Our pets enjoy our backyards as much as we do, whether they’re digging, running or laying in the grass on a sunny day. So, here are some quick and easy yard maintenance tips to help you keep your entire family yard-happy — the furry and the non-furry alike!
#1 Manicure it.
Give your lawn a deep manicure before you even think about mowing it. Just like the underside of your nails, your lawn can accumulate a lot of nasty stuff. Have dead grass and leaves piled up over the last few months? Remove them with a rake or another gardening tool. Manicuring rejuvenates your lawn and helps it to grow without any obstructions.
Inclement weather and pet use can pack soil down. So, you should also think about aerating the lawn to freshen and feed the earth. The cost to aerate a lawn is about $120, depending on its square footage. You can also do it yourself, though professional equipment is proven to better move the soil.
#2 Mow it.
Once you’ve spruced up the surface of your lawn, it’s time to mow it. Too-tall grass makes it difficult for dogs to move around, and too-short grass is susceptible to damage. So, aim for grass about 1/2 inch high, unless you’re working with a newly seeded lawn. In that case, you’ll want to give it more room to grow — keeping the length at about 3/4 inch until it’s settled. Want to put those grass clippings to good use? Dogs love to roll around in them. And they also work well as a natural garden mulch.
#3 Weed it.
To keep weeds from growing back quickly, pull them up from their roots. Many weeds and plants are potentially harmful to pets — including surprising varieties such as daylilies, daffodils, foxglove and morning glory. Closely monitor your pets to make sure they don’t eat poisonous plants when they’re outside. Even when you think you’ve eradicated anything harmful, pets are mysteriously good at finding the things you may have missed.
#4 Soak it.
Give your lawn a thorough soaking to keep it fresh and green. Water plants, trees, shrubs and garden areas while hosing down any problem areas in your lawn. If you’re pressed for time or live in an area prone to drought, consider installing a sprinkler system. A sprinkler system is a good investment because you can time it to water early in the morning, when there’s less water evaporation, and also schedule watering in accordance with your county’s water schedule. Plus, watering early gives your lawn more time to dry off before you let the pets out to play.
#5 Hardscape it.
Don’t forget about the hardscape areas in your backyard — rock beds, gravel pathways, stepping stones, etc. If they’re looking worse for wear, fix them up. Your backyard may be a playground, but you’ll have to teach your pets to leave certain areas alone if you want to keep it looking good.
#6 Leave it to the pros.
If you don’t have time for all of this maintenance, you can always get a lawn and garden care professional to come out to your home. This affords you more time to spend with your family and pets. Plus, if there is a major problem in your backyard — patches in your grass, pests in the garden, etc. — a professional has the experience and the equipment to resolve it quickly.
Written contribution by Andrea Davis, Home Advisor.