We all need a place to retreat, relax and detach from stress and anxiety.
One of the best ways to achieve that space is by spending time immersed in a backyard or gardening project. Studies show these pastimes can be very effective in reducing stress, partly because they produce such satisfying results, and partly because they require us to focus on nature instead of ourselves.
This season, RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment) TM is sharing tips on how to cultivate your own backyard sanctuary with help from proven methods and professionals:
Follow an integrated approach
Most yards are subject to weeds and pests at one time or another — that’s just part of being a homeowner. When it comes to controlling those nuisances, you’ll want to follow a balanced approach, known by professionals as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM may sound complicated but it is pretty simple. IPM takes a balanced approach to the use of EPA-approved pesticides and fertilizers paired with preventative practices to confidently control home and lawn issues today and prevent their return tomorrow. Remember IPM as a three-step process to find, solve and prevent:
- Find the source of your home or lawn problem.
- Solve in a way that aligns with your time, expertise and situation.
- Prevent it from happening again by taking care of areas in your yard that could invite the problem to return.
When using EPA-approved products, remember to follow label directions every time for long-lasting results.
Know when to call in the pros
In many cases, enlisting professionals to help create and maintain your outdoor sanctuary can be the ticket to a safe and healthy outdoor space.
“While many people have an idea of what they want their outdoor space to look like, it can be difficult to know where to start,” said Larry Wilson, Owner of Lawrence Landscape Design and RISE member. “That’s where we come in. Lawn and landscape professionals can help homeowners with everything from determining the plants that grow best in their climate, to deciding the type of soil and products to use.” If you need advice or help with the nitty-gritty, don’t hesitate to hire the following experts who can step in to help with design and logistics while practicing safe social distancing.
- Mowing services offer regular mowing, edging and trimming
- Lawn care services provide seasonal upkeep for healthy and maintained grass with methods such as aeration, pre-emergent treatment and weed control
- Landscaping services can design and refresh your layouts for more pleasing curb appeal
- Pest control services offer seasonal maintenance for both your home and your outdoor spaces
Block the bite
With focused planning, your backyard can become your “happy place” — a haven of calm and comfort and an ideal place for spending quality time with your family. Once you’ve established that haven, it’s time to protect it. Take proactive steps to ward off biting insects like ticks and mosquitoes that can spread harmful diseases such as Lyme disease and West Nile virus.
Remove standing water around your outdoor living space and mow your grass regularly to reduce areas where ticks and mosquitoes can live. Don’t forget to put up personal barriers, too, by using EPA-approved bug repellent to keep ticks and mosquitoes away. Look for bug repellents with DEET, Picaradin, IR355 or other EPA-approved active ingredients recommended by the CDC as proven and effective. Apply and re-apply according to label directions while outdoors.
Call your local professional applicator for more region-specific information on how to stop ticks and mosquitoes, like treating the perimeter of your yard and home. Their local and community expertise can increase the likelihood of stopping pests and preventing their return.
Ready to design an outdoor space you can enjoy all season long? Make plans now to create a family-friendly refuge that will be a source of calm and comfort for all who enter. Visit www.DebugtheMyths.com to learn more.