Happy Thursday, friends!
Today, it’s all about our yard 🙂 .
I have two words for you…Andrew Shull.
I very much enjoy our yard and probably spend the most time out there just appreciating it…I basically do nothing to maintain it though as my sweet husband has taken that job on himself. I asked him if he could please share his tips with you today and he sweetly obliged. I took a million pics of our yard to share (just because it is super green now and makes me happy 🙂 ) and then his tips are at the end. Our house sits on about an acre, and we truly try to maximize and use all of the space.
Here are a few photos…
So, that’s the backyard. The front yard is pretty impeccable too as well as the side yards. Andrew even goes up to my balcony off my office and makes sure those plants are seasonal (I water them though). I grew up in a home where the mom was meticulous about her yard and did all of the physical labor herself while my dad enjoyed the fruits of her work…apparently, we reverse things over here. Ha! I’m not sure how I got so lucky but my man loves his yard work (probably him growing up on a working farm helped…).
Here are Andrew’s tips for maintaining our yard:
#1: I’m not a landscaper professional, so in my opinion (and if your budget allows) you should hire someone to mow your lawn regularly (once a week for us). I maintain the shrubs and mulch when necessary, but weekly mowing is on my boy Raul. We’ve been using him for 13 years and three houses! I do maintain all of the property on the other side of the creek. Spray for Poison Ivy, remove debris and limbs, and mow regularly.
#2: Have a professional do your chemicals a few times a year because they know exactly what to do each time regarding your grass. Those can be dangerous or harmful to the yard if done incorrectly, so that’s why we have someone else do it.
#3: I am the one who weeds and uses grass killer for the unwanted vegetation on the pool deck or across the creek. I also put this down to make sure we don’t get ticks and other insects.
#4: If you have a problem with mosquitos, we use a mosquito spraying company. During peak seasons, they come every 21 days so that we can actually go out in our yard without getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. Until it gets super hot we retain a few inches of water in our creek, so without this it can be trouble. We have tried all of the other options, but having them spray has helped the most. That being said, for parties have cans of bug spray just in case!
#5: Keep a running to do list. You don’t have to tackle them all at once because some projects can take multiple days, so a running list helps keep your organized.
#6: Don’t work on your yard the day you entertain. There is nothing worse than having a party or event and trying to get the yard looking good in 1 day. By the time the party gets there, you are gassed. For Cinco De Mayo, I started 3 weeks before with the shrubs/yard/ beds.
#7: Don’t plant your spring/summer flowers too early. I always do my flowers the week before Easter because for us, that is usually past a freeze…..usually.
#8: Pick something from your list and 15-20 min a day and do it.
#9: Make sure you continually raise your trees canopies.
#10: Make sure you’re watering regularly and consistently.
#11: Always remove weeds in beds before they start throwing seeds.
#12: Fill in with crushed granite in areas that won’t grow anything, or for weed prevention.
#13: Find a good blower to blow off leaves and other debris. I use a Sthil backpack gas blower. I also have a handheld for smaller jobs. One reason I am diligent, especially in the fall is for the area across the creek. I noticed the less free standing leaves on the ground the less insects/pests I get. The fall leaves rot and the chances of me seeing a snake or rat go down dramatically.
#14: Make sure you have the right grass for shade and sun. In Texas, Bermuda (sun) and Zoisya (sun/shade) do really well.
#15: Remember (take notes) what flowers/trees/shrubs do best in the areas in your yard. These work the best for our yard:
Mexican Heather (full sun)
Japanese maples in the shade
Nellie R Stevens Hollies are indestructible as well as the Emily Bruner Holly
Dwarf Youpons are great. Rabbits won’t eat them either. (Rabbits love to snack on Hollies.)
When we first built the house we planted some shrubs and trees that I have since replaced. Vitex trees and Indian Hawthorne shrubs aren’t my jam, so traded for the Maples and Dwarf Youpons.
#16: Plant a vegetable garden, but less is more. I used to stuff that raised bed with too many plants and it was a mess. Mades and Ashby helped me do it this year, 2 cherries tomato plants, 2 basil, 2 cilantro.
#17: Speaking of our garden, rotate locations every year. This year, I bought rings for my basil. Last year the basil got so big it wouldn’t stand up!
#18: Add river rock where mulch washes out. You can get it from Home Depot or a rock yard.
#19: Hydrogen Peroxide in the fountain water makes it stay algae free longer.
#20: Keep pinion wood on shelf in the garage if you get a cool night for the fire pit. I keep it year round but just get it off the ground to not get termites.
#21: Power wash patio and steps in March once a year to get the dirt and mold off the rock.
#22: Pick up pet waste and dispose of it daily. I find if I don’t do it daily, it starts to break apart leaving a larger mess.
#23: I find this also makes things easier…use plants that can stay green year round…..folks in the south. Just use color to give it some pop. I would rather save the money on annuals and have plants that stay green all year.
#24: Use an expandable hose for watering. SO.MUCH.EASIER!
#25: Speaking of watering. When possible tie your plants to automatic watering devices. You can either buy a timer for a regular outdoor hose bib or use your drip irrigation and tie to that.
Whew! So, that wraps up our 25 Keys to Maintaining our Yard! Anyone else just want to go outside now?! 😉 Thank you, Andrew, for all the help!!!
Guess what?! You only have a few hours left to enter to win this week’s GIVEAWAY!!!!!! If you haven’t already entered, make sure you head to THIS POST HERE for the details and information! I am going to announce the winner ON THAT POST tomorrow morning. You have between now and 2:30PM CST to get entered to win. Best of luck to you and don’t forget to check back to see who wins tomorrow!
I’m off now! Have a great Thursday! xx