10 Lawn care tips nobody tells first-time homeowners. Tips for lawn care
lawn care tips nobody tells first-time homeowners
If you’ve recently bought your first home and are, for the first time in your life, responsible for lawn care, the duty may feel overwhelming. Lawn care can get expensive and the last thing you want to do is ruin a perfectly good lawn because of inexperience. Not sure how to mow the grass or when to fertilize it? How often does grass need water? With these tips, your yard will be the envy of all your neighbors.
Tip #1: Find out what type(s) of grass you have
Several species of grass are common in the United States. Warm-season grasses, common in the southern U.S., grow in warm weather, then turn brown and go dormant in the colder months. Cool-season grasses grow best in moderate spring and fall temperatures, like those in the northern region, and go dormant in hot, dry conditions. The middle of the country often sees a mix of warm- and cool-season grasses.
The type of grass that grows in your yard influences important aspects of yard maintenance, such as how short to keep the blades and when to seed bare spots. If you’re not sure what type of grass is growing on your property, consult a landscaper or another lawn care professional.
Tip #2: Test your soil
Knowing the pH of your soil can help you determine how to care for it. If the pH of your soil isn’t optimal for the species you have, the grass can have trouble growing. Collect soil samples from different sections of your lawn, especially problem areas, and bring them to a Cooperative Extension lab for testing. You can also purchase a home test kit and run the experiment yourself.
With this information handy, seek advice from a lawn care professional on how to address any pH-related issues. They may advise you to use certain fertilizers to bring the soil’s acidity back into an ideal range.
Tip #3: Seed your lawn correctly
If there are bare spots across the yard, consult an expert to determine what type of grass seeds to use. You can use a different species than the one you currently have, as long as it can grow in your region’s climate.
It’s also important to seed your lawn at the right time. For warm-season grass, seed the yard in the spring or summer. To grow cool-season grass, seed the lawn during the spring or fall.
Amazing Landscape Services‘ Cameron Landry noted the importance of covering up freshly spread seed. “When we put grass seed down, we go over it with a top coat of soil. Seed on top of soil can wash away if you have a good rain, or birds can pick at it,” he explained.
Landry also stressed that after seeding, homeowners need patience. It may take two or three weeks to see results, but make sure you’re giving the seeds plenty of water in the meantime.
Tip #4: Know when and how to fertilize your lawn
Different types of fertilizer contain different percentages of nitrogen and other nutrients. As previously mentioned, your soil’s pH can determine which type of fertilizer is best for your lawn. Landry recommends finding a local company that makes fertilizers specifically designed for the conditions in your area.
It’s also important to give your grass the right amounts of fertilizer at appropriate intervals. Using the wrong amounts or reapplying too soon can damage your lawn.
Tip #5: Thatch your lawn and aerate the soil
When organic matter builds up faster than it decomposes, it forms a layer of thatch that protects the lawn from fluctuations in moisture and temperature. When thatch grows to be over an inch thick, however, it can keep nutrients, water, and air from getting deep down into the soil and make the lawn susceptible to disease and insect damage.
Removing thick layers of thatch can prevent those issues. Frank Faoro, a managing member of Allscapes NW LLC, recommends that you “fertilize [your lawn], water it, maybe thatch it once every couple years. If you keep your grass healthy, you shouldn’t need to thatch it too much on a regular basis.”
Landry also recommends aerating the soil to prevent it from becoming too dense. Aeration involves making holes in compacted soil so that water, air, and nutrients can reach the grass’s roots.
Tip #6: Choose a lawnmower carefully
There are several styles of lawnmowers, including ones that you can push and ones that you can ride around the yard. Ultimately, you should select one based on the size of yard you have. You might not mind pushing a lawnmower around a small lot, but it will be exhausting for a large piece of land.
Landry offered this advice: “If it takes you more than an hour to mow your lawn, you should possibly look into a riding option.” Your budget may also influence your decision, Landry noted.
Tip #7: Mow the grass often and don’t cut too much at once
When it comes to caring for a lawn, cutting the grass regularly is a must. If you mow at least once a week, you won’t have to worry about the yard becoming overgrown and out of control.
If you look around and realize that you didn’t mow the grass for a few weeks, you may be tempted to cut it short in one fell swoop, but be aware that this method can harm the blades. You should never cut more than one-third of the grass’s height at one time, so if your lawn gets extremely high, gradually cut it down to avoid shocking the vegetation.
Tip #8: Give the lawn a good watering – at the right time
Grass needs about an inch of water per week to stay healthy. How often you need to water your lawn will depend on the average rainfall in your area. The seasons play a role as well, so your lawn will need more water during the hot summer months, and you can cut back a little in the fall.
