Proper maintenance is essential to maintain a beautiful lawn. There are no two lawns exactly the same. There are many factors that can affect the appearance of lawns, including their turf species, soil type and climate, where they are located, how they’re used, and how well they are maintained. A good lawn maintenance program should include these key elements:
For healthy lawns, it is essential to properly mow them. Grasses need to be mowed more often during their active growth period. The spring and Autumn are when cool-season grasses will be most active, while the summer months are when warm-season grasses will be most active. Use sharp mower blades, and only mow grass when it is dry. You should mow the grass as often as possible so that no more than one-third of the leaf is left behind. You can reduce the height of your grass if it has grown too high. Variegate the direction of your mower every time you mow to prevent your lawn looking slanted. This will prevent your grass from looking wavy and also keep it straighter.
Grasscycling provides about 20% of the fertilizer needs of most grasses. Grass clippings can be sifted through the turf to break down the nutrients and return them to the soil. Grass clippings make up the majority of green waste sent to landfills. This can be done by leaving the grass clippings on your lawn to reduce the environmental impact.
Poor watering habits are the leading cause of lawn death and disease. They also make up a large portion of urban runoff. Storm drains can carry fertilizer, pesticides, and other dangerous chemicals down into our waterways. Water should only be applied when your lawn is in need. The top 2 inches of soil should be dry before your lawn can receive water. To probe the soil and determine the level of moisture, use a screwdriver. For most lawns, a deeper and less frequent watering is better. Only water your lawn between 2 and 3 times per week, between 8 and 9 a.m.
This is a great opportunity to check your sprinklers. You can run your system throughout the day to check for broken sprinklers. Adjust sprinkler heads as needed. Cut back any shrubs or grass that might be blocking sprinklers. Reduce watering time if you notice runoff. Then, repeat the cycle until the water has moved into the soil.
For a lawn to grow vigorously and healthy, it is essential that you have a good supply of nutrients. Three main nutrients are usually provided by lawn fertilizers: nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. Turfgrass requires nitrogen on a daily basis. Deeply irrigate your lawn a few days before fertilizing. The soil should be moist by the time your application begins. The amount and timing of fertilizer application depends on the turf species. It can vary from 2 to 4 pounds per 1,000 feet to 3 to 4 times per year. It is recommended that no more than one pound of actual fertilizer be applied to 1,000 square feet at a time.
Between the green grass blades and the soil surface, thatch is a layer of dead and living stems, roots, and stolons. The lawn can benefit from a thin layer of thatch (less then 1/2 inch thick), as it helps limit weed germination, reduce the amount of water evaporation, and prevents frost damage. Thin thatch layers can block water, air, and nutrients from reaching the soil. This can lead to reduced root growth and higher risk of drought stress. It can also encourage fungal growth and harbor pests. Avoid excessive nitrogen use and adhere to proper fertilizer practices. When mowing, avoid frequent and shallow irrigation. Follow the one-third rule.
Over time, soil can become compacted and restrict oxygen, nutrients, and water flow to the lawn. The result is a slow and poor growth rate, which can make the lawn more susceptible to disease, drought and insect attack. The soil is aerated to remove small soil cores. This allows air, water and nutrients to penetrate the soil.
You can make your lawn as healthy as possible to help it recover quickly from damage caused by pests or other factors.