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A Great Lawn on the Cheap

by Dawn West, All About Lawns Columnist

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Lawn maintenance can be an expensive endeavor, whether it's shelling out for gardening equipment to help you aerate right or ponying up for the herbicide that will finally make your weed control dreams come true.

The good news is that there are lots of ways you can shave off some of that expense without compromising the healthy good looks of your lawn. Read on for money saving tips.

How would you like to improve your lawn?
  • Make it greener
  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
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Pinching Pennies on a Gorgeous Lawn

Want to have a gorgeous lawn, but don't want to take out a second mortgage to pay for it? Here are a few suggestions:

Tip #1: Rent, Don't Buy

There's some gardening equipment you really should own - tools you're going to use all time and whose cost is well worth it. But that list is short: a rake, a shovel, a lawn mower, an edger. You can save yourself loads of cash by renting all the gardening equipment you're only going to use occasionally.

For rototillers, power rakes, aerators, and just about every other big ticket item, don't let gardening equipment purchasing mania take over. Sure the tools are cool, but so is hanging onto those hundreds of dollars. Rentals are available at garden supply stores throughout the country, making it easy to rent what you need just when you need it.

Tip #2: Environmental controls

When it comes to jacking up the cost of your lawn, fungicides and herbicides are two of the biggest culprits. In many cases, you can save yourself the expense by practicing preventative fungus and weed control. The best defense in both cases is a thick, healthy lawn.

You should fertilize regularly, irrigate properly, mow high to shade out weeds, and pay attention to poor air circulation in your yard; if you follow these guidelines you probably won't need to turn to expensive fungicides and herbicides for fungus and weed control.

Now and again, even your best attentions to environmental controls won't be able to stop problems from creeping in, but the less often your turn to store-bought weed control, etc., the more you'll save.

About the Author
Dawn West B.A. holds a B.A. in English from Harvard University and teaches writing at Oregon State University.

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