Playing in the Yard

Playing in the Yard
Mother Nature has teased us with some early spring temperatures already this year, and if you have children or grandchildren, no doubt you’re looking forward to spending some time outside before the summer heat sets in.

There’s lots of fun to be had outdoors, and there are also several considerations to help keep your children — and your lawn — healthy this spring.

Growing Fun
Kids of all ages are fascinated by the flora and fauna of our planet. Go on safari in your backyard and search for bugs, birds and other critters. Carry a cell phone to help identify any species you don’t recognize. Or just take pictures and wait to look them up on a rainy day.

Spring is a great time to talk about the life cycle of plants, too. Find examples of plants in different stages in the yard. Use them to explain how, from tiny grass blades to towering trees, most plants start as seeds, germinate, grow into plants, flower, pollinate and make seeds to start the cycle again. With older kids, you could talk about the different types of propagation — tuberous roots, bulbs, stolons, rhizomes, etc.

Love of Work
If you’re someone who loves to “play in the dirt,” planting flowers and vegetables or just caring for the lawn, children love to help. Plan some age-appropriate activities. Kids of any age can help plant an herb garden, spread mulch, or pick up sticks and twigs. With each step, talk about what you’re doing and why. You may just inspire another avid gardener in the family.

Lawn Care Safety
Apart from the obvious safety precautions, like keeping young children away from dangerous mowers, trimmers and clippers, there are also some invisible dangers. Because children’s bodies are still developing, they are more susceptible to toxic chemicals. Opt for organic fertilizers to feed your lawn, and minimize the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides. (Next month we’ll offer tips to keep your lawn beautiful with fewer chemicals.) When you do use chemicals in your yard, keep the kids off the lawn for a few days to help minimize exposure.

Lawn Health
Playing in the yard can be hours of fun during spring, but don’t forget — grass is a living plant. Until your grass is established for the growing season, limit the amount and type of traffic on your lawn. When your yard first greens up in the spring, the tender shoots are much more susceptible to damage than heartier summer blades.

Walking around with your little one for an hour of bird watching certainly won’t hurt anything, but the extended family playing football all weekend long could wreak some serious damage. Also be sure to limit wheeled toys to hard surfaces like sidewalks and driveways.

If you’re installing grass this spring and your yard gets lots of use, be sure to ask about our traffic tolerant varieties like Tiftuf. Give us a call at 770.832.8608 or email

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