Summer lawn care: Fertilize early in the season to encourage new growth, control weeds with spot treatments, or by pulling out larger weeds by hand. Mow your lawn regularly and often enough so that you never cut more than 1/3 of the height of the grass. Irrigate deeply only during dry periods when it hasn't rained for a week or more. If the idea of keeping a piece of land alive and breathable causes your cheeks to turn green, you've come to the right place.
Whether you're a new homeowner or haven't had time to get your hands dirty, our beginner's guide to lawn care offers easy to follow tips. What time of year should you fertilize your lawn? What tools should you store in your garden shed or garage? We have the answers to make your grass greener and your thumb green. The ground is not just a mound of earth from which grass magically sprouts. The health of your soil has a significant impact on the health of your lawn.
If your soil is low in nutrients and organic matter, then your lawn will have a hard time growing without the help of fertilizers. Soil texture also affects the way you care for your lawn. For example, clay soils hold water much better than sandy soils, meaning you won't have to water a clay lawn as often. Soil tests are available at home, but they don't provide as detailed results as a soil test done in a laboratory.
Most soil tests done at home will reveal the soil's basic nutritional levels, but these tests usually don't provide information on how to fertilize grass and apply soil amendments. On the other hand, a laboratory test often reveals the best fertilization regimen for lawns and how to improve overall soil health. The extension of your local university or cooperative can offer laboratory soil analysis. Visit the website or call for information on how to prepare and send a soil sample to the office.
Grass is grass, right? Well, not quite. There are many types of grass and each requires a different level of care. Some types of grass will thrive in the climate of your region, while others will struggle to survive. Cold season grasses grow best in northern states, where winters are long and summers mild.
Cold season grasses grow actively in spring and autumn when temperatures are low. They go dormant in summer and in cold winter periods. Warm-season grasses grow best in southern states, where summers are long and winters are mild. Warm-season grasses prefer warm temperatures and grow actively in summer.
In autumn, warm-season grasses go dormant when temperatures drop below 65 degrees and turn green again in spring. But what if you live right in the center of the country? This area is the transition zone, with scorching summers and cold winters. You can grow any type of grass in the transition zone. Before spreading fertilizer, whether you like it or not, review the results of your soil analysis to determine the best fertilization program for your lawn.
Most fertilizers will indicate the N-P-K ratio on the label. If a fertilizer package contains the numbers 25-10-15, it means that the fertilizer contains 25% nitrogen, 10% phosphorus and 15% potassium. A healthy, established lawn can flourish with one fertilizer application per year. If your soil has poor fertility, a soil test may recommend several applications.
Cover your warm-season lawn in spring or early summer. If you're growing cold season grass, plant your lawn in the fall. If your lawn is susceptible to thinning, overplant once a year. If your lawn maintains its fullness easily, overplant it every few years.
You wouldn't cut your hair with blunt kitchen scissors, right? Well, you shouldn't cut the grass with a blunt cutter blade either. Mowing lawns with blunt leaves not only tears the grass and makes it look messy, but it also makes it vulnerable to pests and diseases. Sharpen lawnmower blades at least once a year to ensure a healthy and sharp cut. Every type of lawn has a recommended cutting height (that's why it's so important to identify the type of grass).
If you cut the grass below the recommended height for mowing the lawn, it will tear off your scalp. Cutting the scalp stresses the grass and makes it vulnerable to pests and diseases. But remember, you don't want to let your lawn grow too tall either. Pests and fungi love the humid environment created by tall grass.
As winter approaches, you may notice that your lawn growth slows down. Once the grass stops growing, cut for the last time before winter comes. If you let your lawn go in winter with tall grass, you can attract pests and diseases, especially snow molds. And who wants mold in their garden? Aeration may look like a spa treatment, but that's because it is, for lawns.
Aeration relieves compact soil and allows turf roots to have sufficient access to water, oxygen and nutrients. Don't you have an aerator? Your local home improvement store can offer equipment rentals by the hour, day, or week. Most lawns need to be aerated once a year, especially lawns with clay soil. If your lawn has sandy soil or works well without aeration, it is enough to air it once every three years.