Shallow watering leads to shallow roots. Deeper watering and deep roots make for more resilient grass, so give your lawn a good soak so the water can penetrate far into the soil.
According to Landry, “One of the biggest [problems] is that people expect a green lawn, but they don’t water enough. A good rule of thumb is that if you lay out an empty tuna can in the yard where the sprinklers can hit it, it should fill up.”
Faoro noted the same problem: “A lot of times, people don’t water thoroughly enough or regularly enough.”
If you don’t have enough time to give your lawn a thorough watering, technology can help. “If it’s a high-end landscaped yard, looking into adding an irrigation system can save time and water,” Landry said. Some Smart systems feature the ability to set a regular interval schedule from your phone, making this task easier than ever for homeowners.
The time of day when you water is also critically important. “Water in the morning or late afternoon,” Landry advised. This is when the sun isn’t too bright, so the moisture won’t evaporate quickly. In fact, watering in the middle of the day can burn the grass, since water magnifies the sun.
Tip #9: Protect your yard from weeds
Weeds steal water and nutrients from your lawn, so eliminating them is a key part of keeping your grass healthy. If you’re not sure if a particular type of vegetation is a weed, consult a lawn care professional. Also, reach out to an expert before you use any chemical treatments to ensure you won’t inadvertently harm the grass.
Landry pointed out that homeowners sometimes mistake grass for weeds, and customers often call believing they have crabgrass that they would like a landscaper to remove. often than not, it’s just another native form of grass, not a weed.
Keeping weeds at bay also leads to healthy flower beds. Weeding and chemicals help, according to Landry, but bark provides an effective weed barrier as well.
Tip #10: Don’t let leaves pile up in your yard
If you live in an area with deciduous trees that lose their leaves in the fall, be diligent about raking the fallen foliage. “Keep the leaves off of [the lawn] in the fall,” Faoro recommended. “If leaves lie there, it’s no different than a piece of wood or a tarp on it. Leaves will kill the grass.”
Rake leaves or collect them with a leaf blower regularly, then put them in bags and dispose of them, ideally in a compost pile. You can also use a mulching lawnmower to chop the dead leaves into small pieces that can break down more easily, returning nutrients to the soil.
A lawn is easy to care for, but you have to be committed
As with any DIY project, don’t hesitate to call a professional for help. It’s better to ask questions and care for your lawn properly than to make crucial mistakes that you need to spend copious amounts of time and money repairing. Taking care of grass isn’t rocket science, but consistency is key. Homeowners often let their lawn go without a trim for several weeks, then find themselves struggling to get it under control and back in good condition.
Faoro concluded, “Overall, grass is the lowest maintenance thing you can put in your landscape. It requires diligent, frequent maintenance, but it’s the easiest thing to take care of. If you let it build up, it just gets worse.”
Maintaining a garden is a little tricky, especially for beginners. But with these Lawn Care Tips, you’ll be able to get the best lawn ever!
No garden is complete without a lush green lawn. If maintained greatly, it gives a soft velvety touch to a garden, plus a favorite site to leap and lie down for pets and children. To help you out, here are the best Lawn Care Tips!
Lawn Maintenance Care Tips
Don’t go for fancy stuff, always plant grass that is native, local, and perfectly adapted to your climate. Examine sunshine, temperature, growing conditions, and soil type to choose a grass type you should grow. All this will play a crucial role in long term lawn maintenance.
This is one of the most important Lawn Care Tips you need to follow.
Check the Soil pH
What’s your soil pH? For best lawn maintenance, a pH level of around 6 to 7.2 is required. Test your soil pH using a meter, and if it’s not around the required level, amend your soil type.
Take Care of the Sunshine!
Don’t plan lawns in a completely shady area. For good grass quality and growth, it is important that they get a minimum of 3-5 hours of sunlight. This is one of the most important Lawn Care Tips you need to follow.
Be Careful with Watering
Morning time is right for watering, as the water evaporates less. You can also water the lawn late in the evening. Always avoid moistening the grass on a daily basis and do it only when the topsoil feels a little dry to the touch.
Also, if you can get a sprinkler installed, nothing like it for good long-term lawn maintenance!
Mow your lawn before the grass grows too tall, as it can shock its roots and dull the blades of the mower, too.
For example, you should cut buffalo grass when it grows to about 2-3 inches tall and hybrid Bermudagrass when it reaches around 1-2 inches tall. This is one of the most important Lawn Care Tips you need to follow.
Take Care of the Weeds
If you want effective weed control in your lawn, plant a variety of tall grass – it’ll cover up the space for weeds and cut off their sunlight.
