12 TIPS TO ENSURE A BEAUTIFUL YARD ALL YEAR LONG
Dethatch With a Rake | When it comes to taking care of an unruly lawn, you can dethatch your lawn with a manual rake to remove dead grass, a build-up of thatch, the layer of dead grass between green growth and soil, doesn’t need to be removed unless it’s over one inch thick. Thatch is just the topmost layer of dead grass and should be removed in the early spring to keep your lawn healthy. Grass can struggle if thatch is removed in late summer or fall, making it susceptible to disease and pests. A lawn rake will do the trick for most lawns. In lawns with excessive thatch, consider a power rake or hiring a landscaping company to do the job.
Test Your Soil pH | Get your lawn off to a healthy start by properly testing the pH level. Healthy grass needs soil with a balanced pH level, usually between five to seven, depending on the type of grass. Soils with a high pH value (alkaline), need sulfate with a broadcast spreader. With soils that have a low pH value (acidic), you can add lime the same way. Once your lawn has been treated, test the soil again in 30 days. If you still have an unbalanced pH level of soil, continue with the additives with the proper application until the pH comes into balance.
Aerate the Lawn | Aerating helps loosen compacted soil, allowing for easier water absorption and nutrient uptake. It also gives important room for roots to grow. The most effective way to aerate your lawn is by getting a power tool and running it over your grass. You’ll cover more ground in a short amount of time, and the results will last longer. Or you can simply use a shovel or push aerator for small lawns. Warm-season grasses like Bahia, St. Augustine, and Bermuda, are best aerated in the late Spring so the grass has time to heal from the process.
Weed + Feed | Weed, and feed are best for new lawns, dry spots, and weedy areas, but you have to stay on top of your lawn care without going overboard. The best time to do this is in Late Spring, just make sure that the weed problem is significant enough to treat the entire lawn. Even during the hottest stretch of summer, it’s best to attack weeds before they get out of control. Then keep your lawn healthy by watering regularly (or investing in a self-watering system) and giving it an occasional boost with slow-release fertilizer as needed.
Deal With Bare Spots | Since it is so easy to green up any bare spots in your lawn, you may wonder why it doesn’t happen naturally. It takes time for new grass to grow. Grass seeds will die when exposed to extreme cold or hot temperatures. The spots require flushing with water and removal of dead grass so you can easily level out the soil then reseed with your choice of grass. By giving your lawn regular watering, weed pulling, and mowing the lawn, you should see improvement over time.
Seed the Lawn | Seeding is a major aspect that needs proper planning, even if you’re starting from scratch or treating an existing lawn back to health. The warm season is a great time to start this task. But the colder the soil, the slower the growth of the grass. You can also seed in the fall if you miss the window!
Know Your Varieties | Some grass varieties are better suited based on different lifestyles and living conditions. Knowing the differences between warm and cool-season grasses is important to have a successful lawn. The grasses of the warm season, when taken care of regularly, will save you a lot of time and effort in the long run. While cool-season grasses grow best in mild, fall, and spring weather and are ideal for lawns requiring considerable shade and moisture. Major seeding is a commitment, so do your homework before you invest in pricey pallets of sod or take on the project. It’s important to see if your area has a major slope and take a soil test to determine what type of grass seed will thrive there.
Water It Well | Grass needs water, and the amount will vary depending on your region, the season, and the types of grass you have. If you can’t spring for an elaborate in-ground irrigation system, you can still keep your lawn green with a well-placed sprinkler on a timer. Outdoor timers are relatively inexpensive (around $35) and ensure you don’t forget those early-morning watering sessions. Garden hoses and sprinklers go hand in hand with spring. But if you have to manage the flow of water for your yard, consider installing an outdoor timer to the exterior water supply so that you don’t have to worry each time you water your plants.
Maintain Your Mower | When it comes to keeping your lawn looking lush and healthy, sharp blades on your mower are one of the most important parts! Fresh gas and spark plugs will keep your mower in peak performance mode. With the right care, your mower can last a long time. Schedule regular tune-ups or repairs with a service provider that comes to you, so your lawn can stay in tip-top shape and keep looking great.
Avoid Short Cuts | Mow regularly, but don’t cut your grass too short. Grass blades are living leaves and when you remove too much from the top, you reduce the energy reserves of the plant. A general rule of thumb is to never mow off more than one-third of the grass blade at a time. If you do this frequently enough, the lawn will still look nice and be healthy. The ideal height for cool-season grasses is around 2-4 inches, while warm-season grasses are shorter and may require more sessions pushing that mower, which means more opportunity for the sun to beat down on you.
Mow in Varied Directions | We all know that a diagonal cut looks fancy, but did you know that mixing up your mowing direction is actually good for your lawn? Mowing along the same path can put pressure on the grass, causing it to lie down in one direction. Using this device, you can change your path with each pass so that the grass lies down evenly and receives full sunlight. The dual blade design also cuts down on clumping, leaving your lawn looking fresh and healthy.
Leave the Clippings | Grass clippings are full of water and nutrients, turning your yard into a natural fertilizer. Follow the 1/3 rule to mulch your lawn properly–cut one-third off the length of the grass when you mow. It’s also a good idea to mow when the lawn is dry, so grass clippings do not clump or stick together.
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