Seven Steps to an Amazing Lawn
I am a professional landscaper, but sometimes I also struggle to have an amazing looking lawn. The steps listed in this article are ones that I have tried, and they have worked. I had taken my lawn from being the first lawn in the neighborhood to being one of the best.
Seven Steps to have an Amazing Lawn
Fixing Trouble Spots Every Spring – every spring, there tends to be a few spots in my lawn that needs fixing. It normally takes me about one hour to fix all the trouble spots. What you need to do is to rake out the dead areas with a garden rake, and then re-seed them with high-quality grass seed and a bit of peat moss. If you live in an area of the country that gets a lot less sunlight in the winter, you may have grass that is sparse. If this is the case, make time every spring to over seed your lawn. Make sure to water your lawn regularly for the first 3 to 4 weeks or until the grass seed has established itself.
Mowing Often Enough and at the Right Height - i can never get over how much better my long months after it gets mowed. Mowing makes a huge difference. It can be one of the single most important things that you can do to your lawn regularly to improve the way that it looks. Mowing will make your lawn grow thicker and be more resistant to weeds, if you do it at the right height and you do it regularly. If you are unsure about where to set your lawnmower, you can try setting it for about two to 2 ½ inches. You can get a ruler out and measure your lawnmower from the ground to where the blade spins. Make sure that the settings on the front and the back are the same so that you can get a straight cut on your lawn. You never want to mow off more than one-third of the blade of grass at a time. This means that during the busy growing season, you’re going to probably need to mow your lawn at least once every 5 to 7 days. I try to mow my lawn at least once a week when it is actively growing. Putting it on the calendar for Saturday morning, and then getting up early to do it, helps me get it done.
Cutting at this height works for about 95% of lawns. If you are planting a lawn with bentgrass, you’re going to want to mow it between ½ inch and 1 inch. There are some varieties of Buffalo grass to look better when they are about 3 inches tall.
Watering - if you didn’t water your lawn for a few weeks during the summer, it would turn yellow and it might even die. Watering your lawn on a regular basis keeps it green. For most lawns you want to use between one and 1 ½ inches of water per week. If you’re unsure about how often to water your lawn, simply put a few cans out on your lawn entering your sprinkler systems. Water your lawn until you have a half of an inch of water in a can. If it takes you 30 min. to get a half an inch of water, then you will probably want to water your lawn for 60 to 90 min. every week. The amount of water that you get depends on the type of sprinkler heads that you have, how many of them you have on each circuit, and your water pressure. The easiest way to take care of the watering is to install an automatic sprinkler system, or a timer. Having a timer is also a good way to make sure that you don’t over water your lawn. Another way to save water is to use a Hydro meter that will automatically turn your sprinklers off when it is raining.
Fertilization - if one neighbor fertilizes his lawn every 6 to 8 weeks, and the other neighbor never puts down any fertilizer, these two lawns will probably look completely different. My favorite type of fertilizer for lawns is nitric urea. I like urea because it has a ton of nitrogen in it and because it is slow release. Lawn fertilizers are typically high in nitrogen. Nitrogen helps the blade part of your grass grow very quickly. Potassium and phosphorus are also needed for your lawn, especially over the winter months. If you put a fall fertilizer or winterize your lawn, you will probably be using a fertilizer that has nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. These are known as the NPK values and you usually see them at the top of each bag of fertilizer.
Putting down fertilizer once every other month during the spring, summer, and fall will help keep your lawn looking beautiful.
Edging- Straight Edger Weed Trimmer – have you ever seen a teenage boy who shave, even though he didn’t have much facial hair? I don’t have anything against facial hair, but this is what a lawn looks like when it hasn’t been edged properly. A weed trimmer is perfect to use around garden boxes, and fences. You can also do wavy areas of your lawn simply by turning your weed trimmer upside down. If you have areas of cement that surround your lawn, you should try using a straight edger. A straight edger will help to take out some of the soil along the edge, and it will also cut through the roots. It is the best way to have a straight edge for your lawn
Aeration - if you live in an area of the country that has a lot of clay in the soil, or you live in a hilly area where the soils easily compacted, aerating your lawn can make a lot of difference. Lawn aeration allows water to soak into the soil. It also pulls cores out of your lawn which give good soil room to expand once temperatures get hot. If the soil expands and feels a holes, you don’t have to worry about it expanding and compacting your lawn. As the water soaks deeper into the ground, it also makes it easier for your roots to grow deeper and helps you to have thicker turf.
Dethatching- not every lawn needs to be dethatch, and a lot of lawns that do, don’t have to have it done every year. But if you have creeping grasses, or St. Augustine grass, you should definitely have it done. You can tell that you have thatch in your lawn if it is hard for you to dig through it with your finger and find the ground. You can also talk of thatch if you walk across your lawn, and it leaves slowly rising footprints. Using a dethatcher or a power rake is like giving your lawn a face lift. It helps make old lawns look new again.