Keep a close track of the grass and remove the weeds if you spot any. This is the most basic lawn maintenance tip you have to follow.
Edgings restrict grasses from out bounding the lawn and give it a clean look. You can use plastic edging or timber, concrete, or brick edging. This is one of the most important Lawn Care Tips you need to follow.
Aerate to Ensure it Stays in the Best Shape
Aerate your lawn twice a year in both spring and fall. Aerating helps the root system and soil by providing air and water. It also improves nutrient penetration.
Fertilize to Keep it Thriving
The best time to fertilize your lawn is in its growing season, every 6-8 weeks, using a balanced fertilizer. Do refer to the label for dosage and instructions. You can also go for a 22-23-4 blend.
You can also use compost or manure, as they are rich in nitrogen and a better organic option than chemical fertilizers. Cow manure is also a great option. This is one of the most important Lawn Care Tips you need to follow.
Train your pets in a way that they don’t run the entire length of the lawn. Reserve a small part of the lawn and allow them in that specific area to ensure they don’t end up damaging the entire lawn by running all over. This will keep lawn maintenance in check for a long time.
Reseed Thin Areas
If some parts of the lawn are looking patchy, then it is time to reseed the area in order to get the grass growing again. Always go for the grass variety that grows best in your zone. This is one of the most important Lawn Care Tips you need to follow.
Keep Cleaning Dead and Decaying Matter
Make sure you take care of the dead grass from time to time. If you have a tree nearby, ensure to clean up the fallen leaves.
A cleaned lawn looks not only great but also gets proper sunlight and moisture, which keeps it healthy and safe from potential diseases and issues. This is one of the most important Lawn Care Tips you need to follow.
Keep the Pests Away
Lawn grubs, aphids, and other common pests can be a problem and it would be a good idea to keep a keen eye on them. If you spot an infestation, use the necessary measures to keep your lawn safe from pest attacks.
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65 Комментарии и мнения владельцев
The mushrooms in your lawn do not harm it. over, it shows your soil is rich in organic matter. Mushroom spores usually spread through the air so the best option is to remove them as soon as you see them. A few more things can be done to get rid of lawn mushrooms are: 1) Aerate the soil, it will solve the drainage issues. 2) If you keep the lawn moist and water more often, reduce it. 3) If there is organic matter decomposing, either buried or somewhere near the lawn, remove it. You can also wait and once the decomposition process will complete, the fungus will disappear.
My wife and I are trying to improve the look of our lawn a little better. I really appreciated these tips, especially number seven. I never quite know when the best time to cut is, so I liked your rule to cut when it reaches the one third or more of the suggested mowing height. Thanks for sharing.
Lawn care can indeed be difficult, but getting a grass meant to be in your area is a good way to make it easier. If you get grass that isn’t native to where you live, then you are just asking for your lawn to die. Each grass has different needs as well as to how much water and such, so research that before you get any.
This is the first spring that my wife and I will have a yard on our own. Neither of us know how to properly take care of a lawn though, so we are trying to get an idea of how to get started in this process. This helped a ton and we will start with the mowing process and keep it at the right height.
Thanks for the tips. I think that the best thing I have done for my lawn is to aerate it and make sure it gets fertilized often. However, I do tend to let it grow too long. I didn’t know that grass could get sunburned, and heard that longer grass is healthier and takes less water. I guess that wasn’t true.
My lawn gets a lot of weeds, but I had no idea that it could be because of the lack of calcium. I know that calcium comes from milk and so I just never thought about it. However, I really appreciate your tips about spreading lime so that the grass can have that nutrient. But is there a way to make my lawn naturally obtain calcium?
I didn’t even know that half of these problems existed, but the solutions seem very simple and easy. Having grown up in a very hot climate, maintaining our lawn was not easy; we might also have become too lax. It is impressive that places with large and beautiful landscapes are able to maintain lawns, flower beds and even trees all year long.
These are some great tips, and I appreciate your advice to grow grass that is native to your climate. My husband and I just moved into a new house, and the yard is just dirt right now, so we want to start growing a lawn. We’ll definitely look into growing a type that is native to the climate here so it doesn’t take as much to keep it healthy. Thanks for the great post!
I think that it is important to be able to take care of your lawn. That way your yard is healthier. Keeping your lawn maintained is really important.
I’ve been trying to come up with a good way to keep my lawn healthy. I’ve got kids with friends and a dog, so I don’t want to have it get trampled. I’ll see what I can do to get it to aerate! Thanks for sharing.
I have been looking for some good tips to get my lawn nice and green. I really liked what you said about not going for fancy stuff. I think that a good lawn needs sun and water and a little bit of extra fertilizer. After that it’s up to your lawn to flourish. Thank you for these tips!
