After a long winter, your yard may be looking a little less than ready for a summer of use and fun. But if your budget doesn't allow for a big makeover to give it a new life, there are still a lot of ways you can spruce up your lawn cheaply or even for free. Here are 5 ideas anyone can use.
Feed it. You don't need expensive or harsh fertilizers to get a greener lawn. Try using a shovel to spread up to 1/4 inch of high-quality compost over the lawn by hand. A good compost will feed and nourish the grass and be safe for children, pets and guests.
Mow Higher. Short grass can be easily burned by the sun and heat, so try leaving your grass a little longer this year. Learn the suggested limits on grass height for your particular type of grass and climate, then allow it to stay a little higher than average. Leaving the grass longer may require you to mow it a little more often or aerate to avoid thatch, but it can keep the lawn healthier and make it look fuller.
Try a New Cut. Professional lawn care services often use a diagonal cutting pattern to make lawns look nicer. You can do this too. Start with a straight cut from the lower corner of the yard to the opposite upper corner. Use this line to help you continue the pattern as you move away from the center. If you have an unusual or large yard, you can find helpful instructions on diagonal mowing on the internet.
Make a Focal Point. Instead of focusing on what you can't do to make your yard look brighter, more colorful or more interesting, set your sights on adding one new focal point. Use a large container of flowers or an overflowing flower bed to create a new way to look at your yard. Focal points are a cheap way to draw the eye away from aspects of your yard that you don't like and to add a fresh new feeling. Be careful not to overdo it, though, by sticking to one or two focal points only.
Edge the Lawn. Giving the lawn a border of clean and symmetrical lines is a great way to make it look better immediately. A flat spade with a round head is all you really need to edge your lawn in most cases. Hold the spade directly vertical and insert it into the soil along the sidewalks, walkways and driveways. Keep the edge straight by marking it with your spade in this manner along the entire side before cleaning up the excess.
If your yard has suffered more than normal during the winter or you don't have the time to invest in fixing it up for the spring, it may be a good idea to hire a professional lawn care service to at least get you started. Visit a site like http://5starlawnscaping.net/ to check out professional lawn care services. But whether you do it yourself or you get some help, now is the perfect time to get your lawn back up to speed so you can enjoy it more all year long.