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Every summer, homeowners face a similar conundrum: They want their yard to look great, but they don’t want to spend all their precious weekends and time off putting in the work to achieve that goal. After all, who wants to spend a whole day mowing, raking, weeding, and watering when they could be at the beach or lake, enjoying the summer sunshine?

What if we told you that you don’t have to spend hours and hours working in the yard to keep it looking good, while also preventing some of the most common yard issues, including bugs and unhealthy grass? It is possible, and you don’t have the break the bank to do it, either. Just follow some of these simple tips and you’ll enjoy the best of both worlds, a summer of freedom to have fun and a green, healthy lawn and beautiful gardens.

Hack #1: Hire it Out

It might seem like a cop out, but the easiest way to keep your yard looking great all summer without any effort is to contract out for lawn care services. Hiring a professional lawn care or landscaping company not only ensures that the grass is mowed, and edges trimmed and everything is watered and fed properly, but turning to the pros also helps nip any little problems in the bud before they become big problems. Professional lawn experts are trained to identify issues like weed infestations, disease, or pest infestations and make recommendations to eradicate them. With their help, you can address issues early on before they wreak havoc on your yard, and spend less time and money fixing them. But even if you don’t have problems, paying someone else to mow the grass allows you cross that chore off your list, giving you more time to have fun.

Hack #2: Use Containers and Raised Beds

Do you love the idea of a garden, but hate the thought of having to weed and water and all of the other tasks that go along with maintaining it? There’s an easy solution: Container gardening and raised beds. By placing your plants in containers, you reduce the likelihood of weeds infiltrating and the hours you have to spend pulling them out. Some containers and garden options, such as vertical gardens, also reduce the amount of time you have to spend watering the plants as well, making them virtually effortless. And as a bonus, when your garden is portable, you can move it wherever you like, ensuring that the plants get the right amount of sunlight. It’s a win for everyone.

Hack #3: Water Less

One chore on every homeowner’s list is to water the lawn and garden – which is often done every day if it doesn’t rain. But if your lawn is well established, it doesn’t need to be watered that often. In fact, frequent, shallow watering can actually do more harm than good, as it prevents the roots of the grass from growing deeply. Most grass varieties only need about one inch of water per week, so watering less often but more deeply is better. Use a rain gauge to determine when you’ve reached an inch of water, and the rest of the time, don’t worry about watering the grass.  As for your garden, many containers have options to help keep plants moist without constant watering. If you want to wait a few days between watering, fill empty wine bottles with water and stick them upside down in the soil near your plants. They serve as automatic waterers, keeping the roots nice and moist. See? Another reason to enjoy some rose on the patio during the summer evenings.

Hack #4: Spread It and Forget It

Love the look of a colorful garden but don’t want to spend a fortune on plants and all your free time weeding and pruning? Look to wildflowers. Home and garden stores typically sell wildflower seed mixes that you can literally just toss in your flower beds, and within a few weeks, you’ll have a colorful garden full of mixed flowers. If you prefer a manicured look, this isn’t the best option, but if you want a “lazy” garden, this is a great option.  Or, place a bird feeder over a flower bed. Dropped sunflower seeds often sprout, creating an “accidental” flower bed – and more food for the birds.

Hack #5: Keep Critters Away

Nothing can make your garden look worse – and ruin your harvest – like animals. Rabbits, chipmunks, mice, and deer love to munch on plants, but it doesn’t always look great. To keep them away, sprinkle coffee grounds around your plants. The scent will drive them away, while also fertilizing the soil. It’s a win-win.

These are just some of the hacks you can use to keep your yard looking great without a lot of time. The only thing you need to think about now is how you will use all that extra time you’ll have on your hands now that your yard is taken care of?

Tiffani Wroe
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