I had no idea that you should water your lawn in the mornings. I usually will water my grass at night, before I go to bed. I will have to change the schedule so that it can be as healthy as possible.
Thank you for the help. I bought a house recently for the first time and am trying to learn about landscape maintenance. I had not realized that I need to find the right mix of fertilizer with nitrogen and water and things like that. It sounds complicated. Would it be wise for me to hire a maintenance service until I can learn more?
I always water my lawn at night. I didn’t realize that the morning time was the best time to water. I will have to make that change. I want to make sure I am doing everything I need to in order to keep my lawn looking as best it can!
These tips are spot on. Over the years watering the lawn in the mornings and using fertilizer always produces the best results. Thanks!
Great tips. I enjoy taking care of my lawn and garden and do a little bit here and there, a bit more on weekends so that the maintenance never amounts to a HUGE job.
I’ve been pretty good about watering my lawn every morning, but I never know how much water it really needs. It helps that you answered by question by saying that it needs 5-6 inches of water and to let it dry before the next time I water my lawn. I don’t have a rod or a stick to measure this, so I’ll make sure to get one to know if my grass has been watered enough.
Great advice! I have been looking at getting an edger, it makes the yard look so much cleaner and nicer. Thanks for putting this list together!
Wow, I had no idea that there is so much to keeping a healthy lawn. To be honest, I don’t have the time to fertilize the lawn every 6 weeks and stuff like that. I’d rather let a professional do this kind of stuff instead.
I love to see my lawn taken care of, but sometimes I just have no time to take care of it. I didn’t know that a healthy growing lawn would keep the weeds from growing. I would be awesome if I could take care of my own lawn but I think I need to find someone that does it professionally.
You stated that grass in shady part of your lawn requires less watering and fertilizer as it doesn’t receive full sun, you can’t perk up its growth by over watering and over fertilizing. My wife has been very frustrated that our lawn has been really struggling over this summer. Are there certain fertilizers that might be better for certain types of grass?
Hey Derek, like the way you have shared an effective guidance about watering the lawn for more maintenance of it. Aerating by scheduled time is great way to keep your lawn healthy and green. Most important phase is the soil, I agree. Appreciate your efforts to mention about this. Keep updating an useful stuff with us like this.
My neighbors young children abuse my front lawn as if it were their own. I’ve asked them to keep them off the grass as much as possible, but the kids continue to run and ride their bikes on it, tamping it down and killing off most of the grass. Will aerating it bring it back even if it continues to be abused?
I really appreciate the insight here in this post and confident it’s going to be helpful to me and many others. Thanks for sharing all the information and useful tips.
There is a lot to take in there but all relevant. Our lawn does have a minor moss problem and I tried to get rid of it, which succeeded to some extent but at the same time it wasn’t that unsightly. With spring arriving it looks Like I need a new lawn mower anyway, not big enough for ride-on but borderline big enough to prefer one. Thanks again for the article very useful.
I appreciate that you suggest to water in the morning. My parents would always water around 2 or 3 in the morning. They always said that it helped the grass be more healthy and green because it can absorb the water more. I’ll have to set our system to water this early as well so that we can healthy grass.
Great article and very well explained. I believe in professionals so this is a very useful article for everyone. Many thanks for your share.
I like that you mentioned that edgings can stop the grass from out boudning the lawn. I have been trying to help my lawn look the bets in the neighborhood for a while, but I am having a hard time. Any tips help, so I will give this a try, thanks!
Thanks for telling us the best time to water the lawn. I never even thought about the difference it might make until i read your website. Thankyou!
Great tips! I always set my sprinkler to start watering in the morning so it gets the best amount of absorption. Taking care of your lawn requires some steps, but it’s well worth it to see how green it is in the summer. Thanks for sharing!
My brother wants to take better care of his lawn. He is a little clueless about lawn maintenance. I will share your advice to know the mowing height of the grass you are growing and mow accordingly.
Thanks for the suggestion to use plastic or concrete edgings on the lawn to keep it from growing places you don’t want it to grow. My husband and I just moved into a house with an extensive yard, and we’re not sure what to do to maintain it. Maybe we’ll put in edgings to make the lawn look cleaner and contact a maintenance service to help us take care of it.
Thanks for the lawn care tips. I want to make my landscaping more beautiful, so I have been looking for ways to work on it. I like that you mentioned to make sure you aerate your lawn so it can help the roots get air and water. I will make sure to start doing this regularly!
