Bright-green, thick and well-maintained lawn is something almost every American is extremely proud of to have in his garden. But, it’s also a pleasure they put quite a lot of effort and money into, as it’s not as simple as it might seem to grow a nice lawn without bold patches and brown spots, especially in areas with a drier climate.
Although nature is quite imperfect, we’re always trying to approach this unattainable verge by applying quite artificial methods and means to make something that’s not meant to be ideal whatsoever really immaculate. What’s the point of this? Who knows, but you’ll struggle to find a person who lets his lawn grow all by itself in completely natural way without interfering into the process, speeding it up and improving the final results.
But, unless you’re a lawn magician, it’s unlikely that your lawn will look like a smooth, thriving and even grass area similar to the glorious golf court’s surface. No matter how hard you try, how regular you water and cut it, something appears to be completely off and you always find a room for improvement. Which is good, I know that, but it is also so annoying! In the end, what’s wrong with that thing? It is not some kind of exotic fruit or extinct flower and it’s not a vegetable or magic green bean. It is just grass! Why can’t it just grow? Why it’s always so tricky and unpredictable? What do you do wrong?
The key to success, as many gardeners and experts mention, is that it’s necessary to satisfy all needs of grass just as if it was a baby or a puppy. You have to prepare proper base and provide all necessary treatment measures in the right sequence, at the right time and in the required amount. Basically, your contribution, dedication and knowledge define the final look and state of your grass.
Seems like too much to take care of just to have a beautiful lawn in front of the house and make the neighbors jealous? But, just remember the feeling of running barefoot on the damp grass, having picnics in the open air and just lying on the smooth, fresh smelling lawn, and you’ll immediately find the source of inspiration for further actions.
And, unless you’re that unique person, who prefers to allow the lawn live its own independent life, I’ve gathered some useful lawn care and maintenance tips that might come in handy for you to improve the state of your lawn and treat it right. (You may thank me later.)))
How to prepare and treat the soil
The key to a good lawn is getting the soil ready just for grass growing. It’s quite necessary to make sure that the surface is well-stripped and its chemical balance is within the normal rates for your particular soil. No matter what kind of grass you’re going to seed or sod, what kind of drainage system you’re willing to implement and what type of soil and climate you have to deal with, you’ll have to carry out these basic preparation steps to get the spot ready for grass. Compacted ground full of weeds and roots won’t be a nice place for your greenery to grow and thrive in.
First of all, figure out if the pH levels of the soil are all right (use a DIY test kit) to figure out your next treatment steps. It’s better to balance those levels and prevent future problems with grass growth and unnecessary money waste. The matter is that when the pH levels are off, it affects grass not the best way. And, when people see that something is wrong and their lawn isn’t growing as they wish, they start adding some chemicals and fertilizers. But that might not work at all or even degrade the soil and make it even more hostile to grass.
When that’s done, move over to the stripping part. Get rid of the weeds and their roots completely. It’s really time-consuming and tiring task, as you might have to dig through the 5-7 inches layer of soil to complete it.
However, the benefits are undeniable, as you’ll not only remove those parasitic plants and their roots, which improves the land’s state on its own. But, you’ll also reduce compaction, saturate the ground with oxygen and improve its drainage.
Meanwhile, don’t forget to fertilize your land as you go. It’s possible to use natural components like compost, turf or loam or opt for chemical ones. It’s all the matter of your choice. Also, if you’re going to apply weed-killers, it’s just about the time to do that. The matter is that they prevent the weed seeds from germination and further growth, but they’re not quite picky, you know. So, as these chemicals might do the same to the grass seeds, use them beforehand to avoid such results.
As this entire step is quite important, but it also takes quite a lot of time and physical effort to complete, you may allow yourself hiring a professional gardener. Visit HireRush.com to find one and entrust him to carry out all the preparation activities to enjoy the most interesting part on your own afterwards.
Seeding or rolling the sod out?
That is completely optional. Although purchasing an already prepared and slightly grown out sod carpet and just rolling it out onto the ready surface is much easier than doing everything from scratch, it also may cost a fortune. It’s especially crucial if you have a large plot to cover.
If you don’t want your lawn to be even more expensive than it usually is, you may purchase bags of seeds and seed the lawn yourself. Most lawn care professionals recommend this variant. First of all, it’s a lot cheaper. Then, you’ve got more grass types to choose from, depending on the type of soil and climate your land features. Moreover, those bags are actually the mixture of different grass kinds, suitable for your local area, fertilizers and pulp to make the task easier for you.
And, you get to experience both growing and maintaining processes, so you’ll have all rights to be proud of your lawn.
If you’re unsure if you’ll be able to spread the seed equally throughout the whole lawn spot, just contact a lawn specialist to figure out the best way to do that. It’s common to apply the hydroseedign technique for large areas.
The right ways to water the lawn
In the US people spend an unbelievable amount of water on their lawns. The numbers are really impressive, but not in a good way. And still, some lawns look like they really lack water. Dry spots or brown bottom leaves are indicators of the fact that you either don’t water the grass enough or do it a little bit wrong.
First of all, make sure that your irrigation system and sprinklers (if you have them, of course) are in a good state. If something is wrong, hire a sprinkler or water system repair specialist to get everything fixed (or installed if your lawn is not equipped with them).
But, if you don’t have all those pumps and pipes, you may water the grass on your own. Professional gardeners recommend doing it once a week, but really deep. They say that it’s not really healthy to water the lawn every single day for a little bit, as it might cause dry patches and grass pieces, along with the soil deterioration due to the natural chemicals’ misbalance.
So, devote some time on your weekend to carry out nice and deep watering for your grass, as it makes roots grow better and prevents the appearance of some types of pests that are attracted to stressed-out grounds. Define how much water your lawn needs depending on the soil type and precipitation pattern in your local area.
On the contrary, you have to water the just seeded lawn for 10-15 minutes every single day. When the warm season comes to an end, you should still do it occasionally, but not as often as during summer and spring.
How to mow the grass properly
Lawn mowing in quite beneficial in general, as it stimulates grass to grow even denser and faster. Just cut the top part (crown) off and make the greenery explode. A-ha, that’s not so easy in real life.
In fact, various types of grass require different mowing approach and recommended height to cut off. But there’s a general mowing rule you can stick to. It presumes removing one third of the grass height every once in a while, depending on how slow or fast the grass tends to grow. If you don’t have time to do it regularly, hire a specialists who’ll maintain the grass height for you.
Don’t cut too much off, as taller grass ensures better root development, which also makes your lawn last green and perfect longer.
Besides, you want to cut a little bit less during the drought periods and mow not too frequently as you move closer to the cold season.
Be safe while using the grass cutter. Pick up the rocks and other ‘obstacles’ before proceeding to the moving part.
Feed, remove weed, dry leaves and litter
Fertilize in spring as you prepare the surface and in fall after the season ends. But, lawn care professionals aren’t really against an additional mid-summer feed if they see that the grass really needs it.
Now, I’ve already mentioned the way to prevent the weeds’ expansion. But, it’s also good to inspect your lawn regularly to remove the occasional annoying weed to tip off the seeds’ creation and spreading. Those parasites not only ruin the lawn’s look, but also slow down the grass growth.
When the autumn comes, your main task is to prepare the spot for winter time. Get rid of leaves and tree branches using a leaf blower or simple rake. Again, you may hire a person from the yard cleanup service to get him do that for you. And, as always, HireRush.com might help you find one.