Top 5 Tips for a Healthier Looking Lawn
Everyone dreams of owning a lush green lawn, but the work involved can seem daunting. The good news is that it doesn’t need to be that way. These five tips will help you have a yard you can be proud of.
Occasionally Soak Your Lawn
Grass needs water to grow, but too much can cause your grass to drown and encourage fungus to grow. Focus on giving it a few good soaks throughout the week rather than a daily sprinkling. This will ensure your lawn receives enough water to penetrate the soil and encourage healthy root growth. Generally speaking, one inch of water two or three times a week will be sufficient.
Don’t Cut Too Low
It can be tempting to mow your lawn very short, but your grass needs some of that extra height to protect its roots and to hide the sun from potential weeds. A good rule of thumb is to cut off about one third of the grass blade. Also make sure the blade on your mower is kept sharp. This will prevent tearing which can cause yellowing and disease.
For most lawns, a slow-release fertilizer will do well. It works by releasing the nutrients over time and can be applied less often throughout the year. You can choose to apply it with either a broadcast or a drop spreader, but it’s easier to spread the fertilizer evenly using a broadcast spreader. Your first application should take place around the middle of April when the weather starts getting warm. Continue fertilizing every six to eight weeks through fall.
Aerate the Soil
Grass roots need room to grow, and aerating helps with that. It works by pulling plugs of dirt throughout your lawn, and can easily be done by renting a gas-powered aerator. The small holes this creates allow water and nutrients to reach the roots more easily. Aerating is particularly important if your yard receives a lot of foot traffic since grass has difficulty growing in compacted dirt. Both spring and fall are good times to aerate.
Stop Weeds Immediately
With weeds, prevention is the best cure. The best thing you can do is keep your lawn green and healthy. The thick grass will crowd weeds out while blocking the sun from reaching any unwanted seeds. A coating of pre-emergent herbicide in the spring provides an additional layer of protection against crabgrass and other grassy invaders.
If weeds do show up, try to catch them early while they’re easy to remove. The most straightforward removal method is simply pulling them out. Make sure you get as much of the root as possible so they can’t grow back in. If you have a more wide-spread invasion, you might prefer to use herbicide. Try to identify which type of weed you’re dealing with so you can buy a specialized herbicide and keep your grass safe.