We remember from our formative days in suburbia that managing a lawn was a lot like fighting a war. And like modern wars, outsourcing was the cleanest and easiest option, even if it cost a bit more. Well, with five tips from noted cheapskate Jeff Yeager, managing your own lawn could become just a little more manageable.
1. Mulch: Not only is mulch cheap, but it can help control weeds and encourage grass to grow in the shade. Make your own with chopped leaves and twigs, but hold the eggshells; remember, it’s not compost.
2. Hardscape: Use “river stone, gravel and flagstone as a sort of indestructible mulch. Think Japanese gravel garden or faux dry stream bed. It’s best to put down a fabric weed block — or a thick layer of old newspapers — under your hardscaping material.”
3. Ground Cover: “Choose ground covers that are native to your area or which otherwise don’t require watering or fertilizer and block weed growth effectively. Some favorites include pachysandra, creeping thyme, phlox, liriope, sedum and creeping juniper. The cost per square foot to plant most ground covers is roughly the same as to plant sod — but you’ll save big money and time in maintenance over the years to come.”
4. Plant Tall Grass & Wild Flowers: Tall grass and wildflowers can look dashing, and don’t require nearly as much maintenance.
5. Use A Push Mower! You drive a car, not a mower. “With the soft clipping sound of the razor sharp blades and the smell of fresh air and fresh-cut grass, cutting the grass with a reel mower seems more like meditation than yard work. “