As spring break passes around the country, summer has come into view, and now is the time to ready your yard for the season best spent outdoors. However, after a long, cold winter, your lawn and garden might not look as welcoming as you might hope. Thankfully, these six upcycling projects (as well as some much-needed TLC) will transform your yard from bleak to chic.
First, Some Summarizing Tips
In most places, the grass will grow with little or no help from you. However, just because your lawn is growing doesn’t mean it is healthy or vibrant enough to show off. Often, an untended lawn becomes tall and shaggy, sprouting weeds, and looks unappealing. Here are some easy-to-follow tips to keep your lawn looking fresh and inviting:
- Never cut more than 1/3 of the grass’s height in one pass. Particularly out-of-control lawns may require two or three rows, spaced with a day or so in between.
- Feed your lawn according to its type. Your lawn, like the plants in your garden, needs food, but different types of grass eat different amounts. You can use online charts (or the back of the fertilizer bag) for help.
- Water only 1 inch per week. Grass doesn’t need much to drink, unless you live in a particularly dry or windy area, in which case you can increase the amount to as much as 1.5 inches.
- Hire a professional. If you don’t have time to perform the maintenance your lawn needs, you can hire lawn care professionals to provide lawn weed control, pest removal, fertilization, and more.
Once your lawn is truly healthy, you can add any of the following projects, which revitalize household junk for lawn decoration and fun.
1. Larger Lawn
To make your lawn look bigger and brighter, you should add reflective surfaces around your yard. You hang mirrors around your perimeter fence, or you can spray paint various objects with looking glass paint and use them as lawn ornaments. For the latter project, variously sized spheres look the best, but you could make squares or triangles from scrap wood just as quickly.
2. Stylish Stepping Stones
Making stepping stones is a fun project for the whole family. Cement isn’t particularly expensive, and you can make a stylish mold from nearly anything, including giant rhubarb leaves, picture frames, or rubber door mats. Additionally, you can embellish your concrete with recyclables from your kitchen, such as bottle caps and crushed glass or ceramics.
3. Growing Hedgehogs
It’s easy to accumulate plastic bottles, and with some spare fabric and a bushel of plants, you can use upcycle that waste into unbelievably cute lawn decorations. First, cut a rectangular portion from the body of the plastic bottle. Then, wrap your fabric around the neck of the bottle, creating a funnel-shaped muzzle, and glue it.
If you wish, you can attach buttons as eyes and nose. Finally, fill the rectangular opening with soil and the plants of your choosing ― though cactuses might be appropriate for little lawn hedgehogs.
4. Wire Flowers
If you have a vegetable or herb garden, you probably have rolls of chicken wire sitting around. Fortunately, that wire is perfect for some simply gorgeous truffula flower–inspired lawn decorations. After procuring something round and hard ― perhaps a small bowling ball or asymmetrical river stone ― wrap a small swath of wire around the object to make a wire sphere. Delicately remove the wire and twist it closed, doing as best you can to retain the round shape. Then, spray paint the sphere purple (or whatever color you choose) and tape the twisted end to a sturdy rod using tape. Finally, spray paint the rod in green, and stick the flowers around your lawn.
5. Tiny Town
Some gardeners are careful always to add a small house to their gardens to appease the fairy folk. If you are feeling generous, you could build the fairies an entire settlement. Using all sorts of scrap material, such as paper towel tubes, milk cartons, and cereal boxes, you and your kids can craft a tiny town to place around your lawn and garden. Likely, this project will encourage your little ones to spend more time outdoors, which is excellent for their development.
6. Living Village
Of course, you can create covered spaces for more than just the fairies. Certain plants adapt well to sculpting, making them ideal building materials for small, living forts. Planting sunflowers in a circle surrounded by a loose fence (made from extra twine and stakes) will create a beautiful shaded nook. Alternatively, pole beans will grow up any trellis, which means you can form a teepee in no time.