Friday, October 8, 2010

I am officially Yard Smart!

It has been my privilege to have been a Briggs & Stratton Yard Smarts Boot Camp recruit. What does this mean exactly and how did I earn this title? Well, it all started with a facebook contest, an ugly yard and a desire to correct the issues and to make my yard more appealing.

I entered the giveaway and posted some pretty horrific pictures of my yard. Once the yard doctor saw my pictures I was chosen for a voting round. Needless to say that the public voters also thought that I needed yard care tips and they voted me off to boot camp!

Our Yard Smarts Boot Camp was held in lovely Boston Massachusetts. The recruits were flown in for a whirl wind weekend of educational fun. We met with several Briggs & Stratton employees along with Yard Doctor Trey Rogers and Garden Expert Susan Gruber.

I learned so many great yard care tips during this fabulous weekend. I even learned how to perform a basic lawn mower tuneup. All you need is a Briggs & Stratton lawn mower tune up kit and 15 minutes. Did you know that you need to do a lawn mower tune up just once a year? This will help with the performance of your mower and extend its life.

I will share some of my yard care knowledge with you.

1. I don't have a weed problem. I have a mowing problem. This one was hard to admit but it is definately true for me. I have learned that a lawn needs to be cut 1/3 of its length. If you like a 2 inch yard then mow it once it reaches 3 inches. Don't wait until it reaches 6 inches and chop it back down.

2. Water your yard. A yard only needs 1 inch of water a week. The best time to water is during the early morning. Too much water can make a yard turn brown. This 1 inch includes any rain water that you may receive.

3. Fertilize your yard. You need to do this more than just once a year. The fertilizer ingredient Uria will act quickly and give you greening results with in a few days.

4. Seed your lawn. Your yard needs seeds, water and fertilizer to look its best. Choose a grass that is good for your area.

5. It's ok to use mulch around the base of a tree. You don't want the mulch to touch the tree bark but you can use it to cover up roots that have grown on top of the ground.

6. Plant it low, it won't grow. Plant it high, it will do fine! This little saying is helpful when you are planting trees or plants.

7. Plant a $50 tree in a $50 hole. This means to dig a nice big, twice the size of the plant, hole. You want to give the plant plenty of room to grow. After taking your plant out of the packaging container, be sure to break up the packing dirt and seperate a few of the roots. This gives your plant a nice start once it reaches its new home.

8. After planting your plant, you should spread the dirt taken out of the hole and spread it on the ground around your new plant. You shouldn't have any dirt left to dispose of.

9. Round up is your friend! Even the most experienced gardeners and yard geeks use it! Be careful, it can damage young plants and trees. Be sure to shield young plants from the round up spray when using it near them.

10. Yard care can be fun! You can experiment with your own yard. If you take pride in your yard work it will show.

I love that Briggs & Stratton provided me with this knowledge before they provided me with the prizes that I received from being a Yard Smarts Boot Camp recruit.

I received a $100 sears gift card, a duffle bag and a water bottle for being a first round winner.
For being an actual Yard Smarts Boot Camp recruit winner, I received a $200 sears gift card, a new lawn mower and a power washer along with a trip to the Boot Camp. I am excited about all of these great gifts and I plan on putting them to good use soon.

I would like to share a few sites with you if you are interested.

Trees are good This is the society of Arboriculture. They have tips on planting, pruning and fertilization plus information on caring for mature trees and hiring an arborist.

Arbor Day Foundation They have more great tips and how to video segments along with a fun on-line tree ID tool.

Corona Clipper Here you can download a printable pruning manual if you like.

I want to thank Briggs & Stratton for being a wonderful host while I was in Boston. This will definately be a time not forgotten. I have learned a new appreciation for my lawn and I will use the knowledge that you have given me from now on.

Disclosure: This is not a paid post. All of the opinions here are my own.

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