Located in the Gainesville, Georgia metropolitan area, Flowery Branch has a climate that is conducive to gardening year-round. However, those who have a lawn in Flowery Branch as well as those of us who run a lawn company in Flowery Branch know all too well that summer months can be challenging when it comes to maintaining a lawn when the temperatures average close to 90 degrees. We recommend a few cost savings tips as well as aneco-friendlier approach.

Less Grass, More Garden

A lawn should take up around 40 percent of your yard at the very most. The rest should be allocated to trees, bushes, flower beds, raised garden beds, low-maintenance ground cover, and even such landscaping techniques known as xeriscaping that incorporate drought-resistant plants, stones and inert materials. When planning your yard, we recommend you first consider areas that aren’t conducive to growing grass. With these lawn alternatives, we see substantial savings in both time and money, especially if you adhere to a grow-food-and-not-lawns approach. After all, any place where you can grow a lawn, a vegetable garden will thrive.Even the smallest of plots can yield hundreds of dollars’ worth of produce and turn resources spent maintaining a lawn into a dividend when it comes to your grocery budget.

Feed Your Lawn

When the time comes to mow your lawn, we suggest you consider using a self-mulching lawn mower, which deposits clippings over the lawn as you mow and provides vital nutrients as they decompose. Also be sure to save your food scraps that can be used as compost for your lawn as well as your garden. Finally, test your lawn first to determine whether it’s even necessary to fertilize and, if so, what nutrients your lawn may be missing. We have a number of local services that will test your soil for a very reasonable fee. Fertilizer can be very expensive and minimizing or even eliminating its use will save you money. If you must fertilize, we recommend doing so in the spring or fall.Never apply fertilizers on a windy day or else you will likely end up fertilizing your neighbor’s yard!

Appreciate a Shaggy Look

One of the biggest mistakes we find homeowners making is to cut their grass too short in the summer months. Though you might think that you won’t have to mow as often, by adjusting your mower to let your grass grow to about 4 inches before cutting it to 3 inches will help reduce the frequency of mowing by as much as 25 percent. This approach not only saves around 10 hours of work over a season, but it also saves your lawn, since a scalped lawn produces frail and shallow roots and can dry out the roots as well as the underlying dirt. Replacing a lawn or even just having to seed more often can be expensive. If you use a power mower, remember to keep your blades sharp since you’ll use less gas if you only need to cut in a single pass. For smaller lawns, we recommend an old-fashioned hand mower, which will not only save money on gas and maintenance but provide more exercise at the same time!

Water Wisely

We get a reasonable amount of rainfall here in Flowery Branch so it’s good practice to purchase a rain gauge and measure what falls when it does. Healthy lawns need roughly one inch of water per week and that includes rainfall. Avoid dousing your lawn daily and instead give it a thorough watering once a week, and by all means don’t be hesitant to let your lawn turn brown. This simply indicates your grass is going into a dormant state in order to conserve its nutrients—be assured it will turn green again. However, don’t wait until it has a hard, straw-like consistency, which indicates that your grass is indeed dying. When you do water, be sure to do so in the early morning, which allows the water to soak into the roots and gives them the moisture they’ll need for the rest of the day. Avoid watering at night when it’s cooler and can lead to disease, as well as in the middle of the day when the water tends to be lost through evaporation.