5 Smart Tips to Make Yard Work Easier (and Have More Time Exploring the Sierra!)

Written by Katie Powell
Snow Covered Mountain
Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

Maintaining your yard is fun and all until it becomes a tedious task you have to commit to on the regular. Yard work is a demanding chore that requires a lot of upkeep. You leave your home for a few weeks, and you’re going home to a mini jungle and judgmental looks from neighbors.

Does this mean you’ll have to give up going on that much-needed trip to Yosemite to keep your home in check? Heck, no! There are a ton of ways you can make yard work easier and more efficient so that you can have more quality time for yourself.

Install Lower Paver Paths

Mowing over pathways can be stressful, especially when they’re not the right height and installed correctly. You can make the task easier by making sure stone or paver paths conform to the topography of your yard.

This way, you don’t have to worry about additional trimming.

Steps and curbs that adapt to the landscape are much lower maintenance than the more formal paths. You’ll only have to ensure that the pavers rest an inch above the ground at most. This way, you can mow over them and skip the shears.

Cut Grass to the Right Height

Red and Black Push Lawn Mower on Green Grass Field
Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels

Speaking of mowing, yes—there is an ideal height to cut different kinds of grass. Many people make the common mistake of mowing their lawn all the time to keep the grass from getting too tall.

The truth is, cutting grass too short can damage your lawnmower and harm the soil. Also, taller grass provides shade to the ground. This slows down weed growth and keeps water within the earth. If you want to keep your weed work at a minimum, then this tip is a lifesaver.

Most grass heights should be around two to three inches long. But some types, such as Bermuda and Zoysia, may require an inch shorter. The ideal cutting height depends on whether the grass is the warm- or cold-season type.

Install Mower Paths

Mowing can be a hassle, especially when you need to do the areas along the walls, fences, and flower beds. A pro-tip to avoid the extra trim work is to install a mowing border along these surfaces.

With mowing borders, it’ll be much easier to cut grass over the hard-to-reach areas of your lawn. Make sure you create a four-inch-deep border to keep grass roots from growing underneath.

Imagine having to mow over the entire yard in one go. You’ll have more time to pack up your things and go backpacking to Desolation Lake.

Set Up a Sprinkler System

Water Drop on Green Grass
Photo by Q. Hưng Pham from Pexels

In general, lawns should receive about an inch of water a week. Those who are planning to explore the entire Sierra for more than that might see this as a problem.

Not to worry, though. If you have a sprinkler system in place, keeping your yard watered and healthy while you’re away is easy by installing an effective irrigation controller, much like the Hunter PRO-C Conventional.

Infrequent watering is better for lawns as it promotes shallow root growth. With this, homeowners need to choose sprinklers with independent scheduling features, which allow them to set the days of the week or intervals for the sprinklers to go off.

Here’s an extra tip: get a rain gauge to keep track of the amount of water your yard receives naturally. This allows you to modify our sprinkler output correctly.

Fertilize in the Fall

While it’s common practice to fertilize in spring, it might be more beneficial for your yard if you do it in the fall. This promotes root growth during this season and provides a boost of energy for your yard in the coming spring.

Lawn care experts may advise you better about the best fertilizers to get for the type of grass and soil you have at home. Then you can apply this fertilizer three weeks before spring comes in.

Spend Quality Time in the Sierra

Now that you’ve got the yard work out of the way, it’s time to focus on some much-needed R&R. Start planning that week-long trip you’ve been longing for. The real wilderness awaits!

About the author

Katie Powell

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