5 Way To Get Your Yard Ready For Summer

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    When it comes to your yard, a little preparation goes a long way. Taking care of your lawn now means healthy plants, weed-free lawns, and less yard work when summer arrives. From testing your soil to laying sod, we’ve compiled five easy ways to get your yard prepped so it will look great all summer long.

    When taking on this DIY task, be sure to equip yourself with the proper safety gear. Throughout the video, we’ll alert you regarding when you should and should not use the safety gear.

    Test your soil. Your soil’s pH level determines what your lawn and garden needs to nurture strong, healthy plants. Testing your soil is easy. All you need is a trowel, bucket, and soil testing kit.


    • Trowel
    • Bucket
    • Soil Testing Kit


    To ensure good test results, start by cleaning your bucket and trowel with mild soap. Then rinse and dry thoroughly. Gather soil samples—you’ll only need about half a trowel full—from four to six areas of your yard, placing them in your bucket as you go. Once you’re done collecting your samples, mix them together. Open your test kit and carefully follow instructions. When you have your results, take them to your local nursery, so a garden specialist can help you achieve just the right soil conditions for the plants you want to grow.

    Rake your lawn. Raking away the twigs, leaves, and other debris that can build up on your yard over the winter is another simple way to make sure your lawn gets the nutrients and the moisture it needs to grow strong, healthy grass. You’ll only need a few things for this job.


    • Fan Rake with Plastic Tines
    • Work Gloves
    • Compostable Bags


    If your lawn is large, start by dividing it into sections and tackle them one at a time, starting at the borders of each area, and work your way towards the center. Rake debris into small, wastebasket size piles.

    Aerate your lawn. If your yard is looking pale, it may be time to aerate it. Aerating your lawn helps revive grass by punching hundreds of small holes in the soil, so oxygen and nutrients can reach its roots. There’s no need to buy a power aerator for this job. You can rent one at most home improvement and rental centers.


    • Aerator
    • Sprinkler Flags


    When you aerate your lawn is as important as how you do it. Aerators won’t perform efficiently if grass is too wet or too dry, so choose a day when your yard isn’t soaked by recent rain or parched by a dry spell.

    Start by marking the locations of sprinkler heads and other hidden obstructions. You’ll need to avoid these spots, so use small flags, stakes, or paint to clearly mark them. Run the aerator across your lawn, working back and forth in one direction. Repeat the process again, this time working at right angles against the original direction.

    Lay sod. Sod is the fastest way to turn bare dirt into a lush lawn. Although more expensive than growing a lawn from seed, sod gives you instant gratification in a matter of hours. Here’s what you’ll need to lay your sod.


    • Trowel
    • Fan Rake
    • Garden Rake
    • Utility Knife
    • Wheelbarrow
    • Sod


    Start by raking the area where you’ll be laying sod. You’ll also want to make sure the soil level is about one inch below adjacent driveways and walkways. Place the sod on your lawn, start with the borders of your yard and work towards the center, keeping edges tight without overlap. Cut pieces to fit with a utility knife, and stagger butt joints. When complete, water the sod thoroughly.

    Sod dries quickly, so if you have a large job, be sure to stop every two to three hours to water the sod you’ve already installed. Sod must stay moist in order to penetrate the soil underneath, so water it thoroughly every day for the first week, then every other day the week after that. While it’s tempting to walk on your fresh sod immediately, avoid walking on it for about a week.

    Plant gardens. Raised garden beds are a great way to provide your plants with nutrition-rich soil that’s free of competing weeds. You can build a 10×4 garden bed in just a few hours. If you plan to grow edibles in your bed, be sure not to use pressure-treated wood. Use cedar or cypress instead. Here’s what you’ll need to build your garden bed:


    • Circular Saw
    • Square
    • Power Drill/Driver
    • Saw Horses
    • Drill Bits
    • Tape Measure
    • 2-Lb. Sledge Hammer
    • 2 ½” Stainless Steel or Galvanized Wood Screws
    • Utility Knife
    • Clamps
    • Shovel
    • Garden Trowel
    • Six 2”x8”10′ Boards
    • 2”x4”8′ Board
    • Landscaping Fabric


    Start by cutting your 2x8s into four four-foot-long end pieces. Cut 18-inch-long stakes from your 2x4s. Make a 45 degree cut at one end of each stake. Build the long sides of the bed by laying two of your 10-foot 2x8s together on sawhorses flat sides down. Clamp them together so they won’t move. Measure and mark 1 ½ inches in from each end. Fasten a stake along the line with 2 ½ inch stainless steel or galvanized wood screws, driving them into the wood in a staggered pattern. Add a third stake at the middle of each side board. Set the long sides upright, and attach the end boards, driving screws through the ends of the long boards into the end pieces. Place the frame where you want your bed to be, and pound the stakes into the ground with a sledgehammer.

    Landscaping fabric will suppress weed growth. Install it by draping the fabric over the edges of the bed. Fill your new bed with quality soil, tamping it down as you go to avoid loose spots and air pockets. Trim away excess landscaping fabric. Then plant your fabric vegetables, herbs, and flowers, and watch them grow!

    Looking for great tools to help get your project done?  Shop Stanley, Black & Decker and DeWALT for everything you need!


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