Whether you are a renter or a home owner on a limited budget, there are many inexpensive ways for you to become your own backyard problem solver. The best potential backyard problem solving approach is preventative maintenance. Another backyard problem solving approach is simple maintenance and minor adjustments.
From personal experience, we know that it is often hard to come up with the money needed to do major landscaping overhauls. I’d like to share some simple backyard problem solving techniques, hints, suggestions that work for us that may help you. So grab a cup of Java and consider these ideas:
Backyard problem solving preventative suggestions: Slope your soil beds away from your foundation to keep water from draining toward your house. Keep your vent boxes clean of leaves, debris, and soil. In winter wrap your sprinkler junction with insulation or a heavy blanket to avoid frozen lines. Drain your hoses for the same reason. These are all simple basics we sometimes forget.
Backyard problem solving for weeds: Laying down a black landscape cloth rather than black plastic is better for your soil and achieves the same result of controlling weeds. Black cloth is inexpensive, easier to use and lay, and doesn’t poison your soil. The soil breathes through the cloth; it is smothered by black plastic. You just cut the cloth where you want to plant.
A heavy layer of compost or bark mulch keeps your plants roots cool, conserves water, and also controls weeds. Mulching adds beauty in color and texture to your flower beds and gardens. Mulching also has the added advantage of providing rich nutrients and soil building essentials to your soil as it breaks down.
Mulching enriches the soil which feeds your trees, shrubs, and flowers. Through this process your plants are stronger, hardier, and disease resistant. They thrive, grow, and multiply, thus adding beauty to your yard. You save money, time, and frustration in caring for and replacing weak plants. You conserve water which is good for our ecosystem, you save money on your water bill.
Another good back backyard problem solving maintenance technique is to repair or replace leaky hoses and leaky washers in spigots. Water conservation and the cost of watering is a major concern for each of us. Rainwater barrels are especially good too, decorative and providing nutrient rich fresh rainwater for free to your plants. If you don’t have rain gutters, you can get those wonderful long chains that direct the water down from your roof into your flower or garden beds.
Another backyard problem solver: If you have a brick or flagstone walk, they move and sink occasionally. You can easily with a little labor, a pry bar or a long screwdriver lift and reset these stones or bricks to level again by prying them up, resetting the level with a leveling tool or even a two by four length. Lift the stone, place additional sand underneath, check the level.
Add more sand as needed to create a sound level and reset stone. Take a rubber mallet of decent size and pound the stone back in place. Rain if available will do the rest or sprinkle with water when you are watering to reset. Go to the next low stone and repeat the process. The result, even pretty patio or walkway restored.
Take the time to power wash or clean your sidewalks and foundations. Touch up or repaint those dreary patio furnishings and accents. The cost is little, the effort not too much to quickly revitalize old or worn patio yard décor. Linseed on wood is an excellent choice for revitalizing wood. We will address it in depth in another backyard problem solving article.
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