Lawn Care & Fencing

Overview

Integrating proper lawn care and fencing into landscaping increases the value of a property. American homeowners spend over $17 billion on outdoor home improvements, including both lawns and fencing, according to American Lawns, a general information website about lawn care. Understanding the available options and functions of lawn care and fencing allows homeowners to make the most of their outdoor spaces.

History

The idea of a close-cut grass lawn appears to come from Europe, which features an ideal climate for open grasslands, according to Organic Lawn Care 101, an informational website. The earliest maintained lawns surrounded medieval French and British castles. Animals provided the means of maintaining low foliage. The lawn allowed for a clear view of approaching visitors. Deliberate cultivation of lawns began in the 16th century, primarily by the wealthy. Lawn plantings included both chamomile and thyme, which naturally grow low to the ground. During the 17th century, the usage of human labor to tend grass emerged among the wealthy. Lawns in early North America were typically managed by sheep or cattle grazing in the front of a home, contained by fencing. In 1915, the U.S. Department of Agriculture began working to develop grass species and types of grass suitable for lawns. Mechanical mowing emerged in the early 19th century. Technological advances continue into the 21st century.

Function

Lawns provide space for recreation, sports and relaxation. A properly maintained lawn and fencing increases the value of the home, according to the Lawn and Garden website.

Fencing Types

Privacy fencing usually features a closed system of wooden boards of vinyl fencing panels that range in heights according to a homeowner's preferences. Fencing designed to keep animals and children in or out of the yard may be made out of chain-link materials, wooden pickets or vinyl fencing. Containment fencing often allows for the homeowner to see through the fencing.

Lawn Types

A wide variety of lawn grasses exist. Each type of grass features different lawn care needs. Many lawns contain a mixture of grass types designed for the specific yard needs. Grass types are classified according to cold hardiness, drought tolerance, shade tolerance and traffic hardiness.

Maintenance

A properly maintained lawn should be mowed on a regular basis to the recommended height for the type of grass planted. According to the Ohio State University Extension, fertilization is the most important lawn care factor in maintaining a healthy lawn. The extension recommends fall and late fall applications of fertilizers high in nitrogen. The lawn should be watered infrequently with at least 1 inch of water per application. Wood fencing should be inspected for any signs of weather-related deterioration. Hinges and gate latches should be kept oiled and rust-free. Clean fencing according to type and manufacturer recommendations. Anchor Fence, a Michigan-based fencing company, recommends cleaning vinyl fencing once every 3 to 6 months. Clean and protect wood fencing every 3 to 5 years, and metal fencing annually.

Keywords: fencing and lawns, history of lawns, fence maintenance

About this Author

Lillian Teague is a professional writer and editor with more than 10 years' experience in taking hard-to-understand subjects and making them easily understood. She's written thousands of articles for newspaper, periodicals and the Internet. Published work includes VA publications, MMS publications, USAF's The Mobility Forum, Wheretostay.com, Rateempire.com, 1Loansusa.com and many others.