What exactly do people do to maintain their gorgeous landscape? Landscapers know what they’re doing, but do you? Have no fear; I’ve got you covered!
Below are simple landscaping activities with additional tips you can add to your daily routine:
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Table of contents
- 1. Mowing or weed wacking overgrown grass on your lawn
- 2. Mulching to keep your yard neat and weed-free
- 3. Hedge trimming & pruning plants
- 4. Clearing out leaf debris by raking or using a leaf blower
- 5. Watering the plants in the yard adequately and not in excess
- 6. Managing wildlife such as insects and woodland critters
- 7. Repairing structures like fences and arbors
- Final Words
1. Mowing or weed wacking overgrown grass on your lawn
- What is it? It’s the cutting down of grass and sometimes other plants like ground covers using a machine or a scythe. People prefer using a device these days ’cause it’s more convenient. They just don’t look as dope as scythes though…
- What are the benefits? It encourages the turfgrass to grow denser, effectively suppressing any weeds from growing. And let’s be honest, it keeps your lawn looking immaculate!
- How do you do it? Unless you’re using a scythe, get your lawnmower out and start mowing. If you are using a scythe, I have nothing but awe for you. An alternative machine to use is the grass trimmer/weed wacker, although this takes longer to mow your lawn. But it’s the perfect tool to get rid of weeds or unruly grass growing in hard-to-reach places like around a tree or in between rock edgings.
- Any additional tips? Depending on what type of grass is growing on your lawn, the advisable mowing height and frequency may vary. For example, Bermuda grass should be mowed down to maintain 1-2 inches of their height every 1-2 weeks.
Here is a helpful table for you to figure out your lawn’s grass type based on your hardiness zone:
|Grass Type||Hardiness Zone||Optimal Height & Mowing Frequency|
|Kentucky Bluegrass||2, 3, 4, 5, 6||2-3 inches; mowed every 2-3 weeks|
|Perennial Ryegrass||3, 4, 5, 6||1 ½ – 2 ½ inches; mowed every 2 weeks|
|Bentgrass||4, 5, 6||½ – 2 inches; mowed every 2 weeks|
|Tall fescue||4, 5, 6, 7||2 ½ – 3 ½ inches; mowed every 1-2 weeks|
|Zoysia grass||5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10||1-2 inches; mowed every 2 weeks|
|Bermuda grass||7, 8, 9, 10||1-2 inches; mowed every week|
|Centipede grass||7, 8,9, 10||1 ½ – 2 inches; mowed every 2 weeks|
|St. Augustine grass||8, 9, 10||2 ½ – 4 inches; mowed every 1-2 weeks|
Note: The mowing frequency will vary during different seasons as well when the grass’s growth will either slow down or speed up. Unless you’re a stickler for maintaining the perfect lawn height, you can just eyeball it until it looks good enough for you. A good rule of thumb is to ensure you only get rid of ⅓ of the lawn’s grass height. Set your lawnmower at a specific height, so you don’t have to keep adjusting it each time you mow!
2. Mulching to keep your yard neat and weed-free
- What is it? It’s a practice where materials such as shredded leaves, gravel, or straw are used to cover the bare ground around plants for decorative and protective purposes.
- What are the benefits? It prevents weeds from springing up and stealing nutrients for your garden plants. It can also help keep the soil from drying out.
- How do you do it? Place a 2-3 inch layer of mulch around trees, shrubs, and other plants. Ensure you leave 1-2 inches of bare ground around the plant and avoid placing mulch directly against the plants themselves. Otherwise, this will cause a decrease in the air circulation around the plant, making it susceptible to diseases.
- Any additional tips? Choose your mulch according to its intended use. Organic mulches are often chosen for adding nutrients to the soil as they decompose. Inorganic mulch does not rot and is long-lasting.
3. Hedge trimming & pruning plants
- What is it? It’s the trimming or removal of overgrown branches, foliage, and flowers to maintain the plants’ designated shape and neat appearance.
- What are the benefits? It is a great way to promote new and healthy growth by cutting down on old parts of a plant. It’s also helpful in increasing air circulation around the plant, thereby preventing any diseases from attacking.
- How do you do it? Depending on what you’re trimming or pruning, you might need a hedge trimmer, long-handled pruning shears (for large branches), or regular-sized pruning shears. Here’s what you should do:
- Do prune off dead and damaged parts of a plant. This is called renewal pruning and should only be done once a year.
