You may love to spend time gardening as a hobby, but you want to choose what you do and when. You might like planting flowers and vegetables and weeding or pruning, but not raking or mowing. Spreading fertilizer on your lawn isn’t difficult but figuring out what products are best for your area and the environment is challenging. Most people prefer to do less of the routine maintenance work in the yard, so here are a few tips on how to reduce yard work.
Get a Robot Mower
In the spring, summer, and fall, when the weather is best, your grass needs regular mowing. Instead of spending your leisure time cutting grass, you may prefer enjoying other outdoor activities like picnics, water sports, or concerts in the park. Even if you have a ride-on mower, cutting the grass takes time. To gain more leisure time, you could purchase a robot lawn mower.
These convenient machines work similarly to robotic vacuum cleaners like Roomba. The first models introduced used a random mowing system as the vacuum cleaner does. They bounces around the yard, cutting grass blades to a specified height and changing direction whenever it hits the boundary wires. It automatically returned to the charging station when finished or in need of a recharge.
Newer models don’t need perimeter wires, so they’re much easier to get up and running. They can also mow in straight lines, leaving a striped pattern that many people love. They also handle sloped yards without a problem. So if you really get tired of mowing your grass over and over each summer, a robot lawn mower might be a good bet.
Use a Subscription Lawn Care Service
Everyone strives for a healthy, beautiful, green lawn, and your grass needs regular treatment for the best results. Knowing what fertilizer products work well for your area and soil type but are safe for the environment can be challenging. It takes some research to get everything right, and you might have trouble finding what you need.
Shopping for fertilizer, hauling it home, determining how much to apply, and deciding when to do the treatment can all be time-consuming and frustrating. Yard care subscription services like the ones offered by Sunday, Gnome, and LawnBright could be the answer. Using a service is a convenient way to manage your yard’s fertilizer needs, supplies, and schedule.
Many companies offer DIY lawncare packages, and most do more than supply lawn food, but not all deliver environmentally sound solutions. The best companies determine what you need based on various factors, from regional location to lawn size, and provide detailed instructions for managing everything.
For example, the Gnome customized organic lawncare plan starts by establishing your lawn size, considering your climate, and sending you a kit to do soil analysis. Their website helps you determine your lawn’s size either by using google earth or measurements. You also enter your location so that the climate is considered. The Gnome soil testing kit determines what products will address nutrient deficiencies or pH imbalances.
You get deliveries directly to your door along with easy-to-follow directions, so you don’t have to spend time figuring it all out. You pay for services annually or monthly or opt for a per-delivery charge. The entrepreneurs who started Gnome realized that traditional fertilizer pellets didn’t always dissolve into the soil, so local waterways were polluted. Instead of pellets, Gnome delivers a liquid, all-natural formula you administer with a hose attachment. The liquid uses only natural ingredients like Atlantic Kelp, Lemongrass Oil, Cedarwood Oil, Soy Protein, Corn Steep, and Iron. The liquid penetrates and is absorbed by the soil more easily.
Install Artificial Grass
If you want to take things a bit further and eliminate mowing and fertilizing altogether, artificial grass is the way to go. Artificial grass, not to be confused with turf used in sports stadiums, has become more popular, especially in arid regions where regular watering can be time-consuming and expensive. You may replace only a portion of your property’s grass. Some choose to only replace the grass in their front yard or backyard play and entertainment area with artificial grass.
Recently introduced artificial lawn products differ from the original, stiff, and uncomfortable AstroTurf. Artificial grass is longer, fluffier, and more comfortable to walk or sit on. There are many different types made from nylon, polypropylene, or polyethylene. You can also choose your length, short, medium, or long blades.
Lifehack.org published an article listing the various advantages of artificial grass. They include several ways it saves you time. For example, you don’t need to spend time weeding, fertilizing, watering, or cutting grass. And more stores sell artificial grass than ever, making it easy to find.
There are a few disadvantages, including that it doesn’t cool or filter the air the way natural grass does. Not everyone likes the feel of the grass, and some environmentalists object to these products due to off-gassing during production. Some pets like it, but others may decide to chew on it. Some homeowners’ associations oppose artificial grass, so it’s best to check.
Add an Irrigation System
You must water your lawn and gardens regularly, especially if you live in an area with little rain. If you hate dragging the sprinkler and hose around the yard all spring and summer and watering gardens with a hose daily, consider installing underground irrigation systems. Pipes are buried about 10 inches underground, and the sprinkler heads are placed strategically to optimize watering efficiency. The pressurized system causes the sprinkler heads to recede when they aren’t needed and pop up again when they are.
You waste less water with a programmable lawn sprinkler system. How many times have you accidentally left a sprinkler running overnight or while you were away from home? Do you always get the right amount of water to each area of your property? Some systems are multi-zoned, meaning only places that need water are irrigated.
It’s possible to do the installation yourself but hiring professionals to install and maintain your irrigation system will ensure worry-free watering. When you hire someone to install a system, they usually also offer annual servicing and turn-on and off visits in climates where freezing temperatures pose a problem. Water left in the system could freeze and damage the pipes.
You could also consider adding a rain barrel to catch water from your gutters as an alternative to automated sprinklers. Connecting the barrel to a gravity-fed drip line allows you to deliver water to plants.
Use More Hardscape Features
Hardscaping is defined as -all the non-living elements in a landscape. These elements can include both decorative structures like fountains and statuary and more practical ones like patios, walkways, and walls or fencing. Once installed, most components require little attention, and more hardscape means less grass to mow and gardens to tend.
For example, a larger driveway and walkways between doors and gardens or patios mean less lawn to mow. Brick walls or fencing also take up some room and can protect garden beds, keeping out debris and fallen leaves. In dryer regions, some homeowners replace their front lawn with a rock garden, including a few cacti or other desert plants for greenery. If you combine more hardscaping with a robot mower or an irrigation system, you can spend more time enjoying your outdoor spaces.
Opt for Pots, Bags, and Containers
When you plant traditional garden beds, you must always consider what plants work well together. For example, sometimes new additions interfere with what’s already there, and some species can be aggressive and crowd out others. There are also the weeds you’ll need to fight and pull regularly. Mowing and trimming can be more time-consuming with garden beds.
As an alternative, keep your plants in individual pots or planter boxes. One advantage is you completely control the soil in them. Using them can also make lawn cutting and trimming easier. Simply move all the pots aside and put them back when you’re done. If there are fewer garden beds to avoid, robot mowers have an easier time, too.
You can even use special bags for flowers or vegetables. The bags designed for growing vegetables are made of soft, breathable material. Using the handles, you can easily move them in and out of the sun or even take them inside temporarily if it turns out you planted a bit early, and frost is threatening. Vegetable plants or flowers in bags are easily watered with no waste. The bags also promote healthy root development and cut down on pests.
Reduce Your Yard Work and Start Actually Enjoying Your Yard
So, consider one or more of these six suggestions if you want to reduce how much time you spend doing yard work. Decide which by first deciding which types of yard work you enjoy doing. For example, some people genuinely like riding their power mowers but hate weeding and raking. Others don’t mind planting and weeding but dislike mowing and watering. Whichever activities you enjoy or want to avoid, one or more of these six ideas should help you to no longer hate yardwork.