Who doesn’t want the perfect green lawn that the whole neighborhood is envious of? If you don’t have a green thumb, this can sometimes feel unachievable. However, with some essential lawn care and maintenance tips, you too can have a healthy lawn. Take a look below to learn some of the basics.
Test the Soil
In order for your lawn to thrive, the first thing you have to do is test the soil around your home. This is something you can and should do every spring as being aware of the condition of the soil you are going to be working with will make it much easier to maintain it, if there is a need. Seeing as how the soil contains air, water, minerals and organic matter, it serves the very important role of providing nutrients to all your plants and grass. By conducting this easy test, you will be able to see which elements are lacking or not present in your soil and, in turn, know which type of fertilizer to get. Furthermore, testing the soil pH will help you determine how acidic or alkaline it is – for grass, a neutral pH is usually the best, so aim for 6.5 on the scale. While you can perform this test with a home kit, you can also turn to a local nursery or cooperative extension office, which might even do it for free.
Revitalize Your Lawn
After the test is done, you will know what your next step should be. In case it shows a lack of certain elements, you should consult with some professionals to see which kind of fertilizer you should use to revitalize the soil. A mix of slow and fast-release fertilizers is recommended as that will both spruce up your lawn in no time and keep it fed over time. Moreover, you should also look for organic or organic-based varieties in order to keep your kids and pets safe from potentially harmful pesticides and insecticides. Finally, depending on where you live, you might have to fertilize your lawn in the spring and summer or in the spring and fall. Make sure to do thorough research into the type of grass you opt for and the necessities to ensure your lawn gets the care it needs.
Deal with Compacted Soil
Other than having a lawn that lacks the necessary nutrients, one problem you might also encounter is a compacted lawn. This is not uncommon seeing as how compaction can be caused by many factors such as high levels of foot or vehicle traffic. The issue here is that compacted soil cannot hold air, water and nutrients properly which leads to its quality declining. In order to have a healthy lawn, you need to look into methods of dealing with compacted soil. What you will have to do is aerate the soil, preferably during the spring, so that it can better absorb the nutrients that it needs. There are several tools you can use for this task and while spike aerators can be useful, they are also less effective so your best bet is getting a plug aerator that removes plugs of soil. Of course, if you think buying such equipment is too expensive, you can always hire experts to do this chore for you – but where’s the fun in that?
When you have made sure that the lawn will actually be able to absorb the water you provide it with, you need to work out a watering schedule. First of all, most types of grass require an inch of water per week so you should ensure you are not overwatering it. Then, keep in mind that watering less often, but being thorough, gives the best results. Finally, watering early in the morning is the best practice seeing as how the temperatures are not as high so the water will not evaporate quickly and the soil will get a chance to absorb it properly. Watering in the evening is not recommended as it might cause disease due to prolonged exposure to moisture. In case you don’t have enough time in the morning to take care of this task, you can install sprinklers with a timer to overcome this issue.
Don’t Cut It Too Short
You might think that it’s easier to cut the grass super short as then you will not have to do it too often. Unfortunately, that process is often detrimental. To prevent brown spots and a weak lawn, you should never cut more than one-third of the height of the grass. Sure, that might mean that you have to mow it a few times a week, but slightly taller grass finds it easier to absorb the sun it needs and stay healthy.
Take Care of Your Tools
Finally, you need to take proper care of the tools you have. This task usually means keeping your mower’s blades sharp. Dull blades can tear the grass and weaken it and this is the last thing you’d want in your yard. Seeing as how sharpening blades is fairly straightforward, you should do it at least once a year. Of course, turning to a professional is also a good idea if you do not feel confident to attempt the task yourself. Additionally, professionals can also tell you if your mower is in need of new blades or not.
Following the above tips will help you towards achieving your very own picture-perfect lawn. As with most projects in life, this will require a bit of research, some patience and a bit of elbow grease to properly execute, but once implemented the results will speak for themselves.