When people are pulling up to your home, what’s the first thing they notice? You might think it’s your home’s exterior, but your lawn is actually what carries the most potential for a powerful first impression.
So, what makes a great lawn? Having an impressive lawn is about so much more than planting things outright. In order to keep your lawn looking beautiful, you’ll have to stay on top of lawn maintenance. This isn’t a simple or passive task: in fact, it requires special knowledge and skill to do it successfully.
Luckily, the basics aren’t difficult to learn. By following the right guidelines, you can build and maintain a lush lawn that will be the envy of all of your neighbors. Keep reading to learn all about lawn maintenance.
The first step in lawn maintenance is getting your lawn started! Even if you’re working with a lot of bare dirt, there is still potential to grow a lush, green lawn.
Here are a few tips for planting your grass:
- Choose the best grass type for your region. Different types of grass thrive in different climate conditions, so it’s best to know what is most suited for the climate in which you live.
- Plant your seeds at the ideal time for your grass type. Many kinds of grass do best when planted in the early fall, but you should check what time of year is best for your particular type of grass.
- Prepare your soil beforehand. Pull out any weeds, roots, or other stray plants that could inhibit the growth of your grass.
- Loosen your soil before planting. Using a hoe or a rake, loosen the top layer of your soil before laying down your grass seed. If needed, purchase healthy lawn soil and layer it on top of your existing dirt.
- Spread your seeds evenly. You can purchase a spreader at your local hardware store to ensure you spread an even layer of seed.
Most grasses take about 7 days to start growing. If you notice any bald or sparse areas, you can re-loosen the soil and lay down more seed as needed.
Watering Your Lawn
In the beginning, your grass will need plenty of water to create food and grow. After your initial seeding, be sure to water enough to penetrate 6″ of soil twice a day.
Once your lawn has become established, you won’t need to worry as much about lawn maintenance and watering. However, if you’re living in a particularly dry area, you might need to water your lawn frequently to keep it from drying out.
Lawn Maintenance Basics
After you’ve successfully grown your grass, how do you keep up with lawn maintenance? To answer this question, let’s focus on a few key areas of lawn maintenance.
Aerating Your Lawn
Aeration is the process of creating small holes in your lawn area at fixed depths and intervals. By doing this, you make the soil more permeable for water, fertilizer, and other nutrients.
You can purchase aeration tools at any hardware store. You can also get machines or shoes that will help you achieve evenly-spaced holes.
For most lawns, doing this every few years should be sufficient. For higher-traffic lawns, though, you might want to do it once or twice a year.
Feeding Your Lawn
Another key area of lawn maintenance is feeding your lawn. Generally, this is done twice a year. Again, depending on the type of grass you’re growing, it may be more or less.
For most grass types, you should feed them with a nitrogen-based lawn feed in the beginning of spring. Then, once the cooler temperatures of fall arrive, feed your lawn with a phosphate-based lawn feed.
Mowing Your Lawn
Most people tend to mow about once a week, but the best way to determine how often to mow is by looking at the type of turf you’re working with. If you know your species of grass, then you can better determine its growth rate and use this information to plan out your mowings. However, even if you don’t know what type of grass is on your lawn, you can still observe the growth habits of the grass.
As a general rule, you should mow often enough to remove about 1/3 of the grass’s height. If you remove too much at a time, you could remove the healthy part of the grass that produces “food” for the lawn via photosynthesis. As a result, your lawn will thin out and look a lot less vibrant.
If you want to take the guesswork out of mowing, look for these services to professionally mow your lawn and keep it looking healthy.
Over-Seeding Your Lawn
If your lawn starts to thin out or look less vibrant, there are ways to get it healthy again. Cover the affected areas with a mixture of seeds and fertilizer. This should fill in any bare spots and rejuvenate your lawn to perfect health.
Weeding Your Lawn
The most labor-intensive task of lawn maintenance is weeding, but it’s very important for the health of your grass. Weeds can easily take over a lawn and suck up vital nutrients, leaving your lawn malnourished.
To keep weeds under control, you can pull them up by the root. If there are a lot of weeds, you can use a grass-friendly herbicide to help you get rid of them.
Landscaping for Beginners
If your lawn is bare, or if you’d simply like some more foliage to look at, there are endless landscaping options that will have your lawn looking beautiful. Look for shrubs and flowering bushes that are suited to your area’s climate and sun level. Again, the key to success here is buying the right plant varieties that will thrive under the conditions in your yard.
Growing a Beautiful Lawn
Your lawn is what drives the positive impressions of your home, so be sure you treat it that way! Now that you know the best tips for lawn maintenance, you’ll be able to grow a beautiful lawn that you can be proud of.
For more home topics, check out our other blog entries.