At first glance, it doesn’t seem like a plant-healthy yard is a lot of work, but careful steps need to be taken nearly year-round to give you a landscape that the neighbors are envious of.

Fulton Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing has a six-step plan to create and maintain a yard that any green thumb would be proud of.

  1. Test Your Soil

Having your soil tested will not only let you know which types of plants will work best in your yard, it will also alert you to any changes in the soil that will require some different greenery. Horticulturists say to have your soil tested annually until it is healthy, and then you can scale back to once every three to five years.

  1. Have at Least Some Native Plants

You’ll want your lawn to have at least some (and ideally most) native trees, flowers, and shrubs. It stands that they will perform best in the natural environment and helps promote a healthy ecosystem.

  1. How to Handle Dandelions?

Dandelions, while providing a pop of color, are technically weeds. But experts say if you don’t want to leave them, pull them out by hand. Do not use herbicides to kill them because the poisonous chemicals could harm other plants nearby or affect the soil.

  1. Find the Best Plants for Your Lawn

In addition to the soil, the space you have and the amount of sunlight your lawn gets are the other key factors in determining the best flowers and plants for your garden.

  1. Use the Right Amount of Mulch

Around three to five inches of mulch is the sweet spot when you’re spreading it out. Too little will allow weeds to grow through and keep the soil too hot, while too much mulch won’t allow water to penetrate it and reach the soil.

  1. Yearly Routine

During the winter months, leave plant stems standing. You’ll also want to plant early- and late-blooming plants to keep the yard alive, so to speak.


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