For most of us, Lawns create a magical halo of nostalgia for childhood games in the yard. If you are reading this, you likely have a yard yourself now, and we want to help you best navigate the complex and sometimes overwhelming ‘adulting’ needed to care for it.
Back when life was simple, maybe you woke up to the hiss of the sprinklers, and perhaps noticed someone tinkering with the magical box in the garage that somehow made the grass soaking wet first thing most mornings, but otherwise you just enjoyed running around with your friends in the yard without a care.
At some point, the time came when Dad said it was your job to take on the mowing, so once a week you had to spend 30 minutes pushing around the mower and thus began the steady erosion of simply enjoying the plush grass with no responsibility. Now, leaping forward in time you might find yourself with a yard of your own. You notice that large water bill, some dead spots in the lawn, or cringe when you see the tracked out section along the fence from your dog. You have to figure out mowing, edging, watering, a fungus creating dead rings, maybe even keeping the grass out of other areas. What was once magical to invite friends over for a bbq suddenly requires several hours of catching up on neglected yard work, which hardly seems worth it. You just want to leave for your weekend mountain getaway but you know you really should mow first. Worst of all, you have this sinking feeling that you are going to lose a good chunk of your security deposit from where the dog dug a big hole, or that dead patch on the side of the house.
Now, there is certainly a larger discussion to be had on the sustainability of the American West in light of the mega draught and shrinking reservoirs, and we see initiatives from municipalities such as Aurora taking legislative action to reduce water usage, but we’ll save that massive issue for another day. . .
Today we’re here to help with some basic tips on how to keep your lawn looking nice so you can enjoy it all season long, and make sure you get your deposit back.
- Find someone who already mows a yard on your block – it just makes sense, they’ve got a gassed up mower and don’t need to move the truck and trailer again. It’s surprisingly cheap to get your lawn mowed and avoid all the headache of buying and maintaining your own mower, string trimmer, and blower. I pay $25 per mow for my modest yard in Denver which needs about 16-20 mows per growing season (weekly from May to mid July, and then every other week until early October).
- Take the time to learn how to use your sprinkler timer- it’s not as complicated as you might think, and there’s plenty of youtube videos that give you the rundown by just searching your model number. Your property owner is responsible for getting it turned on early in the season, but once you get the hang of it, you can save yourself on water by turning it off for rainy days, and add a couple minutes to each zone during a particularly hot and dry spell. There’s a quick start setting so you turn on a zone to see if the dead area might be because it’s not getting water. If you do notice a broken head or other issue, let your property manager know and we can help get it repaired if it is covered in your lease.
- Invest in a few tools:
- Patch and repair to apply to dead/thin spots
- a spreader and some product for periodic fertilizing
- Or just hire a company like Trugreen or Lawn Doctor to help keep your lawn looking great throughout the year. They offer one time or periodic treatments. I use Trugreen and pay about $300/yr for 5 or 6 rounds of fertilizer, weed/pest control.
- Keep your dog sectioned off to certain areas. I had a male springer spaniel whose urine would cause dead spots so a simple gate guided him away from the problem areas.
- Get your dog exercise so they don’t need to run laps along the fence to get their wiggles out
Now if this still feels overwhelming or try as you might, you just cannot manage to keep that lawn looking green even after pursuing all these steps, don’t be embarrassed! We promise you are not alone so don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help! Contact your Property Manager to get some additional ideas and support. More often than not, your property owner will be incredibly grateful for the updates and willing to step in and offer support when you let them know the lawn is struggling, rather than waiting until the last minute.
Now get back out there and enjoy that back lawn for the remainder of the season!