Nothing dresses the exterior of a home quite like a well-manicured lawn. This is why homeowners go to great lengths to ensure that they are taking proper care of their lawn to produce desired results they can be proud of. Trying to figure out the best way to care for your lawn can be confusing. But it’s important to know that there are many tools and lawn care techniques that you can use to ensure your lawn looks green and lush.
Healthy Lawn Tips
Knowing proper lawn care tips is key in getting it to look as attractive as possible and maintaining it. We’ve decided to share some healthy lawn tips that you can use to give you the best results.
Aerating and Thatch Control
At least twice a year (fall and spring) you should aerate your lawn before adding the top dressing or fertilizing it. You don’t need to own a lawn aerator; you can rent one from a lawn care company.
Lawn aeration is beneficial because it loosens up compact soil and allows water, air and nutrients to penetrate the soil and reach the roots. This results in roots that are deeper and breaks up thatch, which can interfere with a healthy lawn when it is allowed to accumulate on the lawn. Typically, about one centimeter of thatch is fine and will not be detrimental to your lawn, but anything more than 2.5 cm of thatch is too much.
Another reason why you want to clear excess thatch is because insects and disease can be trapped in thatch and cause damage to your lawn. To dethatch your lawn, use a dethatching machine. You can rent one from your local lawn care company.
Improve the Quality of Your Soil
The condition of your soil is critical when it comes to the health of your lawn. So there is a need to cultivate the perfect environment for your lawn to thrive. Grass grows best when it has fertile soil that is moist and not waterlogged. In addition to having healthy soil, you also want to make sure that you have sufficient soil which encourages deeper roots, which, in turn, creates a dense root system that can support the healthy growth of your soil.
A great way to assess the quality of your soil is to have soil samples sent for analysis. What these results will show are the levels of phosphorus, potassium, lime and pH. When it comes to pH levels, the ideal is between 6.0 and 7.0. Soil sample analysis can be done at an agricultural laboratory. Another way to improve soil conditions is to add good topsoil on top of your lawn. This should contain loam, peat moss and compost.
Overseeding a lawn involves introducing different types of grasses that are particularly resilient in drought conditions. Red fescue is a good choice because not only does it fare well in drought conditions, it also doesn’t require much fertilizer. It adapts well to dry soil and the sun. Perennial ryegrass is also another grass that does well in the sun.
Use a good quality lawn mower to mow your lawn frequently to keep up with the growing grass. But make sure you do not cut more than 1/3 of the grass blades off. It’s a good idea to leave clippings on the lawn after you mow as this provides a good source of nitrogen for the grass.
Nutrients are critical to the growth of your lawn and the right type of fertilizer is important. It’s critical that you follow the instructions carefully and use a spreader to even out the fertilizer on the lawn. Consider using organic fertilizers.
Starting a Lawn
Like anything else you want to succeed in, taking the time to plan for a good lawn and making decisions beforehand can set you up for success. This involves looking into the best type of soil, fertilizers, the cost, the time it will take to start and maintain a lawn, and the various resources that you may need.
Optimal Conditions for Lawn Growth
The best conditions for a healthy lawn are:
- Even ground that has a gentle slope and only moderate foot traffic
- Fertile soil that is well aerated, contains a lot of organic matter, allows for good drainage and has a slightly acidic pH
- Soil must receive regular amount of water
- Lawn need to be exposed to at least six hours of sunshine each day
- The ideal air temperature should be 16 to 24 degrees Celsius
Prepping the Soil
To prepare the soil you should clear away any debris like branch twigs away from the area you plan to plant the lawn and loosen the soil if it is compacted. Next, you should add 10 to 20cm of topsoil and work it into the ground. Then add peat moss, organic matter to the soil. This increases the acidity of the soil so make sure you are mindful of the quantity you add. Then spread fertilizer.
Seed or Sod?
Choosing between seed or sod defends on the plan you have for your lawn. If you’re looking for an instant lawn, then you should go with sod. It is more expensive than seeding and needs to be watered regularly using a lawn sprinkler to ensure that it is established well.
If you have the patience to allow the seeds to germinate, seeds are a good choice because you have a variety of different types of grass types to choose from to make up your lawn. Keep in mind that seeds need to be watered more and for a much longer time than sod does.
Once you have successfully started your lawn, it’s important that you take measures to maintain it. This requires a bit of work but can yield great results. Continue to water regularly with a lawn sprinkler, treat your lawn for weeds, aerate twice a year and mow it regularly.
Lawn Problems and Solutions
- Weeds – Inspect your lawn frequently for weeds on a regular basis. This allows you to stay ahead of any problems that may arise. If there are any broadleaf weeds you can pull these out by hand.
- Insects – these can feed on your lawn. Use organic pesticides to keep insects away from your lawn.
- Plant Diseases – poor growing conditions can result in lawn diseases which are often hard to detect. Some of these include powdery mildew, necrotic ring spot, dollar spot, leaf spot and rust. Mowing and watering your lawn can help prevent lawn diseases. Using a fertilizer that has adequate potassium is also very effective.
Use of Pesticides
What Are Pesticides?
Pesticides are chemicals that treat your lawn against insects and other pests. A herbicide is what is used for weeds.
When deciding which type of pesticide to use for your lawn, it’s important that you take the time to read labels to know what types of chemicals are present in the pesticide. Also take care to follow the instructions closely so as not to damage your lawn.
Effects of Pesticides
Pesticides do not prevent pests from settling in your lawn; they control and eliminate them once they are present.
Overseeding a lawn is an effective technique used to introduce different types of drought-resistant grass to the soil. We recommend doing this at the beginning of fall, however, you can still do this again in spring if the winter has caused some damage to your lawn.
Use a lawn aerator to loosen the soil. This needs to be done twice a year – in the fall and spring.
We recommend fertilizing your lawn every 6-8 weeks.
The best time to apply moss killer is late spring/early summer or late summer/early fall. This is when the weather is warm but not hot. Moss killer should not be applied on newly seeded lawns until after the grass has been mowed at least three times.
Vinegar is a natural fungicide and is highly effective in killing mushrooms and preventing them from returning.
A mixture of soap and water is the most common cleaning substance used to get rid of ants on a lawn. Simply mix in a spray bottle and spray the affected areas.
Use undiluted vinegar and spray it around the perimeter of the lawn. It repels both dogs and cats. For this to continue to be effective, you will need to spray vinegar on a daily basis.