Thank you for sharing these great tips! I agree, planting grass, and other plants, shrubs, and trees, that are native to your region is your best bet at having a great looking yard all the time. As the fall season quickly approaches, it is important to care for your lawn before the winter cold hits and you lose all of your hard work. For example, watch your mowing and watering schedules, cover delicate plants to protect them form the cold and snow, and don’t forget to plan for some fun fall activities in your backyard as well. Thanks again for sharing!
Interesting thing you mentioned about mornings being the right time for watering as it seems to be more beneficial to the overall growth of the plants. I typically water my plants in the afternoon only because I just got used to that kind of routine. I’ll definitely take heed of your advice regarding this. Thanks for sharing.
It’s interesting to learn that healthy tall grass can have their use aside from just being aesthetic since they can kill out the weeds and even take their space and sunlight. It’s like they’re bullying the weeds away which is perfect. I’ll keep that in mind and drive to get some seeds at the ready. We’ve been having this weed issue on our lawn so it’s nice to learn that it’s simple to do a fix. I’ll have some professional to maintain our lawn first and maybe have them plant the tall grasses too. Thanks!
I like the idea of growing longer grass as a way of controlling weeds on the lawn. Quite brilliant. I’m definitely going to start growing a slightly longer grass in my yard.
I’m planning on giving a complete makeover to our yard and this kind of article was exactly what I was looking for to get information. I think I’m going to pay for landscape maintenance services as well, but I want to find out about everything before I do so. You shared some very good tips on when and how much to water and fertilize the lawn which I’ll definitely start using. Thank you for this post!
Thank you for pointing out that you should be properly recycling your trim. My husband and I don’t have time to take care of our lawn and want to hire a company to do it for us. I’ll have to do some research and find the best one in the area.
It was helpful to know that you must consider fertilizing your plants every 6 weeks. As you said, you can achieve a lush lawn if you will consider using nitrogen-rich fertilizer. With that in mind, we’ll be sure to shop for natural fertilizer in the market. My husband and I want to make our lawn as green as possible. We have plants there that are withering for some reasons. Our goal is to make our lawn the most relaxing place in our property.
I like that you said that your lawn must be fertilized every 6 weeks during the growing season. My husband and I want to achieve a healthy lawn. We want our plants to grow fully. Since we can’t find the time to care and fertilize our lawn due to the demands of our job, we’ll find a lawn service provider that we can hire.
My lawn is pretty large and I am trying to find new and easier ways to take care of it. I never knew that allowing your grass to get longer and then cutting it is actually pretty bad for the plant and should be avoided. I’ll keep your article in mind as I probably decide to hire some professionals to take care of it for me.
It’s great to know that healthy growth of grass doesn’t let weeds grow in your lawn. My wife and I are looking to make our yards look good. I’ll be trying to maintain a healthy growth of grass so no weeds grow in our lawn.
It’s great to learn that watering your lawn in the morning is the best time to water it. My wife and I are looking to improve the look of our yard. I’ll be sure to set our sprinklers to water our lawn in the morning.
That’s a good idea to aerate the soil. I would think that would make the grass grow better. I’ll have to consider getting someone to do that for me.
I appreciate you mentioning some amazing maintenance tips about lawn care that I don’t know about outside of mowing and trimming the yard. Thanks for sharing wonderful information.
I didn’t previously know that I’m only supposed to water the grass on shady spots with half of the amount I’m giving to the ones in the sunny spots. My grass has been looking a little dull lately since I haven’t had the time to take care of them. Maybe it would be good to hire a landscape service to maintain my yard for me so I’ll look into that this week.
I didn’t know that the soil in a lawn needs to have a specific pH level. I recently just bought a house in the suburbs with a beautiful lawn and I want it to be really nice before I move in. I’m thinking it might be beneficial for me to hire a professional to help landscape my lawn this week.
Thanks for the great lawn care tips. The idea of having a lush lawn next year is appealing to me. I’ll be sure to hire a professional to help my lawn out.
I like how you mentioned examining your place perfectly to find out the hours of sunshine, temperature, growing conditions, and soil type to choose a grass type you should grow. It’s time for our lawn to look good, but I don’t have the knowledge and time to do it myself. Looking for landscape services is the first thing I want to do. It will save me time and laborious efforts.
I found it helpful when you said that the lawn must be mowed before the grass reaches high. As you said, this is to avoid sunburnt lawn. My husband and I will then consider purchasing lawn mowing and other supplies. We want to achieve a green and manicured lawn, so we will take note of your tips to find the best lawn supplies.
It’s awesome that this article talked about walking on the lawn and trampling it for years compacts the soil and depletes the air supply, which is why you need aerate your grass twice a year, in the spring and fall. I’m glad that you explain it thoroughly and now it makes more sense. You did a great job of explaining lawn care.
