# Your Home

12 Secrets to a Gorgeous Yard

The grass can be greener on your side. Cue instant curb appeal with these 11 lawn and gardening tips from the Pros.

Fun fact: About 75% of American homeowners spend time or money — or both — tending to their lawns. In Canada, numbers are similar. Those who spend time working on their lawn or garden spend more than 2 hours doing yard work, on average. That’s a lot of time and energy.

Yet, half of American homeowners have an aversion to the products they use, and slightly more respond to the idea that they have better things to do than lawn care.

We get that.

To help you minimize the amount of time you need to devote to your lawn but maximize impact, our Home Managers have shared their top 12 secrets to maintaining a lush, gorgeous, and vibrant yard.

1. Keep things cozy.

When planting an entire garden bed, arrange plants in snug groups. Clusters not only give your yard an organic and bountiful look and feel, this arrangement also allows like-plants to share soil and root systems to help prevent them from drying out.

2. Aim low.

Position sprinkler heads to aim near plant roots, not tops. Watering leaves can damage them, and moisture that starts there can evaporate before reaching the soil.

3. Time it right.

Water before 10 a.m., if possible, to fortify plants against midday heat and strike the best balance between moisture and evaporation. Not sure how often to water your lawn or how much? Our Home Managers shared their myth-busting secrets to all things water-related.

4. Tackle weeds.

Not only are weeds an eyesore amongst your vast expanses of green, but they also draw precious moisture away from plant roots, so be sure to pull them regularly.

5. Get good dirt.

Soil is the foundation of a healthy garden. It can be tough to know which soil you should buy for your garden as there are so many textures and varieties. Some helpful rules of thumb?

  • Soil for Containers: Buy potting soil for containers as it is light and airy (just a reminder that they dry out more quickly!)
  • Soil for Garden Beds: Instead of buying topsoil for your garden beds, use the existing soil from the ground and top up with compost or manure for added nutrients. Sprinkler it on top of the soil like you would mulch.
  • Soil for Raised Beds: Triple mix seems to be the go-to, but we recommend using only topsoil. While triple mix is rich in nutrients, the organic matter decomposes over time, leaving your perennials and shrubs exposed if not topped up frequently enough.

6. Prevent brown sections.

It's tempting to set the mower blades low so you won't have to cut the lawn again so soon, but slicing off more than an inch of grass at a time can cause what remains to turn brown.

7. Stop trampled paths in their tracks.

If your family and guests are always trekking across the grass, take it as a cue that the route should be recognized: Install a beautiful flagstone walkway or slate paving stones to prevent a run-down lawn.

8. Avoid yellowing ...

A jaundiced lawn can actually be caused by fertilizer — the nitrogen in it that encourages growth can "burn" the grass if it's overdosed. After a treatment, water well to dilute the fertilizer and help it soak down.

9. ... and yellow patches.

The probable (icky) culprit is pet urine. Like fertilizer, it contains nitrogen, but in a more concentrated amount. While it can be tricky to curb your dog’s or your neighbour’s dog’s habits, try quickly dousing the spot with the hose. Existing yellow patches may need reseeding.

10. Try "hardscaping."

For the least maintenance, consider gravel, slate tiles, flagstone, or interlocking. Plan it out with a Pro before you de-plant to decide what greenery stays. Landscape fabric underneath should help prevent regrowth.

11. Deter pesky weeds.

Pick organic mulch (rather than inorganic types such as brick chips or shredded rubber) — it will keep the ground cool, hold in moisture, let plant roots breathe, and break down to enrich the soil.

12. Provide attention.

Caring for your lawn and garden isn’t a one-hit wonder, I’m afraid. For a healthy and hardy yard, it is important to give your landscaping continued attention. Whether you have a busy family, busy work schedule, or both — the easiest way to minimize the amount of personal effort for a beautiful lawn is to ask for professional help.

Our Pros are ready to lend you a helping hand. This spring, our Setter Pros are offering weekly lawn mowing and lawn maintenance care. Alternatively, we can set your yard off on the right foot with a one-time yard clean-up visit. SAVE 10% on yard clean-ups until April 30th when you mentioned the code GREENTHUMB to your Home Manager.

Book your yard clean-up today!