Everyone wants a lush, green lawn that’s the envy of the neighborhood. Here are five quick tips for making the most of your lawn this year. Regardless of the type of lawn you have, the tenets of great lawn care remain the same. Test your soil, fertilize as required, keep it weed-free and the right length, and keep bugs and disease at bay.
Start in the fall with testing levels so you’re ready when the spring comes around. Also, look up specific instructions for your type of grass. If you have a special blend you may want to ensure you cater to its needs. Follow these guidelines and get ready for a great lawn this summer!
Soil Testing: Your lawn needs food to survive. It also needs the right environment to do well. Testing and feeding your lawn is easily the most important component to a great lawn. Plants need the right pH level and the proper amounts of nitrogen Phosphorus and Potassium (NPK) to thrive. You can buy a cheap kit at the garden store to give you ballpark idea of how these are accounted for in your yard but, in general, they work poorly. A much better method is to reach out to a local university that provides soil testing. You take samples according to the instructions and they will provide you exactly what to add in the right amounts.
Proper Mowing: A sharp blade and the right lawn length are also key to a healthy lawn. Each type of grass has slightly different requirements but, in general, you want to keep your grass about 3″-4″ in length. Any shorter and you may damage the grass by cutting too much and allow weeds to take root. Keeping the blade sharp minimizes damage to the plants and can reduce the incidence of disease and pests.
Fertilizing Your Lawn: Feeding your lawn is important for great color and lush growth. Make sure you follow a feeding schedule to avoid over-feeding. Overfeeding can be more damaging to plants than not feeding at all and can lead to sudden death or severe grass burn. During the winter months grasses still need nutrients to survive. In fact, providing the right levels of phosphorus can help grass roots overwinter better and emerge stronger in the spring.
Watering Your Lawn: All grasses need water but different types have different requirements. Warmer season grasses go dormant earlier than the cooler varieties and require less water. Generally most grasses need water about once a week. Long, infrequent watering is preferable since it requires roots to travel deeper in the soil between watering which strengthen the plant. The time of day is important as well. Try watering in the early part of the day. This prevents burning your lawn in the hot sun and allows the grass to dry before the evening when fungus can set in.
Keeping Disease and Pests Away: The sad truth is that nobody is safe from pests and disease effecting their lawn. Disease and fungus can spread very quickly and be devastating to lawns if not identified and treated quickly. Keep and eye out for any strange patches or changes to your lawns color. Call an expert or visit a garden store at the first sign of a problem. You can reduce the incidence of these problems by keeping weeds at bay with a herbicide applied in the spring and fall.