Easy tips for a yard you'll actually want to use

By Clara Beaufort

Summer is already in full swing, and maybe your yard isn’t where you’d like it to be. The good news is it’s not too late to give your yard a makeover so that you and your family can enjoy summertime fun and relaxation. What’s more: these tips and ideas don’t require a lot of time, so you can get up and running no matter how busy your schedule is.

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Start With the Foundation: The Lawn

The lawn is the foundation and focal point of your outdoor space. If your lawn is unhealthy or unkempt, it is a major distraction from all the hard work you put into your landscape or outdoor patio. Start by allotting time to mow your yard at least once a week. This seems like a lot, but the key is to adjust the mower blade so that you are only cutting off one-third of the length. Plus, the more you mow, the more nutrient-rich grass clippings you produce. Don’t forget to keep your yard watered as well, especially if rain is in short supply. Rather than waste water on the entire yard, conserve water and focus only on the areas that are in dire need or serve as the main focal points of your yard. In addition to mowing, tackle those weeds using spot treatment as opposed to treating your entire yard with unnecessary amounts of herbicide. Speaking of spots, those with four-legged family members might find it helpful to spot-train Fido. The nitrogen in dog urine causes unsightly yellow, dead spots in your yard, so it best to train your dog to use the bathroom in one area.

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Light It Up

With the right lighting, you can show off your yard long after the sun goes down. Before you install outdoor lighting, it’s important that you assess your lighting needs. Maybe your yard could benefit from extra lighting to increase outdoor safety by lighting up dark parts of your yard or illuminating walkways to prevent falls. Perhaps you’d like to boost your curb appeal or add decorative lighting for outdoor gatherings with path lights, tree lights, or accent lights. When it comes to lighting, you have plenty of options, such as:

  • Floodlights – light up large areas and are an easy way to add security and protection from prowlers
  • Landscape lights – small lights used to illuminate flowers/greenery, architecture, pathways, and outdoor areas
  • Motion sensor lights – add an extra layer of security and alert you to any movement in your yard, whether a person or animal
  • Spotlights – used to illuminate doors, flagpoles, fixtures, and details using a direct beam of light

You might also consider adding a fun touch with some of these DIY lighting options courtesy of Buzzfeed, such as string lights, mason jar lights, or hanging tea lights.

Prevent Bites

Once you get your yard looking nice, it’s obvious that the next step is to start spending time outside or host a summer party. However, pesky mosquitos and ticks can quickly bring an end to the summer fun, making your yard a den of misery rather than relaxation. To prevent mosquitos, make sure there isn’t any standing water in your yard (it only takes a thimble full to start a breeding ground). Install candles and lanterns with citronella, lemongrass, or chrysanthemum scents to draw mosquitoes away from food and your exposed skin. You can even install mosquito-repelling lights such as sodium lamps or LED lights. As for other pests, such as ticks, ants, and spiders, take the time to trim bushes and trees and remove debris piles before pests have time to set up shop. If the pests are really becoming a problem, you might consider having a pest-control service come in to spray your yard. Be sure to ask about organic treatment options that are non-toxic and safe for children and pets.

The hot summer days are here to stay, so make sure your yard is ready to beat the heat. Crank up the lawn mower, add lighting, and get rid of pesky bugs for a yard that not only looks nice but feels nice too. Summer barbeque, yes, please.


Ready for a perfect outdoor living space you can enjoy year round? Contact Flores Artscape for a free consultation and estimate