Proper lawn care is the key to a beautiful yard. Weekly mowing, fertilizing and watering will keep grass lush and green. Regularly raking thatch will remove thick layers and prevent fungal disease.
Compacted soil prevents grass from growing properly and leads to bare patches in summer and mud baths in winter. Relieving compaction with a spading fork and adding sand or horticultural grit will improve conditions.
A lawn is one of the most visible parts of your home and a well-kept lawn can add significant curb appeal. The three basic components of a lush, green lawn are mowing, fertilizing and weed control.
Mowing your lawn is perhaps the most important aspect of yard maintenance. It’s not just about removing the top growth of grass, but also mowing at the right frequency and height for your type of grass. It’s also important to avoid damaging the grass by mowing too close to hard surfaces (such as stones around your garden beds or brick fire pits). You should also clear debris, kids toys and patio furniture from your lawn so that it can receive the light, air and nutrients it needs.
It’s also wise to change up your mowing pattern from week to week. Doing so prevents thatch buildup and encourages a healthier lawn. That said, if you’re struggling to find the time or energy to do this yourself, hiring a lawn care professional is a smart investment.
A quality lawn care company will employ all of the 10 tips for a healthy lawn and more. They’ll know to fertilize in the spring and fall, when to aerate and how to spot and treat common lawn problems, such as crabgrass and dandelions.
A quality lawn care service will also provide ongoing pest control services for your yard. This will help keep insects like chinch bugs, sod webworms and grubs out of your yard so that your grass can thrive. They’ll be on your property throughout the year to spot early signs of pests and provide recommended treatments. This can be a great way to keep your lawn healthy and strong all year round.
Having a lush, green lawn requires proper care. This includes regular mowing, watering, fertilization, and aeration. A lawn that is properly maintained is healthier and more resistant to drought, diseases, pests, weeds, and other environmental factors.
Depending on the climate, soil type, and grass type, different lawns have different watering needs. In general, a lawn should be watered deeply and infrequently, rather than shallowly and frequently. Watering deeply encourages the development of deep roots, which makes the lawn more drought-tolerant. The best time to water is in the morning, preferably before 10 a.m. It is cooler at that time, and the sun and wind are less intense, so the moisture doesn’t evaporate as quickly. Watering in the afternoon or at night can cause the droplets to cling to the grass overnight, which increases the risk of disease.
When a lawn is young, it may need to be watered several times a day until the seeds germinate and grow to about 3 inches in height. After that, it should be watered only twice a week, using misters to avoid excessive evaporation. A sprinkler should not be used on a new lawn, since it uses a lot of mains water and is not permitted during hosepipe bans.
The lawn should be aerated occasionally to improve soil penetration and reduce water runoff. If the lawn is compacted or has a layer of thatch, it should be dethatched to allow water and nutrients to reach the root zone. It is also important to control weeds, as they compete with the grass for soil moisture. If you have trouble with weeds, try over-the-counter herbicides or contact a professional to use targeted herbicides.
A lush lawn depends on proper, timely fertilization. This essential lawn maintenance practice encourages deep grass roots that naturally choke out weeds. It’s important to know the best way to fertilize your grass to promote healthy growth.
Grasses evolved on ranges and prairies, where they naturally get nitrogen from grass clippings. Grass that lives in the suburbs has a much harder time getting its natural nutrients, which is why regular fertilization is so crucial for healthy turf.
Fertilizer is available in a variety of forms and rates, from organic materials like compost, manure, and fish emulsion to commercially formulated synthetic fertilizers. Organic materials are slow-release and provide the lawn with nutrients over a period of weeks, whereas inorganic fertilizer is made from synthetic compounds that deliver almost instant nutrition.
Before you fertilize your lawn, do a soil test to see what types and how much of the three major nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) it needs. This information will help you decide between liquid or granular fertilizers, as well as whether to use a weed and feed product or not.
If you are reseeding your lawn, you’ll want to apply a fertilizer that is designed specifically for reseeding. These typically have a 1:1 ratio of nitrogen to phosphorus for promoting healthy seedlings that can better resist stressors.
After you choose your fertilizer, spread it evenly throughout your yard with a granular spreader. You can choose to water the lawn afterward or not, depending on the type of fertilizer. Be sure to avoid applying the fertilizer in full sun, as this can burn the grass. If you have a lot of leaves on the ground, rake them to reduce leaf matting that prevents sunlight from reaching grass roots and makes them prone to disease.
Weeds are an unavoidable part of lawn care, but the best way to minimize their impact is to ensure that grass is healthy enough to compete with them. Weeds steal the sunlight, water, and nutrients that grass needs to thrive. Having the right grass varieties, mowing at the proper height, and a consistent schedule of aeration, seeding, and fertilization will all help keep weeds out.
Annual weeds such as dandelions can be controlled with a pre-emergent herbicide applied in early spring when the soil temperatures are above 55 degrees. You can also hand-weed if needed, making sure to pull weeds by the roots. If you’re not comfortable pulling by hand, a handheld weeder or hoe will be more effective at eliminating weeds when they are young and more vulnerable.
For perennial weeds such as crabgrass, a post-emergent treatment applied in late summer or fall will usually do the trick. If you’re not confident using a sprayer, it’s best to leave these types of treatments to a professional who knows how to properly mix and apply them.
If you’re having a serious problem with weeds, it may be necessary to hire a lawn maintenance company who can use an organic or traditional granular weed killer. However, before resorting to chemical applications it’s a good idea to get a home soil test done as this will tell you exactly what your soil is lacking and why certain weeds are growing.
If your lawn has been abused by too much traffic, poor drainage, and/or shade, it will need more than just a few quick fixes. You’ll need to remove the existing turf, amend the soil, and reseed any thin or dead areas.
A healthy lawn requires regular care from homeowners and professional services in order to flourish. A thriving yard adds beauty and value to homes, and provides a safe play area for children and pets. It’s important to remember, however, that there is more to lawn maintenance than just mowing on a regular schedule. It’s equally as important to perform other tasks, such as removing items that can promote mildew and mold, and weed control. Performing these tasks will not only make the grass look healthier, but will also help prevent pests from ruining it.
To properly perform lawn pest control, one must first identify the specific problem. Different pests require different treatment methods. It’s important to correctly identify the insect causing damage, as well as the type of turfgrass. Using the wrong pesticide can cause even more damage, as different products have different ingredients that insects respond to. For example, trying to kill fire ants with an insecticide meant for carpenter ants may actually make the problem worse.
Before applying any pesticides, close all windows and doors in your house to avoid exposing yourself or your family to the mist or dust. It’s also wise to have an absorbent material nearby, such as kitty litter (preferable), sawdust, or paper towels, in case of spills. When handling any pesticide, be sure to wear a face mask to prevent inhalation.
In addition to pesticides, integrated pest management (IPM) practices are also recommended. IPM focuses on making your yard less attractive to pests, and includes tips such as reducing the amount of water and fertilizer you use, keeping mowing heights high, and removing things that attract pests (such as shady areas). It also encourages the use of natural or organic products.