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Yard Maintenance Tips for the New Homeowner

July 3, 2017

Your yard can be a haven just outside the door of your new Austin home. There are many comforts you can take from your yard or garden, from giving your kids a place to play, to letting your dog roam, to getting lost in your own thoughts. Follow these tips to keep your garden thriving year after year.

Give your yard a trim, not a haircut
Grass roots are healthiest when grass is taller. When you mow your yard, raise your mower to one of the tallest settings, so it gives your lawn a trim rather than a shave. This will keep your lawn healthy and lush. In addition, it is best practice to mow in rows rather than in squares or circles. However, it is a good idea to change directions each time you mow to avoid creating wheel tracks in the ground. For example, if you mow horizontal rows one week, switch to vertical rows next time.

Water appropriately
It seems simple, but there is actually an art to watering well. Water in the early morning or late evening to ensure the water soaks properly into the ground. Trend toward watering less often but more deeply. Observe where water pools in the yard and adjust if possible.

Aerate regularly
This practice is not common, but it will help ensure sufficient oxygen gets into your soil, keeping it healthy and your yard vibrant. You can use an aerating machine to poke holes in your yard, walk around in soccer cleats or shoes with track spikes, or use a garden hoe strategically throughout your yard, though that is decidedly less aesthetically appealing. Aerating works best following the heat of summer or after a lot of foot traffic, such as a garden party.

Mulch annually
Mulch serves as soil cover around shrubs, the base of trees, and other plants. It helps prevent weed growth, keeps moisture in the dirt, and keeps plants warm in winter and cool in summer. As mulch decomposes, it also improves the fertility of the soil, further supporting the health of your garden.

Plant trees, shrubs, perennials, and more
Plant local trees and shrubs that will thrive naturally in Austin weather, from the random hard freezes to the 100+ degree heat in the summers. The spring is a good time to plant perennials, which are plants that will bloom each year, adding color to your garden.

You can show a lot of character and talent through your garden. It can reflect your clean-cut tastes, your knack for growing tough-to-cultivate plants, or your affinity for a more natural, forest-like atmosphere. Just be sure to mulch, aerate, water, and trim with care.