On a warm spring day, there’s nothing like sinking your toes into your yard’s lush green grass as you watch your children, running barefoot, play tag or ball in the backyard.
But that dream of a picturesque spring afternoon can be quickly dashed when you start tallying up the time and money required to keep your patch of grass both lush and green. If you are trying to save money on lawn care, is your dream of a beautiful yard out of reach?
According to the 2016 National Gardening Survey, the average amount of money spent on lawn and garden activities was $407 per household in the United States. That spending is fueling a $36.9 billion do-it-yourself yard and garden industry, according to the survey.
But, for many households on tight budgets, the added cost to care for a lawn can simply be too much when coupled with other housing costs, debt payments, transportation costs, grocery store bills and more.
Here are five ways to save money on lawn care:
Turn your lawn into a garden: Instead of spending your money caring for grass, spend it on growing vegetables and fruits that you can actually eat — saving you money on lawn care AND at the grocery store. In fact, a recent study found that the average garden in America annually yields about 300 pounds of fresh produce or about $600 worth of food. You’ll need to spend some money to get your garden started (Better Homes & Gardens has tips.) But, once it’s producing, you’ll reap rewards in cost savings on lawn care and at the supermarket.
Rethink your grass variety: Many of the most common varieties of grass on American lawns love to soak up water and can require a lot of it to stay green. If you want to save money on lawn care, those water-loving grasses can, in turn, pull a lot of green out of your wallet. Instead, look for drought resistant varieties that don’t need as much water. At the same time, consider your lawn and location and look for grasses that can best tolerate, for instance, the temperature where you live and the amount of shade in your yard. Turfgrass Producers International has some tips on grass varieties.
Reconsider your watering schedule so you don’t waste it: According to the experts, early to mid-morning — 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. — is the best time to water your lawn because it’s cooler outside and the water won’t evaporate too quickly, among other reasons, according to this article in Popular Mechanics.
Don’t make the golf course your goal: Golf courses are known for their beautiful manicured greens with short grasses. That’s not what you want your lawn to look like. Experts recommend keeping your grass fairly high. Taller grasses need less water, less fertilizer, less mowing — and less money to keep them alive.
Don’t get taken by a con artist: Homeowners can fall prey to con artists, who go door-to-door selling their lawn care services, but never return once they get that first payment. Before hiring anybody to care for your lawn, check their references. Or, seek a service on your own, asking for recommendations from friends, family and neighbors.
Better yet, to save money on lawn care, take care of the lawn together as a family. Then you can bask in your nice yard and in the knowledge that you’ve saved some money.
The CESI Team is committed to helping you reach your financial goals. If debt keeps you from living the life you dream of, contact us for a free debt analysis today and get started on the road to a brighter future!