Wouldn’t it be nice to have a lush, green, and beautiful lawn? It isn’t necessary to struggle against the elements to keep your lawn or prevent dreaded brown spots from forming, as long as you take good care of it.
Watering, mowing, and fertilizing your lawn in a different way can have a significant impact on its health.
You will experience a great sense of accomplishment after taking care of your first lawn. It’s been a long journey, and now you’re standing on the ground you’ve earned.
Getting your first lawn in perfect condition will allow you to enjoy beautiful lawns and entertain in the backyard for a long time. Get familiar with lawn care basics and tackle one task at a time.
Below are some guidelines to get you started.
Guidelines for Watering
- Water deeply and sparingly.
Drought and disease resistance is increased through this method. It should be moistened each time until the lowest existing roots are reached, which to for a healthy lawn is usually 6 inches deep. When you water your lawn frequently, you can promote shallow root growth, and with shallow roots your lawn may not be as healthy as you would like it to be.
- The amount of water your lawn needs will depend on the grass type.
Watering should be determined by grass species, temperature, lawn health, and soil conditions.
- You should water your lawn in the mornings or at night.
In cool, humid conditions with low winds, water is distributed evenly and fewer losses are incurred due to evaporation. Waiting until between 10 PM and midnight, or 8 AM and 9 AM are generally the best times to water your lawn.
- Season-Dependent Grass Have Different Water Requirements
Ryegrass, bluegrass, and fescues, among other cool-season grasses, tend to need an inch per week, rising to two inches (or more) in hot, dry weather. Many warm-season grass types may last for weeks without watering, including buffalo grass and blue grama.
- Keep an eye out for signs of drying.
It’s best not to wait for your lawn to turn brown before watering it more. You can check for any wilting, color changes (grey, purple, or blue-ish grass), and lingering footprints.
- Outside the growing season, you rarely need to use water.
In the late fall to early spring, when your grass is not actively growing, it doesn’t need nearly as much water. Watering every four-six weeks in dry weather may still be needed.
- Dormant grass in cool season should be left alone.
When the weather gets hot, cool-season grass will go dormant. They’ll wilt, turn brown, and then come back to life when the weather cools off. Heavy watering can prevent this, but don’t resurrect it once it goes dormant. Wait until hot weather passes before trying to revive it.
Guidelines for Lawn Mowing
- Cool, dry weather is the best time to mow the lawn.
The grass is more sensitive during the hottest part of the day, so avoid mowing during that time. Mowing wet grass should also be avoided. When the grass clippings are wet, they tend to clump instead of being distributed evenly, making some mowers less efficient and potentially dangerous.
- Trim the grass blades to a third maximum.
Cutting away more than one-third of the grass height can potentially damage them. You shouldn’t be worried if the grass becomes too tall after you miss a lawn mowing session. Just cut the top third off, then wait a few more days before mowing it again.
- Regularly sharpen your mower blades.
Ragged grass blades can be further damaged if they’re cut by dull blades. When the mower is heavily used, it is best to sharpen it several times throughout the season instead of once per year.
- It is best to leave grass clippings on the lawn.
It can provide nutrients to the lawn as the wet clippings decompose rapidly.
- When the growing season ends, cut the grass short.
Once your lawn has stopped growing, mow it one extra inch or half an inch more. It prevents snow mold and matted grass in the winter.
Guidelines for Fertilizing
- Use a mix of slow & fast release fertilizer
Using a slow-release fertilizer mixed with fast-release fertilizer will produce the best results. Make sure to choose a fertilizer that contains about 30-50 percent slow-release fertilizer. Choose a slow-release fertilizer if you can’t find a mix of both. Using this method, your lawn will show a less dramatic effect but will grow with less risk of a growth spurt.
Nitrogen is key
Apply fertilizer that contains a lot of nitrogen. Your lawn should be fed nitrogen as often as possible.
- Go organic
It is best to use an organic fertilizer if you can. Proteins and carbohydrates from composting animal waste or plant matter can be converted into food for earthworms and microbes in your lawn.
- Select an appropriate fertilizer plan.
An annual fertilization of lawns is essential to keep the grass healthy and prevent runoff. Following that, you are responsible for how much effort you wish to put into it.
- Estimate the amount of fertilizer
Estimate how much fertilizer you will need. Your fertilizer spreader should come with instructions, so you can adjust it that way.
- Distribute fertilizer using the fertilizer spreader
To ensure even color, and to prevent fertilizer from spreading beyond the lawn, fertilizer must be applied evenly. Plants may be damaged when fertilizer is accidentally applied to flowerbeds and vegetable gardens, and sediment builds up in storm drains and water sources, damaging the environment.
Aeration, Dethatching, and Other Tips
- Make sure you aerate your yard at least once a year. A lawn aerator works by aerating your lawn which can help drain well and aerate. Tools like these can be rented from tool rental companies. It is usually enough to aerate a home lawn every fall. To prevent compacted soil, aerate the ground when it is soft enough to penetrate, but not too dry.
- Let the plugs decompose on the lawn. When they take too long to break, use metal objects to break them up and drag them over the grass or gather them for composting.
- Get rid of excessive thatch. The thatch on the surface of a lawn is made up of a spongy mat of roots and stems. As it grows, it will prevent drainage and aeration once it reaches about half an inch thick. Additional core aeration is the best method of removing thatch. Dethatcher machines can be rented to get rid of the thatch and make sure that it is around half an inch thick. This should only be done in spring or fall when the weather is cool and there are still a few weeks of growth to come. A power rake can also be used frequently and shallowly over the lawn. It may cause damage to your lawn if you use deep power raking.
