1. Invest In Bigger Plants
Instead of buying those little shrubs and waiting years from them to grow, consider buying bigger and more mature plants. Buying larger plants also means buying few plants and the larger plants have an immediate impact for your privacy.
Avoid planting a single type of plant in a line. You could potentially lose the entire screen in one season if pests or disease attack. Besides, plants don’t grow in orderly rows in nature. For a more natural effect, install groupings of plants to create a “thicket.” Stagger a few deciduous shrubs, a couple of evergreens, and a cluster of perennial grasses along the property line. It’s more attractive because it adds depth and dimension with different heights, colors and texture.
3. Go Verticle
If your space is limited, consider the use of raised beds or containers to provide height. Or use a climbing plant such as a rose, clematis, or creeping fig. A vertical trellis with vines or clinging plants can create privacy in small areas. There are lots of options on the market, but you also can DIY something from wood or metal. Plants that naturally grow in a columnar shape, such as yews, junipers or bamboo also work well in tight spaces.
4. Redirect Attention
Instead of trying to hide an unsightly view, draw the eye away from the area by creating a focal point elsewhere. A large ceramic pot overflowing with colorful annuals, a bubbling fountain surrounded by day lilies, or bright blue Adirondack chairs nestled under a tree serve as garden accents that capture your interest and keep your eyes away from the ugly stuff.
5. Know When to Get Help
If you just don’t know where to start, consider hiring a designer to draw up a master plan for your yard. The designer can install the project in phases or explain how you can do it on your own over time. A landscape architect, landscape designer or horticulturalist can help plan all your immediate and future landscape needs. A master plan is like the front of a jigsaw puzzle box, which shows you how all the individual pieces will come together to complete the big picture.
1. Mow at the right height.
In summer, adjust your mower height to leave grass taller. Taller grass shades soil, which reduces water evaporation, leads to deeper roots and prevents weed seeds from germinating. Ideal mowing height varies with grass type. Time mowings so you’re never removing more than one-third of the leaf surface at a time.
The most efficient time to water lawns is probably early in the morning hours from 4 to 8 a.m. Less water is lost to evaporation due to lower temperatures and less sunlight.
Midday watering, though good for the plants since it cools the plant temperatures and reduces heat stress, is not as efficient because some of the water evaporates before getting into the soil.
Watering in the evening should be avoided. If the grass plants go into the night-time hours wet, they will remain wet for extended periods of time. This may favor the growth and development of turfgrass diseases.
3. Treat for grubs.
Insecticides for grubs can be applied from May through mid-June, when recently overwintered grubs (larvae) start feeding. However, these grubs are large and may be difficult to kill. Starting in mid- June most grubs are in the pupal stage and insecticides are not effective. In early July adults emerge to feed on plants, mate, and then at night fly to grass to lay eggs. The best time to apply insecticides for grubs is from mid-July until early September. Granular applied insecticides distributed on soil with a spreader are usually the best insecticides
4. Clean up after your pooch.
The family dog can cause dead spots on a lawn. If you see dying grass due to your dog’s urination, flush the area with water to dilute the urine in soil. The best solution is to create a mulched or pebbled area and train your dog to use that area for bathroom breaks. Also, keep waste picked up and dispose of it properly.
5. Sharpen your mower blade.
A dull mower blade tears grass, creating ragged, brown edges that provide an opening for disease organisms. Sharpen your mower blade regularly. The rule of thumb is that a sharp blade lasts for 10 hours of mowing. Consider purchasing a second blade so you’ll always have a sharp blade at the ready.