December 10, 2016

It’s That Time of Year Again: Let’s Do Some Yard Work …

Well, we’re well into the spring season now. And with spring comes yard work and snakes. Yes, I met one yesterday. I am not sure who was more upset — my dog who stepped on it or me who had the heart attack screaming at it. The snake didn’t care, obviously. It just found a new place to sunbathe away from all the racket.

Anyway, once you get over the snakes, it is time to get out there and start cleaning up the yard. Big or small, freshening up the yard makes the house look great.

The first task to start with would be removing all the fallen tree branches that have come down from winter storms.

After your yard is clear, it time to start weeding. Depending on the size of your yard, this may take a couple days. For me, I get an old piece of carpet for my knees and a bucket. I pick one small part of my yard and work until it’s clear. Then, I move to the next part.

Once you have weeded the yard, it is time to buy fresh mulch or fluff up last year’s mulch. If your budget is tight, you can use a rake and once a week go out and rake the mulch up. Just turn it over to give the grounds a fresh look.

On the other hand, if your mulch is looking pretty bad, washed away, or you just love fresh mulch — then it is time to go shopping.

Mulch is sold by the yard. A yard is about the size of a bed in a standard truck. If you have never mulched before, you may be playing a guessing game. Every house varies in the amount needed. The more garden beds, the more trees, and the larger the lot — the more mulch you will need. When going to buy the mulch, an important question to ask is if the mulch is treated. Treated means that it has been sprayed to keep away any bugs. You don’t want to bring in mulch to your home full of ants, bees, and everything else. If you do, plan on spending your summer with these little guys.

Now if you have a really small area, you can buy it by the bag. When you do this, you pay more, but it is easier to transport. I wouldn’t suggest it if you need 3 yards or more.  By then, you can afford delivery if needed with the savings of not buying it bagged. In order to lay mulch, you will need a shovel, a rake, and, if you’re lucky, a wheel barrow.

If you’re like me and new to owning a home, your spouse is probably saying, MORE STUFF?!? Yes dear, more stuff.

Where you buy your mulch is up to you. Garden stores are great and each one is different. Visit a few, make a couple calls, and find the best deals.

Now after you have mulched, it is time to fertilizer. I suggest talking to the locals at a garden store to find the best brand for your area and climate. Now you can fertilize up to 4 times a year. So, just do it once every season — spring, winter, summer, and fall.

Right now, you will buy the early spring fertilizer. In order to do this properly, you need a fertilizer spreader. There are two types: a drop and a sprinkler. A drop spreader, drops it in right where you are stepping. If you don’t step there, you will not get any fertilizer there. If you have a small yard this may be okay. Also, if you have lots of garden areas or are attempting to grow new grass in parts, you will like the drop because it won’t get onto your flower beds or new grass.

The sprinkler spreader , as I call it, spreads the fertilizer over an area as you walk — almost like throwing it. This gives you a better shot at evenly distributing the fertilizer and not getting a brown patch in the middle of summer where you missed.

On the other hand, you can’t get this on your flowers beds. So, you will want a spreader that comes with an edge guard. This will protect your flowers and any new grass.

Finally, if you are like a lot of us Gen Y-ers and Gen X-ers, our home is our first and biggest investment. Take care of it, enjoy it, and watch your money (and grass) grow!

Happy Growing Season!

Anna Domzalski is a staff writer for Financial Bin covering Budgeting, Wealth, Education, and Real Estate.

Have a question for Anna? Email her at Anna@FinancialBin.com.

Image: nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net