Lawn Care Tips: Yearly Maintenance Checklist

Maintaining an attractive, healthy lawn requires year-round care. Here are tips for creating an annual maintenance checklist to manage your property.

Keeping your lawn attractive and healthy requires more than a weekly mowing job. In addition to the edging and trimming that also will be needed, it is important to create an annual maintenance checklist. Your list can help you look ahead and plan for adequate seasonal lawn care. Here are some things to add to your checklist:

1. Equipment check. Before the growing season begins, inspect your tractor, edger, trimmer, and other equipment to be sure everything is working properly. Replace broken or missing handles and inflate wheelbarrow or mower tires that are low in air. If your rake has lost too many teeth, it's time for a new one, along with a new pair of gardening gloves. Look over your equipment storage area and make a list of all needed replacements and repairs. Then get started.

2. Refill supplies. Garden seeds, fertilizer, non-toxic weed-killer, water cans or hoses, and other annual needs should be restocked early in the season, preferably in late winter or early spring. You may be able to get some things from the end-of-season discount sale. Organize your tools and service items in an orderly way so you can find them quickly when needed. Add new items to the logical sequence. If you are unsure if you can remember where you've stored them, make an inventory list and post it on your tool kit, work bench, or shed door.



3. Tour your property for needed replacement plants. Grass seed, seedlings, sprouts, damaged or uprooted trees, fence climbing plants (and fence rails or posts) should be purchased early in the season so they are ready to plant when the time comes. Look for evidence of moles, mice, ants, bees, and other pests that may damage your lawn and foliage.

4. Review garden catalogs over the winter. Look for cheaper versions of items you typically use. Study ads for new merchandise that may simplify or reduce the cost of your lawn maintenance. Check shipping terms, rebates, and return policies so you can act quickly to order or return items. Contact the distributor with questions about new plants, equipment, or tools so you have time to consider them before ordering.

5. Have equipment maintenance or repaired. Get blades sharpened, the mower's oil changed, and key parts or pieces oiled and cleaned. Remove clumps of dirt or weeds. That goes for you, too. Check your work boots for holes or loose soles. Make sure your work clothes are ready for wear this year, too, including a cap to protect your head from the sun's harmful rays and sunscreen for your arms or other exposed skin.

Continue updating your annual maintenance list as you find more things to be checked, replaced, or replenished. Keep the list in a handy place so you can find it readily and get things done before the season begins. Visit garden trade shows and exhibits to get ideas for your lawn. You may want to ask home supply stores about possible workshops or classes on lawn maintenance. Safety, cleanliness, and efficiency are top priorities in this important and satisfying aspect of home property management.

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