Ever wondered why your neighbor’s lawn seems to thrive even through the hottest temperatures of summer? Well, perhaps it’s the hard work and determination they pump in when it comes to lawn maintenance.
But you do that as well! You say.
The truth is that everything you do to your lawn, right from establishment matters. In fact, it’s the foundation that you give to your yard that matters. And proper management is another great way to ensure a dense, green, healthy lawn.
Below are the simplest yet practical tips to help you create and easily manage your lawn:
Establishing a new lawn
It’s a fact that the quality of a lawn is (to a great extent) determined by the success of its establishment.
First, you need to plan carefully. Examine the area and decide how much space you’ll prepare and plant, assess the soil condition (that is, drainage properties, and quality of the topsoil), amount of shade present. Then, weigh any other factors that may influence your grass species.
A step-by-step guide to lawn creation
- Clear the site by removing all weeds, stones, and debris. Also, don’t forget to carry out a soil test to ascertain nutrient levels and the pH value—which are both vital in grass development.
- Soil amendment. This is where the soil test results come in handy as they guide you on how much organic matter, fertilizer, or sulfur to add to the soil.
- Rake smooth and firm, and then water. Allow sufficient time for the soil to drain off and then bring dirt from higher spots to fill the depressions.
- Plant the seeds. There are various planting methods, and each requires a different preparation technique. The methods include sprigs, seed, sod, and plugs.
Caring for your lawn
Now that you have an established lawn, here are tips to help you ensure it stays greener and healthier:
Water occasionally but deeply for an enhanced root development process. As you know, deep roots help your lawn remain vibrant and healthy.
Consider allowing the soil (the top 2 inches) to dry out before your next watering session since most grass types require only 1-1 ½ inches of water in a week.
When it comes to irrigating a lawn, it’s the timing and amount of moisture that matter. And so, water in the morning to minimize chances of disease breakout.
You can do the watering twice or three times a week (depending on your climate) to help maintain the required moisture levels.
Hint: To establish your lawn’s level of dryness, use a large spike or screwdriver. Push it into the soil—easy penetration implies the ground is still moist.
Alternatively, if your lawn holds footprint impressions, then it’s in dire need of water.
Mow high by setting your mower on the highest setting. High mowing helps promote deep digging roots, improve turf density and color while also preventing diseases.
It’s also an excellent measure to improve your lawn’s ability to conserve water and control weeds. Thereby, your grass remains green, dense, and healthy throughout the season.
It may seem difficult to establish the right mowing time for your newly established lawn. However, simple experiments, like stepping on the grass and waiting to see if it bounces back into shape, can serve as a good indicator that your lawn is ready for mowing.
Mulch the grass clippings
The best lawn mowers permit you to mulch. Mulching your lawn’s grass clippings helps recycle water and organic matter back into the soil. Why struggle to transport them for disposal when you can actually use the clippings to preserve all the nitrogen from your fertilizing efforts?
And perhaps the best thing is that the grass clippings won’t cause any thatch build-up. That’s as long as you only remove 30% (or less) of the grass foliage during the mowing process.
Consider watering your lawn thoroughly, one or two days prior to fertilizer application. Wait until the grass dries and apply the fertilizer.
Water (lightly) again to help wash the fertilizer off the grass blades and onto the soil.
This especially applies to a newly established lawn. You should keep off the lawn until your grassroots have been established and the lawn mowed several times. Traffic on sod hinders root development and, in most cases, leads to thinning.
When it comes to mowing, consider varying your pattern to avoid running the wheels over the same spots every time as it can stress and weaken the grass.
Use a sharp mower blade
A sharp mower blade will not only enhance the look of your lawn but also aid its good health.
It creates a clean and even cut that leaves no room for diseases.
Final Thoughts on Your Healthy Green Lawn
You really don’t have to flood your lawn with chemicals in the name of nourishing it. But careful watering and mowing, and of course, adequate fertilizing can help ensure it stays healthy even through the heat of summer.
Aeration and de-thatching are also a must do’s to allow for the free penetration of water, air, fertilizer, and nutrients into the soil. Plus, it enhances your lawn drainage, which in turn, helps improve the quality, durability, and firmness of your grass.
It’s always the approach that you give your lawn that matters. Implementing the above measures ensures your lawn stays healthy and robust enough to resist weeds, diseases, and even drought on its own.