Five tips to amp up the nat­u­ral ben­e­fits of your yard

The Enterprise - - Real Estate - * Scrubs the air: * Pro­tects wa­ter­ways: * Adds oxy­gen: * Boosts home val­ues: * Mow prop­erly: * Con­sider nat­u­ral land­scap­ing:

It’s easy to ap­pre­ci­ate the sights and smells af­forded by lawns and land­scapes, but when it comes to your yard there is much more to con­sider be­sides pleas­ing aes­thet­ics and aro­mas. Many would even be sur­prised to learn that the ben­e­fits of a lush lawn and stun­ning land­scape de­sign ex­tend well beyond a yard’s perime­ter.

That’s right, well-man­aged land­scapes of­fer tremen­dous ben­e­fits for the com­mu­nity and en­vi­ron­ment. Here are just a few:

Beau­ti­ful green­ery, in­clud­ing grass, catch dust, smoke par­ti­cles and other pol­lu­tants to make the air you breathe fresher and cleaner.

Well-main­tained yards and lawns help pre­vent soil ero­sion and un­wanted runoff into nearby lakes, streams and rivers.

A 50-by-50-foot lawn pro­duces enough oxy­gen to sup­ply a fam­ily of four.

The yard is the first thing a po­ten­tial buyer sees, and it sets the first im­pres­sion. If you plan to sell your home in the next few years, in­vest­ing in your land­scap­ing now can pay div­i­dends later. A re­cent study by the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of REAL­TORS and Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Land­scape Pro­fes­sion­als found that in­vest­ing in land­scape main­te­nance re­cov­ers 100 per­cent of the cost at the time of sale!

Hav­ing a nice yard with lush turf and well-tended land­scapes de­liv­ers some mood-en­hanc­ing prop­er­ties as well. Look­ing at plants and trees, even through a win­dow, has been found to lower stress and blood pres­sure, while walk­ing among plants and trees im­proves at­ten­tion and mem­ory.

Ideas to en­hance your yard’s nat­u­ral ben­e­fits

Now that you know the ben­e­fits of your lawn and land­scapes, you may be in­spired to try some of these sim­ple im­prove­ments to make it look and feel even bet­ter. Some of these can even save you time and ef­fort, so you have more hours to spend out­doors.

Rais­ing the deck height of your lawn mower is one sim­ple thing you can do right now to im­prove your green space. When mow­ing, the blade should re­move no more than a 1/3 inch from the blade of grass.

Pro­fes­sion­als rec­om­mend to not mow right af­ter it rains. Mow­ing wet grass will cause clump­ing and ruts. This also leaves the lawn more sus­cep­ti­ble to cer­tain dis­eases.

“Grass cy­cling” your clip­pings al­lows ni­tro­gen and other nu­tri­ents to re­turn to the soil. Even bet­ter, it elim­i­nates the step of haul­ing around heavy bags of yard waste.

An ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem saves time on wa­ter­ing chores, but one that uses smart tech­nol­ogy and weather-based data will ap­ply wa­ter only when your lawn and gar­den need it.

The next time you choose flow­ers, shrubs or trees, opt for species na­tive to your re­gion. These plants have adapted to the climate, so they’re more re­silient to your re­gion’s weather pat­terns, and re­quire less wa­ter­ing than ex­otic species.

With these tips, you have plenty to get started on cre­at­ing a beau­ti­ful lawn and land­scape that looks and feels even bet­ter. If you’re seek­ing fresh ideas to amp up your land­scap­ing or want to max­i­mize its full en­vi­ron­men­tal and en­joy­ment ben­e­fits, con­sider turn­ing to the ex­per­tise of a lawn care or land­scape pro­fes­sional. With help from a pro­fes­sional, you can have the out­door oa­sis of your dreams. To find a pro­fes­sional in your area, visit LoveYourLand­scape. org.

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