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Time is Money – Part 4: How to Avoid Yard Work

This is the fourth article in our series about saving time.

Yard work always seems like a good idea before you actually have to do it. The thought of pushing a lawnmower around your own little piece of the American dream has a little romance to it. Of course, as soon as you actually have to get the mower started, mow, and trim in 100+ degree heat, yard work loses a little of that romance. Here is how to save time doing, or avoiding, yard work.

As Jesse from Breaking Bad would say, “Science, bitch!” Those dudes hanging out in white lab coats are good for a lot more than landing a rover on Mars, they also use those big brains to make life easier for us couch potatoes. Do a little research and use science to your advantage in avoiding yard work. For example, do you hate pulling weeds? Well you’re in luck, the eggheads have created a little thing called a preemergent. What is a preemergent you may ask? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like, it is applied before (pre) the weeds sprout (or emerge). It looks like fertilizer but has the exact opposite effect. Instead of helping plants grow, it keeps their seeds from sprouting. Apply this a couple of times a year and you won’t have any weeds to pull. Science favors the lazy.
Consider removing your grass for a less upkeep-intense landscape. Do you hate mowing your lawn? Join the club. Did you know that in many places, especially in drought-prone areas of the country, the government will pay you to remove your grass? How’s that for a deal? Uncle Sam will pay YOU to be more lazy. It’s a great country we live in. Of course, the government wins too. Grass takes water to grow, usually lots of water. In many places water is a precious commodity, one not to be thrown away on fescue. Check with your local water district and you may find you can make money by ripping out your grass and putting in desert landscaping or that zen rock garden you always wanted. Less work and a mediation place all in one.
Hit up child labor. No, I’m not kidding. I’m not saying I advocate sweat shops and all that, but kids make great servants. Many kids’ first job involves mowing lawns. Look around your neighborhood and you’re sure to find a couple willing kids who are too young to get a “real” job but big enough to push a lawnmower around. While they might not do quite as good of a job as a professional landscaper, I guarantee they will be a lot cheaper. Offer to pay them minimum wage or less and chances are they’ll jump at the opportunity. Don’t exploit them – that’s obviously not cool, but many kids are looking to enter the work force and helping you with your yard is a good place to start. Plus, it’s a lot nicer to pay a 13 year old $10 to mow your lawn while you watch TV than suffer the heat and do it yourself.
How do you avoid yard work? Any science tricks you know to avoid getting your hands dirty? Share below.
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