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7 Basic Yard Maintenance Tips

It doesn’t carry the glory of weekend DIY projects, but yard maintenance is a must. From leaf removal to yanking weeds, a well-maintained yard shows off your home. Are you up to the task? Check out the Q & A below to help make your yard a winner.

No tricks, no gimmicks: just straightforward yard advice.

1. What is “yard maintenance”?

Yard maintenance is the long game. It’s the weekly hours that keep your landscaping looking awesome. It’s leaf removal, lawn care, shrub trimming, and battles with garden weeds.

Yard maintenance and landscaping aren’t the same thing. Landscaping is when you tear out old concrete and replace it with a fresh path or garden. Yard maintenance is when you yank out the weeds and leaves stuck between your concrete pavers.

2. How do you get rid of weeds in your lawn?

Yard pros know the best way to handle weeds is to keep your lawn healthy. When you’ve got strong soil and vibrant grass, there’s no chance for weeds to grow. Fertilize, fertilize, fertilize! Fertilizer is like your offensive line—when it’s strong, you can push the other guys back.

Once the weeds have entangled themselves with your good grass, you’ll have to target the weeds specifically. Learn what kind of weeds you have and see if there’s a solution that kills them but spares the grass. If a patch gets especially bad, you can be more aggressive and reseed if the grass dies.

3. What’s the best leaf removal tactic?

There are an arsenal of leaf blowers, rakes, and brooms available in the market. Which one you choose depends on your terrain. But if you have leaves on the lawn, you have another option: mulching. Why waste nutrient rich leaves by bagging them and throwing them away? Go bagless on the mower and churn those bad boys.

If you’re cleaning up leaves in the gutter or digging them out from flower beds, be sure to get some rip resistant industrial nitrile gloves. Leaves can disguise sharp edges and materials.

4. How do you care for your lawn mower?

Your lawnmower is basically a mini car. You might even be able to ride on it. You’ll need to check the gas and maintain the oil. The blades should be cleaned monthly. You’ll know when to clean and change spark plugs—the thing won’t start.

Before doing any work on your mower, be sure it is completely turned off. When adding oil or poking around, use flexible fit industrial latex gloves. Keep the oil in the mower – and off your hands.

5. How do you prune and shape bushes?

Okay, you basically need two tools for this: a great pair of shears and a quality hand pruner. Hand pruners are great for shaping thicker bushes, while sheers let you target specific branches and thinner foliage.

Start with the thickest branches and highest growth, working your way down to the smaller stuff. Most of us are fine with eyeballing things. But if you want precise lines, you can use stakes and strings to mark off your cuts.

Bonus points: throw down a tarp before you start to make cleanup easy!

6. How do you handle garden weeds?

While you might be able to torch weeds poking out of concrete with harsher chemicals, it’s not an option in the garden. Sorry, but there’s no substitute for manual weeding. Roll up your sleeves, toss on your gloves, and get in there with a hoe.

When you start tearing things up, put on some splash protection gloves. Many weeds can be abrasive or even release irritants. You’ll work quicker and keep your skin intact with gloves that go up your wrists.

7. How do you keep grass green in the summer?

Mow it a bit higher than you normally would. Shorter grass has less resources and dries out easier. Water in the morning to give it the moisture to fend off harsh temperatures.

Results? The guys will be asking for your yard tips.