My uncle owns a farm and wants to hire a service next week to mow his lawn. Its helpful when you said that its best to water lawn in the morning as evaporation is less. Thanks for the lawn care tips and I will send this article to my uncle!
My uncle owns a farm and wants to hire a service to mow his lawn this week. I agree when you said that weeds should not thrive when grass is growing well. Thanks for the lawn care tips and I will send this article to my uncle as I believe it will be helpful to him!
My uncle has a farm and would want to employ a lawn-mowing service this week. I agree that weeds should not thrive in areas where grass is growing well. Thank you for the lawn care advice. I’ll forward this information to my uncle because I think he’ll find it useful!
Thank you for explaining that you should water your lawn in the morning. I’ve been wondering what the best time is to water our lawn. I never thought about how it would be more effective in the morning, but I’ll start trying this out tomorrow.
This week, my uncle, who owns a farm, wants to employ a service to cut his lawn. I concur that weeds shouldn’t proliferate when grass is growing healthily. I appreciate the lawn care advice, and I’ll forward this to my uncle because I think he’ll find it useful.
I liked that you said that you could give your lawn a sheer look when you consider using edgings on your lawn. This is something that I will consider because I am planning to order turf for our lawn to be finally completed next Friday. It is important for me to have everything look neat and appealing, so your tips make sense to me.
Thanks for pointing out that you should plant grass that is local and native to your climate. My husband and I just moved into a new house, and we want the yard to look better since right now it’s just dirt. I think that hiring a professional landscaping company would help make sure we’d plant the right kind of grass and that it would be well taken care of.
Thank you for explaining that aerating can help the root system. I’ve been wondering why people have been aerating their lawns recently. I had no idea that it would help to keep the impacted soil from affecting the lawn too much. We’ll be sure to contact someone soon to see if we can have this service done for us.
Must-Know Tips for Maintaining a Vibrant Green Lawn
Lush green grass can be source of pride for homeowners. Luckily, maintaining a healthy lawn is easier than it may seem. With routine care and consideration, you can have a thriving landscape with bragging rights. Follow these eight tips for a green and healthy lawn.
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Water Your Lawn Thoroughly When Dry
Watering your lawn is one of the most important ways to maintain it. A thorough watering contributes to deep and strong roots, which are the key to grass health. The stronger the roots, the more nutrients your grass will get. The best times for lawn watering are in the early morning before sunrise or in the evening after sunset.
Allow your soil to dry completely before watering again. You want to water well and regularly, but not too often. Depending on the season, you may need to water as frequently as once a week. Check on your soil more frequently during spring and summer, especially in the case of a drought.
Stop to check the sulfur schedule before adding it to your grass
Dethatch and Aerate Your Soil
Dead grass and roots can form thick barriers over the soil, preventing new grass from growing. These are called thatches, and while microorganisms often break them down, they can prevent lawns from becoming healthy by blocking sun and water from being absorbed into the roots. Thatches can harbor harmful pests as well. You can dethatch your lawn with a sturdy rake.
If you find that your soil is hard and compacted, water or sunlight may not be penetrating it. Aerating the soil will increase nutrient absorption, leading to a healthy lawn. You can create two 1/2-inch holes yourself or use a mechanical aerator for large areas.
Keep Your Grass High and Your Mower Blades Sharp
A higher lawn is a healthy lawn. You should set your lawnmower to the highest setting to keep your lawn 3 inches or taller. Longer grass allows for deeper roots, which are vital for a green lawn. Avoid cutting more than 1/3 of the grass’ height at any one time.
Routinely monitoring your lawnmower will ensure you cut the grass precisely each time you mow. Dull blades will tear grass, resulting in frayed brown edges.
Mix Up Your Mowing Pattern
In addition to cutting your grass on the highest setting, change your mowing pattern each time you mow. Switching the direction will create an even and uniform lawn that is healthier and aesthetically pleasing.
Feed and Fertilize Your Lawn Regularly
Keeping your lawn green will require regular nutrients. Well-fed lawns will produce thicker grass that cools the soil and prevents weeds. You can easily feed your lawn by leaving grass clippings to compost and release vital nitrogen.
Additionally, you can apply pre-emergent weed and feed in the spring to keep a healthy lawn and prevent weeds. You should follow up with a regular weed and feed treatment after eight weeks.
You can also use fertilizer to maintain a healthy lawn. Fertilizer mixes include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, typically in a 3:1:2 ratio. Organic fertilizers will improve soil health and keep your lawn green naturally.
