Your yard maintenance habits may cost you more than you think. If you include water, tools, fertilizer, plants, seeds and lawn care services, Americans spend roughly $40 billion annually caring for their lawns. That’s a lot of green to shell out for a simple patch of grass. Use these simple tips to reduce your annual lawn care costs.
Reduce the Size of Your Lawn:
To keep your lawn green throughout the summer, it needs roughly 1 inch of water each week. Unless Mother Nature obliges by dumping copious amounts of rain on your neighborhood at the precise time that you need it, you’ll need to turn on the sprinkler or bring out the hose to water your grass. For a 4,000-square-foot area, water costs can amount to 2,500 gallons of water each week, which can add up to more than $400 annually.
Reducing the amount of grass you have to water and fertilize is the best way to keep lawn care costs down. Plant gardens with drought-resistant plants or make strategic use of low-maintenance ground cover plants. You could even get creative and build out your patio, install a pergola or gazebo or making a large sandbox for the kids to reduce the amount of cash you spend to keep your lawn green and healthy.
Time Things Right:
Whether you have an irrigation system or you use old-fashioned sprinklers, you need to time your lawn watering properly to get the most bang for your buck. If you water during the heat of the day, the water will evaporate quickly, and you’ll need to water it even more for it to thrive. Since every gallon of H2O you use costs money, you might find yourself facing a big water bill at the end of the season. Watering the lawn at night can promote fungus and disease, and it will cost you money to take care of those problems. Instead, water your lawn between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. to keep the grass (and your finances) healthy.
Do the Math:
The 25 million households across the country that choose to outsource their lawn maintenance chores each year must be on to something. Depending on the size of your yard, it may be less expensive to hire a contractor to keep your lawn lush, green and weed-free than it is to do it yourself. Spend the time figuring out just how much you really spend on your lawn – then call area contractors to get an estimate and determine which is the best choice.
Plant a Perennial Garden:
Unlike annuals, perennial plants spring back to life year after year. Convert a portion of your yard to a colorful garden filled with perennial plants, and all you’ll need to do is spend a little time each year trimming and weeding. After a few years, you can divide the existing plants into three or four bunches and convert more of your water-hungry grass into gardens using these resilient, colorful plants.
Use these tips to keep your lawn green and your wallet happy!