From lawn mowers to fertilizer, maintaining your lawn can be expensive. There are many factors to consider, but here are a few easy ways to help keep costs down and your grass green.
Many people think that cutting your grass short leaves more time between cuts, but short grass actually wastes energy trying to grow and get sunlight. According to About.com, maintaining your lawn at a minimum height of 3 inches will keep it healthy, and healthy grass is the key to saving money on unnecessary care. Keeping your grass long also helps water retention. "When your grass is longer, it can save you up to 50 percent of the water consumed by a shorter 1 to-2 inch lawn," reports Squawkfox.com.
Overwatering promotes excessive growth and feeds weeds, which means more maintenance and a higher water bill. Instead, water less. This will force roots to grow down where they can enjoy deeper moisture sources. When you see your blades start to curl, that's when you should water.
As for those lawn clippings, don't bag them! Grass clippings contain about 90 percent water, so they decompose quickly and help to return moisture and nutrients to the soil. This results in a healthier lawn that needs to be watered less. So, during growing season, it's best to leave clippings on the ground instead of disposing them. This logic does not apply to leaves, though. In the fall, make sure to rake leaves away as they will smother your grass over the winter.
Lawn Mower Options
Finally, the easiest way to save money on lawn care is to cut with a manual push mower instead of a gas-powered mower. Manual push lawn mowers like this Scotts model cost around $100, and need little maintenance. Of course, you'll be saving a ton on gas since the mower is powered by you. If you have a small to medium-sized lawn, split the cost of the mower with a few neighbors, and you'll be saving even more green.