With warm weather approaching, families will want to spend more time in the backyard. Houston’s drought of 2011 has left many neighborhood yards looking brown, dry and in need of attention. The spring season brings hopes of adequate rainfall and the plush greenery that Houstonians are accustomed to. Fixing up the backyard does not have to be an expensive task and you don’t have to have a green thumb to see dramatic improvements in your yard. Just follow a few inexpensive tips and, with a $100 or less, both you and your family will notice the changes.
- Cut the grass. During the winter season, grass does not grow rapidly, but when the weather warms, you need to cut the grass more frequently. Due to Houston heat, do not cut the grass too low, which can cause it to dry out and turn brown.
- Edge the lawn. Be sure to trim the grass around patio areas, fences, furniture and any other spots that the lawnmower cannot reach.
- Rebuild your lawn. If your lawn has brown patches or areas where grass has died, sprinkle grass seed. Spring is a great time to grow more grass. Bermuda grass is a great choice for the Southern climate, but there are many types to choose from.
- Get rid of the weeds. Hopefully weeds have not taken over your backyard and the few that appear can be pulled up or dug up. However, if weeds are a problem for your backyard, consider spraying a weed killer on the lawn that will not harm the grass.
- Eliminate pests. Fire ants can quickly hamper backyard family time. To prevent ant infestations, treat the yard with fire ant killer. A spray can cover the yard or granules can be applied to visible mounds.
- Repair fencing. Eliminate any wood fencing planks that have become an eyesore and replace them with fresh wood. You might even consider adding a coat of paint to fencing to enhance your backyard with color.
- Plant a flower bed. Flowers can add an array of color to your yard. Once you have chosen the place in your yard for the flower bed, research the type of flowers that would flourish there. Some flowers need lots of shade, while others need direct sunlight.
- Become a bird watcher. Houston is home to a variety of species of colorful birds. Attract birds to your backyard with a bird feeder or a bird bath and entertain family and guests.
- Remodel lawn furniture. Just because lawn furniture is a little worn doesn’t mean that it’s useless. Add a fresh coat of paint or stain to old patio furniture and it will look like new.
- Decorate. Add a touch of personality to your backyard by decorating with lawn ornaments, statues and flowerpots. Choose tasteful pieces that you enjoying looking at.
Here are a few places to help you get started:
Houston, TX 77081
Hours: Mon to Sat -7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun -10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Southwest Fertilizer offers chemicals and fertilizers to care for Houston lawns. You’ll find a variety of products tailored to the unique needs of your lawn. The store even sells bird feed for your bird feeder.
The Armadillo Flea Market Mall
431 E. Airtex Drive
Houston, TX 77073
Hours: Fri to Sun -11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The flea market is a great place to find inexpensive lawn decor. Armadillo Indoor Marketplace is great for finding home decor items. Unlike other flea markets in Houston, it is located indoors.
Buchanan’s Native Plants
611 E. 11th St.
Houston, TX 77008
Hours: Mon to Sun -9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
If you want to plant flowers, Buchanan’s Native Plants is the place to go. The nursery is located in the Houston Heights area and specializes in plants native to Texas. It also offers free seminars if you would like to learn more gardening tips.
Amber E. Wilson is an educator, writer, and entrepreneur who lives in Houston, Texas. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Masters of Business Administration degree. She is also the founder and Executive Director of a nonprofit home high school that helps teens earn their diploma. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.