Grass lawns are capricious. A regular lawn care regimen is essential if you want your lawn to look its best. If it doesn’t receive the sun, water and food it needs, it may start to yellow and to develop diseases, not to mention be overtaken by weeds.
And if you think that having your lawn taken out and replaced by sods will fix all your problems forever, you may be in for a surprise. After a few years, if not months, your problems could very well resurface.
A good healthy lawn begins with a good lawn care regimen. You need to pamper your lawn and give it what it needs. Here is the top 10 list of lawn care tips. Things you must do to have an impeccable lawn:
- Water is essential, of course. Even those varieties that are less sensitive to drought do like water. Too much will rot the roots, too little will dry them out. A sprinkler system is a good idea, but they can be costly if you have them installed by professionals. And if you have many trees with lots of big roots, it may be quite difficult to have such a system installed. A simple lawn sprinkler will do the job, but then you will have to move it around and adjust the pressure so you don’t waste too much water. Make sure that lawn watering is not banned in your location. See Lawn watering.
- Mow your lawn regularly. Most lawn care companies will come on a regular basis, every week, for instance. The fact that your lawn grows faster or slower won’t change their schedule. The problem is that grass doesn’t always grow at the same speed. You should never wait until your grass gets too long before you mow it. When you have no choice and you do have to wait and it does get too long, don’t mow it to your desired height in a single shot. Remove about one third of its height the first time and then mow it again a few days after.
- Good lawn care also means having a mower with a very sharp blade. A sharp blade will cut the grass, not tear it off. Neatly cut grass blades are less sensitive to disease. Sharpeners can be bought in stores and over the Internet for a few dollars and sharpening your blade is really easy. Do follow all the safety instructions. You would not want your mower to chop off your fingers. After you’ve sharpened your blade, you will fell and hear the difference.
- When you mow, don’t just leave the mowed grass on your lawn. That will choke the grass and may even bring unwanted insects and disease. If you want to use the mowed grass as natural fertilizer, then you should mulch the grass at the same time you mow it (some mowers can do that quite well when they have sharp blades). And once again, mow often so that the chopped off grass blades are short and can be easily mulched.
- Weeds may be your biggest lawn care challenge. You must weed your lawn regularly. Weeds can spread extremely fast. They often steal a lot of sun away from the grass with their broad leaves. They can be much more aggressive than grass and choke it very efficiently. When you weed your lawn, make sure that you remove not only the leaves but also the roots. See Lawn weeds.
- When you remove weeds, ad some soil and sow some new seeds to fill the hole. Remember that seeds need regular watering to germinate and grow. Depending on your conditions, that may mean watering twice a day. The watering can be only medium light. Enough to wet the seeds and soil.
- A grass lawn may need a little push once in a while. A regular green fertilization program can give your lawn a greener and healthier look.
- A good racking once in a while is recommended. It will remove dead stuff which may be chocking the lawn, it will help you see and get rid of weeds, it will remove week grass blades and give some space to stronger ones, it will give a hard time to any moss that may be growing on your yard. Don’t hesitate to use muscle power. Consider wearing gloves to avoid blisters.
- Check for insects. Some insects can be quite insidious. They can eat large patches of grass roots in just a few days. Suddenly you see patches of dried grass, or even patches of grass that seem to fly off and roll around on your lawn. Some people think that it’s the raccoons who are responsible for this. The raccoons are not the problem, in fact, they can actually be part of the solution. They are attracted to your lawn because they can smell there is food for them under your grass. So they make small holes to get to the insects which they eat. These holes are not a lawn care problem, in fact, they can even be a solution: they aerate your lawn.
- Give your lawn some air. Aerating your grass lawn ensures that oxygen can penetrate the soil and sustain all the insects, microscopic plants and beneficial bacteria that live there. Plus, it helps water and fertilizers (natural, of course) get to the roots of your grass lawn. See Lawn aerator.
Follow all these lawn care tips and you will give your lawn a notable boost. For more information, look at our Lawn problems page. And if you’ve tried and tried and you still don’t have acceptable results, grass replacement may be the way to go.
To have a top shape lawn, you need specific conditions. For more on this subject, visit our lawn landscaping page.