A Lawncare Tip for Increasing Curb Appeal

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Updating A Busy Family Kitchen

When you stand in front of your house, where does your eye gravitate? Is it drawn to the front door, an air conditioning unit on the side of your house or a neighbor’s privacy fence? For better or worse, your eye will follow the lawn.

Just like people, landscapes need regular check-ups. What was once a beautiful yard can morph over time into something less attractive as trees and other plants grow or die.

Are you or your yard calling the shots? Is grass growing where it didn’t grow before? Just because a lawn will grow somewhere, doesn’t mean it should. If you have a new house, edit your lawn as it ages and your family’s needs change.

Your home reflects you. Show me the landscape for a person’s home, and I’ll show you who that person is. Think of your lawn as a picture frame for your house.

Your grass lines and bed lines should reinforce the front door as the focal point of the yard. If your bed lines pull your eye off to the side of the house, then the lawn isn’t doing its job. Perhaps it’s time to rethink it.

There are a lot of options, including ground covers and bushes. Don’t let what’s currently there drive all your design decisions. Understand what your goal is, and then use curved bed lines to achieve it.

Always mulch your beds and keep the grass healthy. Establish a clear demarcation between the grass and the bed by digging a one-inch deep trench. Add mulch or pine straw to the bed and trench. The small trench helps lock everything into place.

If the trench is too deep, you’ll have problems with your lawn mower. The wheel will go into the trench, and you’ll end up scalping your grass.

Some people like to use metal or plastic edging. But, over time, those types of edging can rust, lean or be damaged. Grass will grow over or under the edging periodically. Then you’ll need to mechanically edge the grass and spray a nonselective herbicide like Roundup on what’s invading the bed.

Other people like to use brick, concrete or stone barriers because they’re decorative and last longer; however, they’re more expensive and grass will eventually grow over them.

I like to use a gas-powered string edger to keep the lawn border neat. Stick edgers have a single wheel and a blade that spins vertically. It’s a quick and easy process. With regular use, it keeps bedlines tight.

If you don’t maintain a tight edge, you’ll be back to where you started, with grass growing into the bed and the bed growing into the grass. Maintenance is always key to preserving a beautiful yard.

–Eric King, ASLA, owner of King Landscaping, a design/build/educate landscaping company in metro Atlanta

Check out seven new landscaping products for 2012.

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