There's no way around it--your front yard makes a strong first impression. Whether it's good or bad, however, is entirely up to you. Your yard may be nothing more than a wide expanse of grass, or it may feature a colorful flower garden or well-tended shubbery. Whatever the case, though, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that your home's curb appeal doesn't make onlookers turn green.
1. Many people mistakenly believe they can place a sapling in the ground and water it occasionally and expect it to grow. Whether large or small, trees benefit from proper aeration, fertilizing, and watering. Keeping the soil around your trees loose gives water and other nutrients better access to the roots, while using compost or fertilizer can give them an added boost. Additionally, making sure to water the proper amount--not too much or too little--can help your tree establish strong roots and grow more efficiently.
2. The University of Minnesota Extension advises first choosing the correct plants for a flower garden. Flowers should be selected based on the conditions they thrive in--temperature, moisture, light levels, etc.
Once you've selected flowers appropriate to your environment, you can keep them healthy by keeping them free and clear of weeds and bugs:
- Remove any bugs on your plants before planting them in your garden.
Remove any plants infected by bugs or other pathogens as soon as possible to avoid spreading them to other plants. (Planting an array of flowers from many families can also help keep disease from spreading.)
3. Urban Gardens suggests the following for keeping a garden green and healthy year-round, where possible:
- Loosen the soil regularly to keep it from becoming compact. Adding homemade or quality, purchased compost can break up hard soil and create a better environment for plants.
- Water your garden in the morning when it's cooler, so less moisture is wasted via evaporation.
- Be sure to properly place and space your garden. Leaving enough space between plants will give them room to grow without competing for nutrients, and making sure plants have adequate sun or shade can mean the difference between an unproductive plant or one full of ripe, red tomatoes.
4. Lawns can be the biggest eyesore in a yard if not taken care of properly. Experts recommend regular maintenance as well as preventative measures:
- Mowing regularly, before your lawn becomes too long, can improve your grass's quality. Avoid cutting it too short, as that can expose it to sunburn and other problems.
- You should fertilize at least once a year. Most fertilizers are made up of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in varying ratios, and they come in multiple forms: synthetic, organic, liquid, solid, fast- or slow-release. Spend a little extra time finding out what type of grass you have and select the appropriate fertilizer to get the healthiest, greenest grass you can.
Speak with experts like Bieniek Tree Service for more information.