Golf

Yard a mess for Thanksgiving? Here are 4 sneaky-easy ways to beautify it

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Tidying up a messy yard doesn’t have to be hard work.
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Thanksgiving is upon us. Time to roast the turkey, clean the house and set the table. But what to do about your dreary-looking lawn? Last thing you need is Uncle Carl critiquing your crabgrass. Mark Patterson has a few ideas. As a longtime member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, and the superintendent at a pair of Florida courses (Legacy Golf Club at Lakewood Ranch and Serenoa Golf Club), Patterson often fields that yard-care question.
His answer always starts with, “It depends.” On everything from the weather to your budget to the grass varietal that grows around your home. But he also follows up with some lawn beautification basics. Here are 4 quick-and-easy ways to spiff things up before your guests arrive.
As in, liquid iron. Your local home-and-garden store should have it. Mixed with water, and sprayed on grass, it activates nitrogen in the plant, greening up your lawn in a Banner-to-Hulk-like transformation. Actually, it takes a bit longer than that. But you often see the change in as little as six to eight hours. The catch is, the grass has to be healthy to begin with. Liquid iron is a miracle worker, but it can’t bring dead things back to life. 
Also known as “grass dye” and “turf colorant,” green grass paint is non-toxic and does exactly what its name suggests. Applying it is a common yard-care hack. Golf courses with dormant turf use it often, too, whether it’s to please the daily customer or to pretty things up for TV.
Mostly, these are used to minimize evaporation and prevent erosion. But mulch or pine straw, freshly layered around plants and flowers, can look beautiful, too — an eye-catching distraction around the edges of a lawn that might appear a little worse for ear. 
Not all lawn beautification involves the lawn itself. During the fall and winter, when snowbirds flock to his Florida courses, Patterson takes pains to power-wash the concrete cart paths and other hard-scaping around the grounds, clearing away leaves, dirt and other debris. He recommends doing the same at home — to the sidewalk, the front walk, the patio and porch. That’s attention to detail that even Uncle Carl will appreciate.

A golf, food and travel writer, Josh Sens has been a GOLF Magazine contributor since 2004 and now contributes across all of GOLF’s platforms. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting. He is also the co-author, with Sammy Hagar, of Are We Having Any Fun Yet: the Cooking and Partying Handbook.
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