- Prevent the buildup of thatch in the future. Thatch may be growing rapidly if pesticides are being used, which is killing earthworms necessary to break it down. Alternatively, you can sprinkle an eighth in a sprinkle of soil on top of the lawn.
- Enhance grass growth in shady areas more so than in sunny areas. Water deeply and less frequently in shaded bare spots if your grass doesn’t thrive. Alternatively, you can fertilize the areas in the shade half as much.
- Maintain your lawn in the winter. Use your lawn sparingly during frosts to prevent damage to your lawn. Use as little salt as possible if you need to break up the ice. Calcium chloride products are safer than those containing sodium chloride.
Seasonal Lawn Care Tips
You usually get a 100% or greater return on your lawn investment if it’s well maintained. Ensure that your lawn looks lush from spring through fall with these lawn care tips.
Lawn Care Tips for the Early Spring
Proper preparation makes everything go more smoothly — and you will get better results. It’s one of the most basic lawn care practices.
- To dispose of old gasoline, you’ll need to contact your county or city for disposal sites that accept old fuel.
- Get a new tank of gas. Small engines can suffer damage if the gas that has sat for the winter collects moisture. It is especially important to use regular gasoline for fuel containing ethanol.
- Mower blades should be sharpened to ensure that they cut cleanly. If the blade becomes dull, which is likely to happen with frequent use, the grass will tear causing jagged edges which encourage pathogens to thrive.
- When the grass cutting season is in full swing, sharpen mower blades every month. Keep a spare blade on hand so you will always have a sharp one.
- Get your lawn cleaned up. Over the winter months, leaves and twigs have accumulated all over your yard. It’s about time for you to get out the leaf rakes and start raking leaves. It is important to remove wet leaves as soon as possible in early spring to prevent smothering. It is important to clean up old debris before applying fertilizer and herbicide.
Lawn Care Tips for Spring
- If the weather is good, your grass should now begin to grow in earnest, so prepare for the first cut. Do not mow wet grass – diseases can spread and clogged lawn mowers are caused by wet grass clippings.
- It is a good idea to fertilize your lawn both in the spring and in the fall. Fall is the best time to fertilize cool-weather grasses, especially in the northern third areas of the nation where the weather is cooler. Cool weather grass roots store energy for spring in the winter.
- If you live anywhere else in the country, start fertilizing your grass just when it begins to grow rapidly. Follow the directions on the product closely for the best results.
- You can increase the amount of oxygen, nutrients, and water in your grass by aerating it. To maximize the efficiency of the aeration machine, choose a day when the soil is damp but not soggy.
Lawn Care Tips for Early Summer
- There’s more grass than usual in your yard, so you need to mow more frequently. It is important to mow the grass at least every third of the time to keep your lawn healthy.
- Get rid of weeds that have remained untreated with herbicides. Use a post-emergent herbicide if the outbreak gets out of control.
Lawn Care Tips for Summer
When it comes to mowing grass, we should keep this in mind: The taller the grass, the deeper its roots, and the less weeds it produces.
In keeping with that, here are some tips to help you keep a greener and healthier lawn:
- Mower blades should be set at 3 inches height.
- Ideally, you should water your lawn deeply and infrequently, as frequent sprinkles encourage shallow root development. It is recommended that lawns are watered once a week.
- A lawn that receives less water than that will likely be dormant. You shouldn’t worry about the grass dying. Dormant turf should still get at least 1 inch of water monthly. As soon as the weather turns rainy, the grass will begin to grow again.
- Use pie tins to measure the amount of water collected in your yard over a set period of time as a way to check your sprinkler’s output. It will be easier to keep track of the amount of water your lawn receives if you use a rain gauge.
- Keep your mower’s undercarriage clean once a month. A dirty mower invites disease and can spread throughout your lawn.
- You can leave grass clippings on your lawn to decompose and enrich the soil, as long as the clippings do not form large clumps. Brush away any leaves, twigs, or other debris on a regular basis.
Lawn Care Tips for Early Fall
When the hot, dry days of summer are over and the temperatures are cooling down, it’s the best time to patch thin spots. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Get rid of any dead grass.
- Prepare the soil by breaking it up with a garden trowel.
- Compost one inch into the soil and work it in.
- You might also sprinkle full-sun or shade-adapted grass seeds, depending on the grass type. The grass seed should be applied evenly to the bare spot.
- Work the grass seed into the soil with a hard-tooth rake to about a half-inch depth.
- Distribute grass clippings to prevent a drier spot.
- Until the new grass sprouts, keep the patch moist. Water it gently every day until it sprouts.
Lawn Care Tips for Fall
- You must keep your lawn clear of leaves and debris in the fall. You could mulch your lawn mower with organic matter to enrich your soil. Make sure any clumps are cleaned up so your grass doesn’t die.
- Those who live in the northern third of the country should fertilize their lawns during this time. As you go dormant over the winter, the roots of your grass will store nutrients, so your lawn will be ready to wake up when spring arrives.
New to lawn care? Follow our tips!
Some people are gifted enough to naturally take care of mother nature without any additional help, but those who aren’t may need a little more than just putting a little effort into your lawn. It makes a big difference if you try to inform yourself of the many lawn care tips we’ve provided for you in this blog! Lawn care isn’t a simple job, many homeowners struggle to maintain upkeep for their lawn. If you’re one of these people, our lawn care experts at Westside Grounds can help you! Contact us today.