Thursday, June 05, 2008

Top Penny Pinching Lawn Care Tips

(StatePoint) Saving money on lawn care doesn't have to mean an unkempt, weed-filled lawn that's the ugliest one on the block. By following a few easy tips you can find ways to stretch your dollar and still have a green and beautiful yard.

"As household budgets get tight, lots of homeowners are looking for a way to save a few dollars here and there, and lawn care is no exception," says Yard Doctor, Trey Rogers, Ph.D. "The key to yard care on a budget is to do the basics right and forgo some of the frills."

Here are some useful penny-pinching lawn and yard care tips from Rogers and his Web site www.yarddoctor.com, that can help you save money this season:

* Mow the right way. Don't cut your lawn too short. Instead, let it grow a little longer so you won't mow quite as often. This is healthy for the lawn and will save on gas and wear and tear on your mower. When you do mow, cut only one-third the length of the lawn.

* Fertilize when it will do the most good. Fertilizer can be expensive, especially if you have a large yard. If you don't want to part with the money to fertilize as often as recommended for your area, at least fertilize once - when it will do the most good. This means when the grass is actively growing.

* Maintain your equipment. For your mower, do preventive maintenance once a year. Change the oil, clean or replace the spark plug, and change the filters. Use a fuel preservative so the gasoline won't go stale, which it does in about 30 days. Thirty minutes of maintenance can save you hundreds of dollars in repair bills.

* Make your own compost. This costs nothing but a little time, as opposed to purchasing bags of compost at the garden center. It's easy. Start a pile that includes most leftovers from your meals (excluding proteins). Add coffee grounds, egg shells, vegetable peels and yard waste such as leaves and grass clippings. Keep it damp and stir it occasionally and you will have nutrient-rich compost in a few months.

* Let nature water your lawn. Your lawn needs about one inch of water a week to be green and thrive. But if water is costly where you live, let nature handle irrigation. If too little rain falls, your lawn may go dormant, but unless you are in a drought situation, it will green up again when the rain falls.

For more free tips on how to create a healthy lawn and landscape, visit the Yard Doctor online at www.yarddoctor.com. The Yard Doctor is part of the Briggs & Stratton Yard Smarts program, created to help homeowners achieve the yard they really want to have by providing knowledge and inspiration on lawn and yard care.

"Just because you're pinching pennies on caring for your lawn doesn't mean you have to settle for anything but a beautiful yard," stresses Rogers.

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