Six back yard renovation mistakes to avoid

Heeding a few hints can help you make the most of your time in your back yard.Heeding a few hints can help you make the most of your time in your back yard.
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Summer and backyarding — the act of taking our indoor life outside — go hand in hand. This time of year, the backyard beckons for entertaining, working, exercising, relaxing, and reconnecting. But those looking to make improvements to their family yard for even more family fun this summer need to avoid some common backyard renovation mistakes. Here are the top backyarding renovation mistakes to avoid, according to the TurfMutt Foundation:

Not considering your yard’s full potential. Your yard has the ability to safely and comfortably accommodate a range of functions for your family. From outdoor officing to al fresco dining and offering a place for kids to learn and grow as well as work out their wiggles — your backyard has unlimited potential to expand your home’s living space.

Planting fake grass. Plastic grass offers none of the life-giving benefits of real grass — such as oxygen production, carbon sequestration, urban heat dissipation, or air pollution reduction. Real grass offers all these benefits, and it is easier on feet and paws. Also, real grass is a natural air conditioner.

Forgetting the “right plant, right place” rule. This is the “Golden Rule” of backyarding, but it’s more than just knowing which plants will thrive in sunny spots versus shaded areas. Selecting the right plants for your micro-climate and lifestyle will result in a living landscape that requires minimal upkeep on your part while offering maximum environmental benefits.

Not treating your yard like part of the connected ecosystem. Your yard links with other community green spaces to provide food and shelter for pollinators, such as birds, bees, butterflies, bats, and other creatures. Support pollinators and wildlife by planting a healthy balance of grasses, flowers, shrubs, and trees that thrive in your yard’s conditions and bloom at different times throughout the year.

Not utilizing community green spaces. Think of community parks, dog parks, green belts, and schoolyards as an expansion of your own backyard square footage. Not only do these community areas provide a change of scenery from your own backyard, they are particularly beneficial for those with little to no backyard space of their own.

Failing to keep safety in mind. Outdoor power equipment makes big backyarding projects easier, but it is critical to keep safety in mind. Read your owner’s manual and follow all manufacturer’s guidelines. Do not disable or alter any of the safety features. Always keep pets and children away from machinery during operation, and do not let children on or near lawn mowers at any time.

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