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Save Money on Lawn Care in Tough Economic Times

by Gabby Hyman, All About Lawns Columnist

With the dramatic downturn in the economy, desperate homeowners are on the lookout for ways to cut costs. You don't have to sacrifice your healthy lawn if you're willing to change your habits. Learning how to water efficiently, mow correctly, and tend to your lawn equipment can really make a difference.

How would you like to improve your lawn?
  • Make it greener
  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
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First, let's look at how you're mowing. Most people over-mow their lawns. Grass types and optimal mowing heights vary. Bluegrass, fescue, St. Augustine, and ryegrass varieties shouldn't be clipped lower than 2 1/2 inches, with a 1 1/2 inch maximum for Bermuda grass and an inch for centipede. You can let it all grow, so long as you don't chop off more than a third of total length of the lawn. mowing less often is likely to save gasoline expenses.

Mulching Means Water Economy

Mulch adds to water retention and can reduce watering costs. Instead of buying expensive mulch, visit your local street department corporation yard and see if they have some for free (many do). If you have a mulching blade on your lawnmower, leave your clippings on the lawn.

You can also save on watering costs by letting Mother Nature water your lawn and cut back on your sprinkler routine accordingly. Inexpensive ($15) rain check gauges are available to add to your system to keep it from watering your lawn after a heavy rain.

Lawn Mower Care Saves Money

Every five mowings, make it a habit to sharpen your mower blades. Sharpeners are typically sold by make and model, and they run less than $10. A lawncare shop can sharpen blades you if you don't want to do it yourself. You get better gas economy as well as save wear and tear on the engine. If you clean the air filter and change out the oil you also save money in the long haul.

Even when the economy rebounds, sound lawncare practices always pay dividends.

About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys, GoTo.com, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.

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