Removing straw is another spa treatment for your lawn. Straw is the layer of living and dead organic matter that accumulates between the surface of the soil and the leaves of the grass (it's like dandruff on the scalp, but on grass). A thin layer of straw is healthy for lawns and doesn't need to be removed. A layer of straw of less than half an inch acts as a mulch for the lawn.
But once the straw layer is half an inch thick, it's time to remove it. Excess straw is attractive to pests and diseases and prevents water and fertilizers from penetrating the soil. If your lawn has too much straw, push a brushcutter along the patio to remove the straw. Dethatcher rentals are often available at home improvement stores.
If your lawn shows signs of uninvited guests, identify the culprit and execute a control method immediately. There are many preventive and curative chemical treatments available for pests and fungi, but the best treatments are often to improve lawn maintenance. If pests and diseases are a recurring problem, your garden may have an underlying health problem that requires attention. If weeds are taking over your lawn, you may have made your lawn attractive by letting lawn care go.
Weeds find it easy to invade weak lawns, but healthy lawns stay taller and stronger against intruders. When weeds are a constant problem on your lawn, combine best maintenance practices with a pre-emergent herbicide or post-emergent herbicide. The pre-emergent herbicide acts as a barrier that blocks weed growth before it occurs. Post-emergent herbicide kills existing weeds on contact.
Not only do weeds reduce curb appeal, but they also compete with grass for space, sunlight, nutrients, and water. If a weed invasion gets out of control, it can eventually displace grass. Remove leaves from grass every few days during the fall, but remove them more often if the layer of leaves is damp or suffocates the grass. When buying lawn care tools, consider what energy source you would like to use.
Choose between gasoline-powered, corded electric, or battery-powered tools. As you learn more about lawn care, it's easy to get carried away with fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. However, these chemicals are not good for the environment and it is best to limit their use. A simple way to increase the ecological respect of your lawn is to perform proper maintenance, such as good watering and mowing techniques.
The healthier your lawn is, the less you have to rely on chemical assistance. Lawn care by yourself isn't rocket science and it doesn't have to be intimidating. Maybe you've never tested your soil before, or maybe you need to learn more about your type of grass, it's okay. It takes time to get to know your lawn.
Write down what treatments your lawn needs each year and which ones can wait. Every lawn is different, so remember to have a little patience in your tool kit (for you and your lawn). Whether you're a new homebuyer or have enjoyed the same patio and house for years, tending your lawn for hours in the sun might be the last thing you want to do. As seen on Forbes, CNBC and USA Today, LawnStarter makes it easy to schedule the service with a local lawn care professional.
LawnStarter is a startup that makes lawn care easy, affordable and. Follow this blog to keep up to date with what you need to keep your lawn in top condition all year round. The best way to get a green, healthy lawn is to choose grass seeds that thrive naturally where they're planted. The two basic categories are warm and cold season grasses.
Cold season grasses have greater cold tolerance and thrive in the Midwest and North of the U.S. UU. Following these tips and advice will help you have the perfect green carpet for your lawn that you've always wanted. And if you think your lawn could be greener and you have time to do so, a monthly application of foliar feed will really help strengthen plants.
I chose mowing the lawn as the first of my 10 DIY tips for beginners because it's by far the most important aspect of lawn care. Whether you're just starting to play with grass or you're just looking to hone your lawn care skills, here's how to successfully cultivate and maintain green grass. So I'm ending with the beginner DIY lawn care tip that will affect the way you view your lawn: be patient. Growing healthy, green grass isn't difficult, but it does require you to check your lawn and provide support when needed.
My beginner lawn care tip for anyone whose grass seems a bit sparse is to sow it with a good quality grass seed mix that fits your garden. The tips and advice provided here can help you prepare the ground for the green lawn of your dreams without breaking the bank. Visitors to my YouTube channel and social media groups often want to know how to transform their disappointing lawn into the stunning green carpet of their dreams. Whatever the reason, caring for a patch of soil is easy and will make your lawn look lush and green in no time.