Your lawn is more than just a pretty face. It sets the tone for the curb appeal of your home. The better you treat it, the more benefits you reap from your hard work. With these tips for a healthy lawn, you will be the envy of the neighborhood in no time. Keep reading to learn how to groom your lawn into a healthy turf that is heat tolerant and weed-free.
A healthy lawn starts with quality topsoil. If you’ve ever tried to grow grass in ordinary “dirt” you know the struggle. Topsoil is a nutrient-rich layer of dirt resulting from the decomposition of organic matter and is characterized by a darker color than the soil below. It is not compact or hard which allows the new grass to take root and begin growing quickly. If you are having trouble spots in your lawn, Wilson Blacktop can deliver as much or little topsoil as you need to make your lawn flourish.
Don’t Scalp the Lawn
One of the worst mistakes people make is cutting the grass too short. Most of the time, this mistake is made with good intentions – if I cut it short, I won’t have to cut as often. That is partially correct – if you cut it too short, it will die, and you won’t have to cut anything. Cutting grass too short will allow weeds to take root and overtake your lawn. The rule to apply when mowing your yard is to cut only 1/3 of the blade of grass at any time. This may mean you have to cut more frequently than you would like, but it will pay off in the end.
Cutting Height Depends on Time of Year
In the spring, you’ll want to cut the grass closer to the ground, however, keep our first tip in mind – do not cut more than 1/3 of the blade of grass at a time. This will remove dead grass and allow sunlight to penetrate and warm the soil promoting new growth. As the mowing season progresses, and the temperatures rise, you should raise your mower deck, leaving the grass taller than in the spring. This helps protect the grass roots from the heat of the summer sun, as well as shades the soil, slowing water evaporation. As the weather turns cooler and the cutting season comes to an end, lower the cutting deck so the ice and snow of winter are less likely to cause mold to form on the grass.
Mower Blades Should be Sharp
Sharpening and balancing your mower blades are two of the most important chores on your spring to-do list. A sharp blade will cut through the grass cleanly and gives the lawn an even look when finished. If you cut with a dull blade, you damage the plant which can cause it to yellow. The damaged grass will be susceptible to pests and disease and will struggle all season long. Sharpening blades 3-4 times per season is recommended. There are plenty of tutorials online on how to sharpen your mower blades; try searching for your make and model for best practices. Keeping a spare set of blades will make this job easier, as you will always have a sharp set on hand.
Avoid cutting your lawn in the same pattern each week. It is likely that the first trip around your house/garage/landscaping items will be done the same way each time to avoid throwing grass clippings in their direction, but past “opening up” the lawn for cutting, you should mow parallel to the house one time, perpendicular the next time, then at various angles from the house in subsequent cuttings. Doing so creates a striped appearance that makes it look like you hired a professional lawn service. This keeps the grass growing straight up rather than bending in the direction of the cut.
Water Deeply and Less Often
Your lawn will benefit more greatly from a good soaking every now and then as compared to shallow, more frequent watering. Watering grass with an inch of water, once a week is the recommendation from experts. This encourages the roots of the plant to grow deeper into the soil. The deeper roots result in grass that is more drought and heat tolerant; staying green in the most brutal of summer days.
Fertilize and Weed Control
Fertilizing the lawn in the early spring will jump start the root system of grass. It’s a good idea to hit the lawn with some type of winterizer in late fall to repair any summer damage and encourage root growth even though the grass above the soil has become dormant. Light feedings in between spring and fall will help establish a lush, green turf.
A variety of weeds require different types of weed killers and applications. Pre-emergent weed killers work best on crabgrass and other grass-like weeds by snuffing them out as they pop out of the ground. Other weeds like broadleaf weeds need to be treated while they are growing to be most effective. Be sure to follow the directions on the package for the best results.
Did you know that a healthy lawn will help minimize the dust in your home? If you’ve ever lived in a home without a lawn, you understand this all too well. Grass not only helps keep the soil in place when it rains, it keeps dust and debris where it belongs when the wind picks up.
When you’re ready to start your next landscaping project, whether it be planting new grass or building a beautiful rock garden and anything in between, be sure to check out the materials at Wilson Blacktop. We carry everything you need to make your home stand out in the neighborhood.