If you’re like most homeowners who feel compelled to maintain the appearance of your yard, you know that the work never seems to end. As the Spring emerges for most of the country, and daylight savings giving us longer afternoons, many weekends from now until the Fall will inevitably contain some measure of yard work.
From my own experience, the following are ways to make the process less burdensome and much more pleasant.
1. Work from a plan. In the early years of home ownership, we learned many lessons about getting our yard in order. For instance, we learned the difference between screened topsoil and compost topsoil, as evidenced by the failure to thrive of most of our planting. In order to avoid these mistakes and confusion, each year we start with a plan for which areas of our yard we’ll focus on first. Our simple sketches help identify the investments we need to make in terms of plants, material and tools, and help eliminate the frustration of wanting to do everything all at once.
2. Get the right tools, and care for them properly. Whether it’s a hand trowel or a lawn mower, using the right tool for the job will make any task more pleasant. I know as a new home owner it seemed overwhelming to acquire a full set of gardening tools all at once. As your landscaping matures, so also should your tool collection. Be sure too that you prepare your tools for the off season by cleaning them well before storing them away.
3. Get comfortable. The best investment I made towards a pleasant experience doing yard work was a set of gel insoles for my work boots. It’s amazing how quickly my attitude towards yard work turns sour when my feet are sore. Secondly, a good sturdy pair of gloves will also make a significant difference.
4. Distract yourself audibly. In the fall, when I end up spending hours upon hours raking and mulching leaves, I use that time to listen to podcasts on my iPhone. It’s a great way to educate myself as I do the chores around the yard, and by taking my mind off the manual labor, it feels like it is going faster.
5. Enlist a friend. There are so many things in life that are more enjoyable when they are a shared experience with a good friend. Offer to trade off weekends to help one another with your respective yard work or landscaping projects. You’ll have a great conversation, and some helping hands to make the job go faster.
How do you make it through the yard work season with a smile? Do you use any of the tips from above? Share your thoughts below.