While grass care and maintenance may not be an exact science, it all boils down to six fundamental rules which you have to learn and follow if you want a pristine lawn all year round.
Different soils, grasses, and locations require different degrees of watering. Seasonal changes also affect the amount of water your lawn will need. A good indication that your grass needs to be watered is when you see signs of wilting.
If you want your grass to flourish, you have to make sure to provide enough water to reach down to the roots. Even after a rainfall, your lawn might not have the amount of water needed, which is about 2 inches of water per week. A rain gauge will show the amount of rain that has come down and whether you still have to water or not.
There is a fine line between over and under watering. Too much water will produce weeds while under watering will result in dry patches and spots. Check your sprinkler system to ensure even watering amounts that cover the whole lawn and which reaches down to the roots.
The best time to water is in the early morning because the sun will quickly dry off any excess water and remove any airborne disease spores.
2. Grass Fertilizers
Fertilizers will help produce a lush lawn that is verdant and abundant. Always feed during the growing season depending on the type of grass you have. Warm season grass is best fed during early spring and summer and cold season grass does best when fed during early spring and late fall. Apply the fertilizer on dry grass and then water, and always follow the manufacturer’s instruction on dosage.
During the growing period, you will be busy using your lawnmower to remove weeds and give your lawn an immaculate look. One rule to follow is never to cut more than 1/3 of the grass blade at a time to reduce stress caused by the cutting and to leave enough surface grass for photosynthesis to take place; this determines how much nutrients the roots will receive. Cutting the grass too short will also encourage weed growth and weaken the root system. Keep your lawnmower blades sharp to ensure a clean cut that will heal much quicker than if the blades were blunt; this also ensures that the leaf blade will lose less water.
4. Recycling Grass
It has been scientifically proven that allowing the grass droppings to lie on the lawn will help put back valuable nutrients, like Nitrogen and Potassium, back in the soil. It also prevents thatch from forming as the sugar contained in the clippings will help stimulate microbes that decompose it.
5. Aerating and De-thatching
If your soil becomes compacted, you will have to aerate it to produce better root development. Aeration tools will punch holes in the soil to remove soil plugs. Aerating is best done during the growing season.
De-thatching is the removal of organic matter, grass stems, and root layers that grow between the grass and the roots. Thatch will prevent water and nutrients getting down to the roots. It is removed by using a rake-like tool with very sharp teeth which removes all debris.
A few weeds here and there may be manually removed but a greater infestation may need the help of chemical treatment to remove them. When removing weeds by hand make sure you pull the entire plant out.
There is a pre-emergence herbicide that is applied before weeds start to sprout and which will prevent them from choking your lawn. Weeds like clover and dandelion can be controlled by applying another type of herbicide, either by spraying or incorporating in the fertilizer feed.
If you want a lawn which is pretty as a picture all year round, follow a health care system that takes into consideration all the points cited above.