintenance guide can help everyone.
What Does Landscape Maintenance Entail?
There are many things that require maintenance besides just mowing the lawn. Which, yes, there is a right and a wrong way to mow the lawn. These may vary depending on how your yard is set up or how much work you actually want to do, but some common landscape maintenance services include:
- Pruning the hedges or bushes
- Maintaining and detailing garden beds
- Trimming trees
- Mulching and mulch maintenance
- Leaf removal
- Mowing the lawn (of course)
- Weed control and maintenance
- Weed whacking edging
- Pruning a garden
- Replanting flower beds
While these may not always be applicable, this list is still quite extensive, and for one homeowner, that can be incredibly daunting to handle on their own. That’s where landscape companies like Three Timbers come in. Our outdoor services can help you manage the lawn maintenance you need. However, homeowner lawn maintenance is still important whether you hire a professional or not. Here are some of our best landscape maintenance tips for homeowners today.
8 Landscape Maintenance Tips for Homeowners
Maintaining a beautiful yard can be harder than it sounds! Especially in a place like Minnesota when we have all of the seasonal upkeep that comes along with having a yard: picking up leaves, and sticks, cleaning out gutters, watering the lawn, and snow removal. But, if you stick to some of these helpful tips, you might find that lawn maintenance isn’t quite the daunting task you once thought it to be.
1) Know When and How to Mow the Lawn
A good rule of thumb is to wait until your grass is at least 3 inches tall to mow. Any shorter and you’re really not getting a good cut: any longer and you might jam up your mower. It’s also important to maintain your mower by replacing its spark plugs and sharpening the blade to get the best, most efficient cuts. Consider an electric mower or reel mower if you want a more environmentally friendly option.
2) Choose the Right Mulch
Did you know you can actually mulch too early in the season? It’s true! In Minnesota, we often want to get to work right away at the first sign of spring in our yards, but vital insects like moths, beetles, and bees all hibernate in our soil and flower beds, and mulching too early can actually harm the local environment in your yard. Wait to install some good heavy mulch like wood chips or hardwood bark once the soil is dried out.
3) Consider Landscaping Rocks
Don’t want to deal with wood mulch? Or want to lessen the amount of grass you need to mow? Consider landscaping rocks. These are a great, low-maintenance alternative for mulch or garden beds. You can use large boulders in the yard, or rock mulch, or even cobblestone pathways to help mitigate the amount of lawn care you need to perform each year.
4) Choose Plants Native to the Area
Before you plant your next garden bed or landscaping project, do some research about local and native plants to your area. While some may not have been your first choice, the long-standing benefits of doing so can be really attractive to someone looking for a low-maintenance solution.
Native plants work great for landscaping, especially if you want to avoid watering, mulching, and frost prevention. Plus, planting things local to the area creates a habitat for birds, bees, butterflies, and other local animals that thrive on those plants for food and shelter. The U of MN has a great native plant guide to get your started.
5) Be Mindful of Leaf Removal
We know that the first big leaf drop gets homeowners chomping at the bit to immediately bag them up and haul them to the end of the driveway. But in fact, leaving some layers of leaves behind only helps our grass, pollinators, and helpful insects survive in the cold months and even in the early spring. They need these leaf covers for their hibernation and protection from predators. Plus, the leaf cover only helps your soil and grass growth. On the other end, though, large thick piles of leaves can invite mold and decay in the yard, so just be mindful when doing your own leaf removal.
6) Aerate Your Soil
When you’re doing your spring cleaning or before you plant a new flower bed, you should be sure to aerate the soil and break it up a bit. Fully compacted soil after a long winter can be tough to grow new plants in. Aerating the soil helps release oxygen to your plant’s roots and boosts new growth. The same goes for any patches of grass you notice balding or moss growth. This just means tons of trapped moisture and lack of oxygen, which loosening the soil can help resolve.
7) Trim Trees and Shrubs Before They’re a Problem
After the winter, you may have noticed some of your tree’s branches have broken under the weight of snow or from storms, and it’s important to trim these in the early Spring. The same goes for any shrubs like evergreens. Pruning your trees and shrubs helps with new growth in the spring and just keeps everything looking nice and tidy as everything blooms.
8) Address Weeds Early
Weed management can be one of the toughest parts of maintaining a yard, but it’s not a lost cause if you address weeds early and also maintain your yard in a way that helps prevent weed growth to begin with.
First, you should pull out weeds as soon as you can in the spring. If you wait until summer when they’ve had time to root and grow stronger, it’s much harder to fully remove them without more invasive methods.
Second, to prevent weed growth in the yard, make sure you keep mow clippings as coverage in the yard, don’t over or under water your lawn, and don’t fertilize the yard if you are concerned about weed growth. The fertilizer will, yes, help the grass grow, but can make your weed growth just as much.
Skip the DIY and Hire the Pros
If you’ve read this list and still think, “That’s just not for me,” don’t fret and call Three Timbers. We actually love helping homeowners manage their landscaping needs. As a local landscaping company, we know the area so well that we can help beyond just lawn care.We can offer suggestions on how to best landscape your yard based on your needs and your soil. Let us help you get the yard of your dreams with our outdoor lawn services. Get in touch today!