Renovating A Bland Yard Will Energize Your Outdoor Living

Backyard living spaces have seen increased popularity in the Truckee Meadows. Did you know we’ve been bringing imaginative outdoor rooms to locals like you for decades?

Our hands-on approach will help to identify the indoor functions you’d like to extend outdoors such as a fireplace, seating area, spa, living room or even the kitchen. We’ll develop a sense of your design priorities as ideas emerge for these outdoor options.

We suggest you consider the following:

  • Gathering areas for kids, pets and visitors
  • Health and relaxation objectives
  • Recreation and entertainment opportunities

As you prioritize your functions and separate “nice to do” from “must do” you’ll quickly establish a surprisingly comfortable outdoor room your entire family will enjoy for decades. Why not let us turn your design and budget into an beautiful opportunity to enhance your Reno lifestyle?

BACKYARD BASICS: WHAT’S HOT TODAY?

The projects coming across our drafting tables are excellent indicators of what’s on the minds of your neighbors~specific to backyard renovations. When it comes right down to it, there are some pretty basic “must haves” when prioritizing a backyard landscape:
1. make it livable
2. keep it green

So we wanted to give you some food for thought on the top two issues as you consider your yard makeover this summer.

LAWN RENOVATION

What is lawn renovation?
Lawn renovation involves killing existing turf and replacing it with new grass without tilling or changing the grade which is normally done during the establishment of a new lawn. Locals with older homes are finding they love grass, just not their old tired turf installed when the home was new.

Why renovate a lawn?
The lawn species/variety is frequently attacked by disease or insects causing the lawn to thin.
Your yard has become increasingly shady over time & the original lawn is thin and unhealthy.
The lawn was severely injured or totally killed by disease, insects, drought, or hit by winter.
You want to completely convert from one turf species to another.

(re) INSTALL SPRINKLERS

If you are going to install a sprinkler system, the best time to do it is before installing your new turf. It will be easier to install and be in place to help your new plants grow. This service goes hand in hand with service on the left. With our semi-arid climate, an efficient system has several benefits.

An efficient sprinkler system will:

  • Save more water than you might expect

  • Make it easier to water at the best times

  • Adjust flows with temperature and humidity

Typical issues in local households

  • Pop-up spray heads, impact sprinkler or rotor
  • sprinkler nozzles or sprinkler bodies are broken.
  • Sprinkler head above or below grade.
  • Spacing of sprinklers inappropriate for the head.

Start a compost pile in time for Earth Day

Here’s a link to an excellent “How-To” for composting by Susan Donaldson at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extention. » Link to article

Here’s the breakdown. I highly recommend reading the article if you’re thinking about starting to compost at your home.

  • Site. Pick a level, well-drained site…
  • Pile size. Make compost piles at least one cubic yard…
  • Ingredients. Start by creating a series of layers…
  • Particle size. The size of the materials you add to your compost pile plays a role in how fast the material breaks down…
  • Water. This is often our biggest barrier to effective composting in Nevada…
  • Mixing. Once the pile is built, it should begin composting quickly…
  • Curing. The pile should stay hot for several weeks to two months…

Susan Donaldson is water quality and weed specialist for the western area of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. This is the 10th in a series of articles from University of Nevada Cooperative Extension on starting your own vegetable garden. Previous articles have explored such topics as site selection, ordering seeds, preparing your soil and starting seeds indoors.

To find the complete series of articles, go to www.unce.unr.edu/resources/horticulture/growyourown.