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Host of ‘Lawn and Order’ Chris Lambton’s Top Tips for Lawn Care

Photo: Courtesy of HGTV

In a Q&A, Chris Lambton breaks down the most important things for homeowners to know when it comes to landscaping their yards.

How can homeowners better maximize their yard space?

Maximizing your yard is possible no matter the size of the space. Before starting any project, it’s best to do some research and make a list of priorities. Think about what you want to achieve in the space and how you plan to use it. Use vertical spaces along the side of the house or fence to expand spaces used for plantings. Look at options for stackable furniture that can be moved easily or pieces that are multi-purpose.

How can people keep their outdoor equipment and tools secured when they are not using them?

Tools are an investment and if you want them to last, you have to take proper care. After every use, they should be wiped down and hung up in a covered area or stored in a proper container. This keeps them out of the weather and helps prevent rust on metal or splintering on handles. At the end of the season, put all garden hand tools in a bucket of sand mixed with linseed oil. This will help keep the metal clean and rust free.

When it comes to landscaping, where should beginners start on their yard?

When it comes to landscaping the best place for beginners to start is by edging, weeding, and mulching the yard. This is a project easily accomplished over a weekend and can really transform the space by providing much needed curb appeal. The key is a flat, sharp shovel to create a clean edge from flower bed to lawn. After edging and weeding, finish it off with fresh mulch. Many homeowners purchase individual bags of mulch. This can get expensive and time-consuming. Mulch comes by the yard and can be delivered and dumped in your driveway by a landscaper. One yard of mulch is typically about eight wheel barrels. Broken down mulch like pine, hemlock, and cedar will hold in moisture for the plants, reduce weeds, and eventually turn into a compost.  

What are some of your top tips for people to take care of their yard every day?

Taking care of your lawn starts with watering. The best time to water is early morning around 5 AM and for at least 15 minutes per zone. This will allow the plants to get a healthy dose of water to their roots. You shouldn’t water during the heat of the day, as most of that water will just evaporate and will not make it down to the roots.

Don’t overplant. Many homeowners want instant gratification and plant everything very close together. It’s important to research and understand how big the plantings are going to get. This way the plants aren’t competing for sun and nutrients.

Do not plant large trees or shrubs near the foundation of a house. The roots of trees and shrubs are strong. I am sure you have seen sidewalks being popped up by tree roots. Those tree roots can do the same damage to a home’s foundation.

What are some things that people can do to easily create a relaxing outdoor space?

When creating an outdoor space, I like to make one that is low maintenance. This will allow the homeowner to be able to enjoy their space without having to work every weekend to keep it looking great. Stone patios, pea stone walkways, and large mulched beds all cut down on the amount of lawn which means less watering, mowing, and fertilizing. A centralized stone patio will provide a place to entertain, eat dinner, and relax. This is a one-time investment that doesn’t need to be painted or maintained like a deck does.

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