- Don’t shear overgrown hedges. Use the thinning method by removing selected branches from the main stem of the plant. Shearing will only increase more growth which you don’t want in a crowded plant.
- Do cut off new shoots growing from the main stem if you want to keep its current shape.
- Don’t prune in the fall. The plants are about to go into a dormant state, so no new growth will grow from the cut sections so, at this time of the year pruning just isn’t necessary.
- Do prune the plants in early spring. While each plant may vary in its own optimal pruning times, early spring is a good base to rely on.
- Any additional tips? Know your plants to make sure they can tolerate being pruned.
4. Clearing out leaf debris by raking or using a leaf blower
- What is it? I mean … it’s literally what’s in the title.
- What are the benefits? It keeps your yard clean, duh. BUT that’s not even the best part. You can use the leaves or twigs for composting rather than burning or throwing them out for garbage collection. You can also shred them down to make your own mulch for your plants too!
- How do you do it? Grab a rake or leaf blower and just start moving the fallen leaves and twigs into a pile. Done and done!
- Any additional tips? If you’re not keen on mulching or composting your golden brown hoard, I recommend piling it in a far-off section of your yard for the wildlife to take shelter in. Eventually, the leaves will decompose into the ground, enriching the soil. Why do everything yourself when you’ve got sister nature helping you out, right?!
5. Watering the plants in the yard adequately and not in excess
- What is it? The title says it all, and I am but a humble man directing you to read it.
- What are the benefits? Watering your plants and lawn in excess is generally not a good idea, especially if the soil is poor draining. It won’t turn your yard into a swamp, but you may as well be an angry ogre with how it’ll affect your plants, eventually. Some lawn grass types need frequent watering to develop well, but some don’t, so make sure you look up your lawn grass type profile. The same goes for your plants as well.
- How do you do it? For laid back (read: lazy) and carefree (read: forgetful) individuals, installing an automated sprinkler and drip irrigation system is the answer to your watering problems. Although if you’re in it for the nostalgic days of running through the sprinkler showers, go for it. But remind the adult you that you are doing it more so for you than the yard haha.
- Any additional tips? If you have strict water regulations, opt to collect rainwater in barrels so you can use this instead to water your lawn and plants.
6. Managing wildlife such as insects and woodland critters
- What is it? This is to ensure a healthy population of insects and critters to prevent significant damage by pests to your plants. This does not involve inhumane treatment of these creatures in removing them. Yes, they can be a nuisance, that doesn’t mean you should go ballistic because chances are, going ballistic on mother nature won’t solve anything. Don’t believe me? Look up the Emu War in Australia. Spoiler alert: The emus won.
- What are the benefits? Insects are a great addition to have in your garden. You have your pollinators, your predators, and your parasitoids. You can read more about them in this article here. Having a bit of wildlife in your yard helps prevent specific pest problems that will damage your beautiful landscape. It also makes for an idyllic scene to see your landscape buzzing with animal and insect life. Think Bambi, not The Lion King.
- How do you do it? If they become too much of a nuisance, especially if the deers munch too many of your plants beyond saving, you can set up fences around your yard. You can also grow odorous plants such as chives and mint to naturally repel them. This also works for other herbivores as their noses are quite sensitive to strong smells.
- Any additional tips? Avoid using extreme methods to get rid of wildlife. There are better, humane ways to manage them – poisoning is not the answer.
7. Repairing structures like fences and arbors
- What is it? Look here. And then look up. Yes, that’s the title and description in one go.
- What are the benefits? Unless you aim to have your landscape look like the ruins of Athens, it’s usually a good idea to check on the structural integrity of the objects in the yard. This is for your safety and everyone else. Still, it’s also an excellent way to spruce up your structures in case they need any amendments.
- How do you do it? It’s best to call a landscaping company or relevant professional to do repairs. It may be tempting to DIY it, but it’s better to leave it up to the pros for safety reasons unless it’s just a cosmetic fix.
- Any additional tips? Suppose there are no repairs to be done. In that case, you can check with a landscaping company whether they have services dedicated to cleaning and maintaining the structures in your yard, such as statues, ponds, gazebos, and arches.
It would be so much easier to just leave all the heavy-lifting of landscaping maintenance to professionals. But sometimes, knowing the bare minimum of what you need to do to keep your yard looking spick-spack clean and lively is very beneficial. Now you know what, how, and why these landscaping activities are done. Take some time out, plop on a straw hat, pull on some boots, and lose yourself in the process of giving your landscape some green TLC.