Landscaping For Smarties

Aug 10, 2017 | Outdoor Living

Let’s face it – landscaping is hard work. From the heavy materials to the strain on your back and muscles as you bend over to meticulously prune flower beds, trim hedges, and sowing seeds, most types of outdoor work tend to be physically and mentally exhausting activities.

We can’t change the fact that planting, weeding, and digging can be back-breaking labor – but that doesn’t mean they have to be any harder than necessary. By taking a page out of a pro’s playbook, you can get more out of your limited resources by using your time, energy, and money a little more efficiently.

Tarps Can Save The Day

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When you think about tarps, a few things might come to mind – drop cloths for painting, coveralls for outdoor storage, and ground covering for tents. But when it comes to working in the yard, a heavy-duty tarp can be one of your best, most versatile tools. Piling lightweight (but bulky) debris like leaves, twigs and small branches, and weeds can make hauling them to the compost heap or funneling them into a yard waste bag much easier.

You can also use a tarp to hold dirt when digging holes, keeping your grass free of excess earth that requires raking or time to redistribute.

Give Your Plants A Headstart

Over time, maybe you’ve started to practice your green thumb and you may think you’ve perfected your gardening technique. Perhaps you even have a mini-greenhouse, where you get your seeds started early to enjoy an earlier harvest. But why not let your plants help themselves?

Using fertilizer for new plantings – regardless of whether they’re flowers, saplings, or vegetables – can go a long way toward helping them grow strong and hearty with minimal assistance. This can also cut down on losses due to fluctuations in temperature and precipitation, because the sooner your plants can put down strong roots, the more hale and resilient they’ll be.

Think Smarter, Not Cheaper

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Planning ahead when buying materials can make the difference between a day spent enjoying your freshly landscaped yard and a day spent recovering over a heating pad or icepack. If you have a large area that needs to be mulched, for example, it may be more cost effective to purchase your supplies in bulk and dump them in a central location to be spread out. But if you have multiple sites that need attention, purchasing bagged materials over bulk might make more sense, since it’s easier to redistribute these heavy items in smaller quantities.

Good Tools Make It, Bad Tools Break It

Purchasing quality gardening tools might seem like a no-brainer, but it can be hard to resist those discounted items on the clearance rack or at the bargain store. Keep in mind that those low-quality tools are on sale for a reason – and you won’t ever see a real pro hefting a shovel or rake that was in the bargain bin.

Why? Cheap tools break quickly, which means you could be caught trowel-less in the middle of a planting session – plus broken tools can add injury to insult, with splintering wood and cracking plastic producing blisters, cuts, and more.