Fall presents an excellent opportunity to prepare your backyard for year-round enjoyment. The effort you invest in landscaping during this season can significantly influence the quality of your outdoor space for various family activities, ranging from Thanksgiving football games to springtime Easter egg hunts, outdoor office work, and tranquil moments in a backyard hammock. Kris Kiser, President & CEO of the TurfMutt Foundation, which advocates for the care and use of green spaces, emphasizes the value of working in your yard to make it work for you. He notes, “You don’t have to spend a fortune to create a versatile backyard that serves your family’s needs throughout the year.”
Here are six cost-effective tips from the TurfMutt Foundation for crafting your dream backyard:
1. **Revitalize Flower Beds & Add Mulch:** Begin by tidying up your flower beds, using a leaf blower to expedite the process. Then, apply a fresh layer of mulch. This simple step not only helps prevent weed growth but also retains moisture around plants, trees, and shrubs.
2. **Prune Bushes & Trees:** Trimming your bushes, shrubs, and trees is a budget-friendly way to enhance your yard’s aesthetics. Employ tools like chainsaws, trimmers, or hedgers to remove dead or unhealthy branches and stems. Pruning not only preserves the plant’s health but also improves its shape and encourages future flowering.
3. **Maintain Lawn & Weed Control:** Regular lawn mowing is essential for maintaining healthy and visually appealing grass without significant costs. During the fall, cut your lawn shorter than usual and continue mowing until the grass enters its winter dormancy.
4. **Choose Perennials:** Opt for perennials, hardy plant species that return each spring, for a cost-effective choice. Buying them once allows you to enjoy their beauty for years to come.
5. **Select Climate-Appropriate Plants:** Native plants, naturally occurring in your region, are an intelligent choice year-round. They are well-suited to your local climate, requiring minimal maintenance and watering. Additionally, they support local wildlife and pollinators while preserving the natural ecosystem balance.
6. **Hunt for Bargains:** Look for end-of-season sales at nurseries and home improvement stores for deals on landscaping essentials, including plants and outdoor power equipment like mowers, trimmers, and leaf blowers, which can simplify significant backyard tasks.
TurfMutt was established by the TurfMutt Foundation, a part of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), and has educated over 70 million children, educators, and families since its inception in 2009. Through partnerships with educational organizations such as Weekly Reader, Discovery Education, and Scholastic, TurfMutt has taught students and teachers how to “save the planet, one yard at a time.” Today, TurfMutt is an official USGBC® Education Partner and is included in their global LEARNING LAB. TurfMutt has also been an educational resource for organizations like the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Green Apple, the Center for Green Schools, the Outdoors Alliance for Kids, the National Energy Education Development (NEED) project, Climate Change Live, Petfinder, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In 2017, the TurfMutt animated video series received the prestigious Cynopsis Kids Imagination Award for Best Interstitial Series.
TurfMutt’s personal, home habitat was featured in the 2017-2020 Wildlife Habitat Council calendars. More information at www.TurfMutt.com.