Do you like having a yard but dread yard work? Do you avoid eye contact with the neighbors because your procrastination may be driving down neighborhood property values? While people tell you that some fresh air and exercise would be good for you, you're contemplating spending the children's college fund on a company doing the work for you?
Truth be told, many folks don't like mowing, weeding, fertilizing, trimming, watering, raking, and bagging. They equate yard work with a sore back from bending and extending, blistered hands from raking and shoveling, and a bad mood from an afternoon full of frustration.
But the outcome should be a great-looking yard that you enjoy! We're willing to bet that if you could get this work done with less labor and strain, you'd be more likely to turn that unkempt yard into a thing of beauty.
If you put these seven tips to use, you might find yourself looking forward to going outside this weekend and making your yard look great!
1. Use a Stand-up Weeder
If your parents used to send you out to the flower bed carrying a shopping bag and a hand trowel or old steak knife, it's no wonder you hate weeding! But once you own a stand-up weeder, you'll never again suffer from a weeding-induced sore back or dirty knees embedded with pebbles. All of these tools use different technology, but they're each made to get weeds out by the roots - AND to keep you from bending and stooping.
2. Support Your Lawn/Leaf Bag
Few things are as frustrating as trying to get a pile of leaves into a leaf bag that keeps folding over and closing. Raking leaves into a heap - only to watch your hard work get scattered to the four winds - is enough to make you consider selling the house and moving back to your first apartment! Fortunately, someone invented the leaf bag funnel! No more struggles - just a non-collapsing leaf bag with a wide-open mouth waiting to collect your lawn clippings, yard waste, or leaves.
3. Go Cordless
Do you wonder if you're mixing the right fuel/oil ratio for your 2-cycle leaf blower or trimmer? And are you tired of how noisy that thing is? Does your extension cord look like Frankenstein after all the times you've accidentally cut it with your hedge trimmer and then spliced it back together? After a long winter, do you wonder why your lawnmower won't fire up right away on the stale gas, gummed up the carburetor, and dirty oil?
To avoid all that stress and headache, consider going cord-free and gas-free! If you've tried battery-operated yard tools in the past, you might be hesitant to do so again. After all, those early tools didn't have much power and didn't last very long on a charge. Rest assured, today's technology has vastly improved the battery-operated yard work experience!
4. Get a Utility Cart
You may be considering skipping the flower planting again this year because the idea of making multiple trips back and forth is too much to bear. If only life could be as easy as it was back when you were a kid pulling your toys behind you in a little red wagon... But wait - they still can be! A rolling garden cart is the adult's version of having a little red wagon. You can pull everything along with you instead of traipsing back to the garage or shed each time you need a tool, flower pot, or bag of soil.
Garden carts aren't just handy. With two or four wheels, they're also much more stable than a wheelbarrow with a single wheel in front. (Believe us, we've accidentally tipped over more wheelbarrows than we care to admit!) Get one with a built-in stool, and you can even sit down on the job!
5. Use a Water Timer
Ever get a knock on your door from a neighbor pointing out that the sprinkler you set in the morning is still going? Precious water from your over-soaked lawn is streaming to the gutter in the street, wasting your money simply because you forgot it was running. With an inexpensive water timerattached between the hose bibb and hose, you'll be able to set it and forget it without the costly consequences! Saving time and money is always a good thing!
Depending on the model you choose, you can have everything from a simple timer to shut off the sprinkler after a number of minutes or hours, all the way up to a programmable schedule that completely automates your weekly watering operation!
6. Don't Overextend
One of the more dangerous aspects of yard work is when you introduce height to a task. Trying to trim a tree branch, clearing leaves out of the rain gutters, or clearing snow off the roof can often lead to accidents or injuries. When something high up needs doing, don't do it while being precariously balanced on a ladder - especially while simultaneously stretching to reach your target! At best, you'll pull a muscle or throw something in your body out of whack.
Save strained muscles and accidents by being adequately equipped with the right tools for the job. Many products are designed with telescoping poles or wands, letting your feet stay firmly planted on the ground, and your body out of harm's way.
7. Wear Gloves
If the last time you picked up a rake was a year ago, you might have forgotten about those horrible blisters you got last fall. And no matter how careful you are, eventually we all manage to touch bare skin to a hot lawnmower engine. Plus, there are few things more irritating than getting tiny stinging nettles embedded in your hand after pulling weeds barehanded! This year, you can avoid the blisters, burns, and irritation by putting on an inexpensive pair of work gloves before heading out to do the yard work. Your hands will be so glad you did!
With the right tools and equipment, you can expend less effort to get an even better result! Seeing your well-maintained yard looking great every day will provide you with happiness - especially when you're not bruised and sore! The time and energy you spend will give you great satisfaction when you see you've turned a stress-causing mess into something beautiful to be enjoyed. Your lawn, trees, bushes, and plants will be the better for it - and your neighbors will undoubtedly be thankful as well!