Overseed Sparse Areas
Dense grass looks good, deters pests, and keeps weeds at bay by eliminating the space they need to grow. If your lawn is browning or dying due to pests or the elements, overseeding offers a solution for improving lawn health.
Overseeding by regularly spreading grass seeds will create a lush green lawn. The best time to apply seed is in late summer or early fall, but this may vary depending on your region.
Replace Dead or Damaged Sod
For smaller problem areas, you can replace the sod entirely. Remove the damaged section of grass and rake the soil underneath. Apply compost so that the current grass dies, then apply topsoil if needed. Roll out the new section of sod and firmly press it into the ground so that its roots can continue to grow.
For grass patches that are suffering from foot traffic, consider removing the section and replacing it with a stone tile walkway. Using stones or tiles will save you from constantly refreshing an area of sod.
Hire a Lawncare Professional
Should you feel that your lawn needs additional support, consider hiring a lawn care expert. They can test your soil and tailor-make an action plan to address the needs of your yard. With assistance, you can have the green and healthy lawn you desire.
Lawn Care Tips for Each Season
Ahhhh, that sensation of stepping onto a freshly-mowed lawn sans footwear. There’s nothing like it. Especially when you realize that a lawn you love is also one that’ll pay you back when you sell.
A well-maintained lawn almost always returns 100% or more of your investment.
Here are lawn care tips to ensure you’ve got a lush lawn from spring to fall.
Early Spring Lawn Care Tips
Like so many maintenance jobs, everything goes smoother.- and you’ll get better results.- with proper preparation. It’s one of the basics of lawn care.
Sharpen mower blades to ensure clean cuts. A dull blade tears the grass, leaving jagged edges that discolor the lawn and invite pathogens.
Sharpen mower blades once each month during grass-cutting season. Have a backup blade (about 20) so that a sharp one is always on hand.
Tune up your mower with a new sparkplug (3 to 5) and air filter (5 to 10). Your mower might not need a new sparkplug every season, but changing it is a simple job, and doing it every year ensures you won’t forget the last time you replaced your sparkplug.
Buy fresh gas. Gas that’s been left to sit over the winter can accumulate moisture that harms small engines. This is especially true for fuel containing ethanol, so use regular grades of gasoline.
If you need to dump old gasoline, ask your city or county for local disposal sites that take old fuel.
Clean up your lawn. Time to get out the leaf rakes and remove any twigs and leaves that have accumulated over the winter. A thick layer of wet leaves can smother a lawn if not immediately removed in early spring. Cleaning up old debris clears the way for applying fertilizer and herbicides.
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Depending on your weather, your grass will now start growing in earnest, so be ready for the first cutting. Don’t mow when the grass is wet — you could spread diseases, and wet clippings clog up lawn mowers.
Fertilizing: Both spring and fall are good times to fertilize your lawn. In the northern third of the country, where winters are cold, fertilize in fall — cool weather grasses go dormant over winter and store energy in their roots for use in the spring.
For the rest of the country, apply fertilizer just as your grass begins its most active growth. For best results, closely follow the application directions on the product. You’ll spend about 50 to 75 per application for an average 1/4-acre lot.
Aeration: Aerating punches small holes in your lawn so water, fertilizers, and oxygen reach grass roots. Pick a day when the soil is damp but not soaked so the aeration machine can work efficiently.
Pre-emergent herbicides: Now is the time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent crabgrass and other weeds from taking root in your lawn. A soil thermometer is a handy helper; you can pick one up for 10 to 20. When you soil temperature reaches 58 degrees — the temperature at which crabgrass begins to germinate — it’s time to apply the herbicide.
Watch out for grubs: Warm weather means that grub worms, the larvae stage of June, Japanese, and other beetles, start feeding on the tender root systems of lawns. Affected lawns show browning and wilting patches.
To be certain that the culprits are grubs, pull back the sod and look for white, C-shaped grubs. If you see more than 10 per square foot, your lawn should be treated with a chemical pesticide.
Milky spore is an environmentally friendly way to control some species of grubs. When using insecticides, read and follow all label directions, and water the product into the soil immediately. Cost is around 50 to 75 per application.
Grass-cutting tip: Your grass is starting to grow fast, and you might even be cutting more than once a week to keep up. To keep grass healthy, mow often enough so you’re removing no more than 1/3 of the grass blade.
Pesky weeds: Weeds that have escaped an herbicide application should be removed with a garden fork. Use a post-emergent herbicide only if you think the situation is getting out of hand.
Here’s a good mantra to guide you through the heart of grass-mowing season: The taller the grass, the deeper the roots, the fewer the weeds, and the more moisture the soil holds between watering.
With that in mind, here’s how to ensure a healthy, green lawn:
- Set your mower blade height to 3 inches.
