Are you finding that more and more of your money is being spent on maintaining soil and controlling pesky bugs as you try to keep up with the Joneses? Well, you’re clearly not alone. According to the National Gardening Association, consumers spent more than $35 billion on lawn care and garden products last year. As the summer heats up, here are a few tips to cool down your spending and brighten up your lawn.
Say goodbye to gas. Trade in that gas-guzzling mower for an electric model that will also cut down on costly repairs. You can chose between a lawn mower that has an extension cord or one that is battery powered. (Battery powered mowers usually run for only 75 minutes.) The cost of an electric mower can range from $100 to more than $400. For more information on electric mowers, visit www.electric-lawnmowers.net.
Maintain proper grass height. On the HGTV Website, lawn care expert Mike Ferrara advises against cutting lawns too short because it can encourage weed growth, disease, and pest problems. Taller grass helps to shield the weeds from sun. It is best if you set your mower to at least 3 inches. By taking this extra step, you save big by not having to invest heavily in costly pesticides and weed killers. Visit www.hgtv.com for more helpful tips.
Skip costly advice. Did you know that the federal government has funded a service that will give you advice on your lawn for free? It’s part of the USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, and is generally referred to as your local cooperative extension office. Why is your lawn plagued by those yellow patches? Contact your local cooperative extension office, and avoid expensive advice. For more serious problems, you can even take a sample of your lawn down to your local office to have it tested. Visit www.csrees.usda.gov for locations and information.
Toss out the fertilizer. After cutting your lawn, you can leave the clippings to use as fertilizer for your yard. Make sure that the clippings are fine. This will save you from having to buy bags to for clippings or costly fertilizer. You can find a wealth of information on the National Gardening Association’s Website, www.garden.org. You can also purchase a mulching lawn mower instead, which will finely clip the grass so that it can act as compost for your lawn. Find out more about mulching lawn mowers at www.mulching.co.uk.
Clip coupons for roses. Home Depot has a garden club that offers its customers everything from coupons, to lawn care tips, to advice from experts. To access the garden club, see www.homedepotgardenclub.com. The National Gardening Association and ILovePlants.com also provide lists of gardening resources that could save you up to $50 on the must-haves for your garden.
Now, after the all of that easy work, take a step back and admire your