Stress has become a major epidemic among U.S. adults. According to a report from the American Psychological Association, the average American rates his or her stress level at a 4.9 on a 1-10 scale. While this is lower than past years, it still sits above the mean healthy stress level, which is 3.7.
Homeowners may have even more things to worry about - from keeping the house clean to maintaining a perfectly manicured backyard. As you know, neither of those tasks go as planned, and outdoor mishaps can easily add to stress levels. Here are a few to be aware of:
1. Dead grass
Whether caused by fungus disease or a digging dog, if you see spots of dead grass, you're likely stressing out about your lawn. This is especially true if you've spent hours laying down fertilizer and watering the grass to no avail. A beautiful lawn adds aesthetic appeal to a home, while a patchy one instantly ruins the picturesque scene. So how can you grow grass without the hassle?
"Grubs attract other critters like skunks and raccoons."
Solution: Consider artificial grass installation. This option not only looks and feels real, but you'll eliminate any risk of developing unsightly brown patches - even if you have a pet! Plus, turf doesn't require watering, helping with conservation efforts and allowing you to spend time with your family instead of doing back-breaking work.
2. Grub infestation
If you have flowers and vegetable gardens within your landscape design, then you're probably no stranger to grubs. As SFGate explained, these pesky beetle larvae not only feed on the plants' roots and potentially lead to failing gardens, but they also attract other critters like skunks and raccoons.
Solution: To keep grubs at bay, spray insecticides like Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki strain or imidacloprid. Otherwise, daily monitoring and grub removal can control the issue.
3. Lack of shade
There's no such thing as an unwelcome warm breeze, but direct sunlight can make your backyard feel like a desert. Sure, it's ideal for days spent swimming and getting tan, but some level of shade is necessary to beat the heat. Otherwise, the backyard simply isn't enjoyable.
Solution: Homeowners with few trees or a not-so strategically placed house may benefit from creating shade. Outdoor additions like gazebos are great for this, though there are ways to dress up already-existing structures. For instance, if you have a pergola, drape a canvas through its rafters and add transparent curtains to create subtle shade. Meanwhile, consider installing an awning or post up an umbrella on your custom patio.
4. Poor outdoor lighting
Are your outdoor lights flickering or dull? Do you simply not have enough light sources in your backyard? Poor outdoor lighting is not only inconvenient, especially if you have to grab a flashlight every time you go on your back porch, it's also downright dangerous. If you host a late-night backyard barbecue, you need a well-lit area for guests to navigate the space without falling and potentially hurting themselves. Meanwhile, it allows you to feel safe and stress-free, as your lights let you easily spot unwelcome guests - intruders, animals or otherwise - on your lawn.
Solution: Reinvent your outdoor lighting design. Make sure areas where people frequently walk, like paved pathways and patios, are well-lit, and opt for LED bulbs. Not only are these energy efficient, but they last longer than standard bulbs, so you won't stress about changing a burned out light. Of course, don't limit lighting to just your backyard design. Incorporating this home-enhancement strategy in the front yard allows your family to safely walk from the car to the house at night.
Life is stressful, but your backyard doesn't have to be. Use these strategies to create a relaxation oasis in your outdoor living space.