Lawn Care Maintenance

Lawn Care Maintenance
Is there anything more beautiful than a manicured lawn?

Ahhhh…I think not!

A little is all you need to turn an eye-sore into a beautiful green carpet.

Actually, the lawn is quite forgiving, and responds well to even a
little bit of support from its caretaker.

If you are starting with a
damaged lawn, you can make changes in your routine that will improve the health and vitality of your lawn in a relatively short period of time.

Repairing
an established lawn can be done even if the lawn exhibits lots of
problems such as bare spots or weeds.

But as they say…an ounce of prevention is worth of pound of cure.  This is as true with as with anything else.

So let’s get to it!

5 Easy Lawn Care Maintenance Techniques


Step 1:  Proper cutting

Proper cutting of your lawn can play a role in making sure you have an award winning
turf.  You want to make sure you don’t cut your lawn any shorter than
about 2 1/2 to 3 inches during the growing season. Any shorter
than that and you could compromise the lawn
by exposing it to weed growth.

Weeds are prevented from growing
in a healthy lawn largely due to the lawn’s density, so cutting off too much of the
growth can have the opposite effect that was intended.

A litte will give you a healthy, happy turf!

Cutting the grass too short can also lead to bare patches in some
areas where the ground is uneven.  If you chop through the crown of the
lawn (right where the lawn meets the soil) you will kill the grass in
that area.  Kill the grass and weeds will quickly move in!

To ensure a proper, clean cut for the grass blades, you will
want to make sure that you have routine maintenance completed on your lawn mower, including blade sharpening.

Is this really important?  Yes!

A dull blade tears at the grass and rips it apart.  Those rips are more prone to disease.  A diseased and damaged lawn is not a healthy one.  Clean cuts to the grass blades will help diminish this possibility.


Step 2:  Proper watering

Most people
think that in order to maintain a healthy turf, routine watering
is required.

This isn’t necessarily true.

Your lawn is an amazing organism, and is designed to go “dormant” during dry periods. During these
times, the lawn will turn a light straw color
and will “green up” again once the rain returns. This is a natural
habit of the lawn, and many lawn care professionals encourage people to work with this feature
instead of against it. It is eco-friendly, requires much
less maintenance for you, and it is overall better for your lawn.

But what if you really, really, really like to water your lawn all summer long?  It looks so pretty!  Is watering less really better for your lawn?

Yes!

Here’s why…watering your lawn over zealously decreases the lawns natural ability to tolerate minor drought conditions, and creates a dependance on routine waterings that you don’t
want. Doing this can actually put your lawn in danger of dying when
the water is taken away.

Do yourself, the environment, and
your lawn a favor by refraining from watering on a regular basis.
Watering
during excessively dry periods is a good thing, but only when it is absolutely necessary.  I can
honestly say that I have never watered my lawn, and it has not suffered
because of it.

To help you conserve even more water,
not only for your lawn but around your
home, consider using a flow meter.


Step 3:  Proper fertilization

Is lawn fertilization really that important?

Well, there seems to be 2 schools of thought on this one.  One school advocates for little to no fertilization, or fertilization with organic material such as compost, and one school advocates for a regular fertilization program that includes weed control.

I have to admit, I advocate for the organic method, but certainly know many who are regular fertilizers.

If you go the organic route, compost can be evenly distributed across your lawn on a yearly basis.  Aerating your lawn prior to such a treatment may help the lawn get the full benefits.  Even if you decide not to aerate, compost is a wonderful material, and will improve any plants in your yard, including the lawn.

The most healthy and vigorous patch of grass that exists on my lawn is located right infront of my composter.

When spreading compost across your entire lawn, it may be wise to go through a commercial distributor to ensure that the compost has been properly heated to kill all weed seeds and potential parasites.

If you’re going to go with regular fertilizing, it is best to pick one program, and follow the instructions to the letter.  Scott’s, for example, has a complete fertilization program that works throughout the year.  Each treatment builds on the next one, and compliments it.

Great care should be taken to thoroughly read the instructions and directions for use.  Over fertilizing any plant can cause a great deal of damage, and even kill it.  Alternatively, the “under” application of such a substance like weed killer, could actually have the opposite affect and create weed resistance (meaning the weeds get tougher, and don’t respond to the weed killer anymore).

You do NOT want that to happen!


Step 4:  Proper aeration

Another element of proper is the importance of aerating your lawn.

It’s easy to tell when a lawn hasn’t been aerated in a while by
observing the thick, dense soil characteristic of a lawn screaming for
aeration. Lawn aeration works in conjunction with lawn fertilization,
and assists vital nutrients in reaching the roots of the lawn and
encouraging new growth.

This process requires a specific tool called a lawn aerator.  You’ll find two different types of aerators, either a core aerator, or a spike aerator.  Some insist that spike aeration is beneficial, but I’m not sure that I’m in agreement.  All spike aeration does is push a hole in the ground, which promptly squeezes right back together.

If you’re going to go through the trouble of aerating your lawn, get a core aerator.  You will be able to rent this machine at your local lawn and garden center for a minimal amount of money.

The core aerator actually pulls plugs of soil from the ground and leaves them on top of the turf.  The plugs naturally break down over time so feel free to let them decompose right on your lawn.

A couple of years of aerating your lawn, and you’ll know why people do it!


Taking these extra steps in , will give you a lawn your neighbors will envy!

For more information on lawn care and , see my posts on: how to plant grass seed, aerating your lawn, planting a lawn and lawn fertilization.

If you’re looking for more in-depth information about lawn care than I provide on this site, check out All About Lawns! They’ve got the 411 on all things lawn care…tips and tricks and dos and don’ts! 

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