March 31, 2022
Homeowners have been spending more time in their backyards since the pandemic began. For a growing share of owners, it’s become a new hobby or a place to relax. Sixty-nine percent of Americans recently surveyed say that doing yard work—either maintaining it or adding or updating features—is one of the ways they like to relieve stress these days, according to a Yards Study from Harris Poll.
“Over the last few years, families have used their yards more than ever before, and the Harris Poll indicates a vast majority of those who have a yard plan to invest even more in their yard in the coming year,” says Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the TurfMutt Foundation, which was created by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute with a mission of teaching others how to “save the planet, one yard at a time.”
The TurfMutt Foundation offers the following tips for maintaining or enjoying a lawn or landscape this spring:
Plant more, early, and often. Adding trees, bushes, grass, and flowering plants can be a good yard investment, but they often take time to grow. Plant early as recommended to enjoy the benefits faster. Remember the golden rule of backyarding: right plant, right place. Location, maintenance, sunlight, and watering needs should all be considered, along with your climate zone.
Consider the full picture. Your yard is an important part of the connected ecosystem, and adding flowering plants, trees, and shrubs gives wildlife and pollinators food and shelter. Check your climate zone for landscaping options that support the birds, bees, butterflies, and other wildlife that call your neighborhood home.
Care for your yard properly. Only water when necessary. Overwatered grass gets lazy, growing roots in a horizontal pattern. With less water, grass sends its roots deeper—vertically—seeking water. By working harder, grass does a better job of sequestering carbon and releasing oxygen. Install watering solutions like smart controllers on irrigation systems that help conserve water while maintaining your backyard. Also, find the just-right length to cut your turfgrass—typically between 2 and 3 inches, according to the TurfMutt Foundation.
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