- Deep and infrequent watering is better for lawns than frequent sprinkles, which promote shallow root growth. In general, lawns need about 1 inch of water per week.
Lawns that receive less than that will likely go dormant. That’s okay, the grass is still alive, but dormant lawns should still receive at least 1 inch of water per month. Your grass will green up again when the weather brings regular rains.
- To check sprinkler output, scatter some pie tins around the yard to see how much water collects in a specific amount of time. Having a rain gauge (5 to 20) will help you keep track of how much water the lawn receives naturally.
- At least once each month, clean underneath your mower to prevent spreading lawn diseases.
- Although it’s OK to leave grass clippings on the lawn where they can decompose and nourish the soil, remove large clumps. Regularly rake up any leaves, twigs, and debris.
If your grass seems to be stressed out, check out our advice on what to do if your lawn is turning brown.
The best time to patch bare or thin spots is when the hot, dry days of summer have given way to cooler temps. Follow these simple steps:
- Remove any dead grass.
- Break up the soil with a garden trowel.
- Add an inch of compost and work it into the soil.
- Add grass seed that’s designed for shade or full sun, depending. Spread the seed evenly across the bare patch.
- Use a hard-tooth rake to work the seed into the soil to a depth of about half an inch.
- Sprinkle grass clippings over the patch to help prevent the soil from drying out.
- Water the area; you’ll want to keep the patch moist, so lightly water once a day until the seed germinates and the new grass gets about one inch tall.
Your main job in fall is to keep your lawn free of leaves and other debris. You can use a mulching mower to break up leaves and add the organic matter to your soil, but be sure to clean up any clumps so they don’t kill the grass.
In the northern one-third of the country, now is the time to fertilize your lawn. Your grass will store the nutrients in its roots as it goes dormant over the winter, and your lawn will be ready for a jump start when spring warms the ground.
Douglas Trattner has covered home improvement for HGTV.com, DIYNetworks, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He lives in a 1925 Colonial.
Ohio Summer Lawn Care Tips
Summer in Northeast Ohio is one of the best times to enjoy your yard. Ongoing upkeep is the key to having the lawn you desire.
Is your lawn summer ready? If not, here are four helpful summer lawn care tips.
Tip #1: Watering Your Lawn
Ohio summers can be hot! And while summer sun makes it pleasant to be outdoors, it also can be harsh on your lawn. If you drive around during the summer months, you’ll probably see quite a few lawns that are brown and crispy. Some will have patches of green grass with large, burned out spots. Heat and drought are not uncommon in Northeast Ohio, and the result often ruins an otherwise beautiful lawn.
One key to helping your lawn survive the summer heat is watering properly. A good guide is to try to make sure your lawn gets at least one inch of water per week, either by rainfall or watering. Try to water early in the morning, before the heat of the day – and don’t forget your trees and flowers as well.
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Tip #2: Mowing
Mowing regularly not only ensures a more attractive lawn, it helps your grass grow better by giving it more direct access to sun and water. Most of the grass in Northeast Ohio is cool season grass, meaning it grows best in early spring or fall. Some of the most common cool season grasses include Kentucky Bluegrass, Bentgrass, Ryegrass and Fescue. This type of grass is best kept at a height of approximately two inches.
Tip #3: Fertilizing Your Lawn
It’s important not to neglect fertilizing during the summer months. This is also a good time to add weed control and pest control, if needed. An ongoing fertilizer regimen keeps feeding your lawn what it needs to stay healthy. A regularly fertilized lawn will have more healthy grass and less weeds, strong roots and a better chance of sustaining through heat waves and dry spells.
Tip #4: Weed Control
In Ohio, lawns are often invaded by nutsedge, an aggressive plant that can spread quickly. Because nutsedge grows through underground tubers, it can be very hard to eliminate. Often the best way to deal with nutsedge is core aeration and overseeding. Core aeration is the process of making small holes in the lawn. When followed by overseeding, or adding more grass seed, it can often edge out the weed by adding more of the healthy grass that’s desired.
Let Grass Master Help
If maintaining a healthy lawn is important to you, why not let the experts at Grass Master help? We can handle your lawn maintenance for you, apply our knowledge about lawn care and give you the beautiful, healthy lawn you’ve always wanted.
With our Deluxe Lawn Care Program, you get six visits, starting in the spring and ending when grass goes dormant in the fall. It’s the most comprehensive Northeast Ohio lawn care fertilization package. With Grass Master, your lawn will get the best treatment from trained service technicians. In addition to mowing, you get fertilizer, weed treatment and insect control.
Contact us for more information on the Grass Master Deluxe Lawn Care Program.