Lawn care is often the most basic of landscaping chores. Taking care of the yard is practically an American institution. There is much pride in ensuring that you have a healthy and beautiful lawn. Additionally, it is satisfying to know that you can take care of your lawn on your own for much less than paying someone else to do it. Plus, you get that sense of satisfaction knowing that you did a great job on your lawn.
But, in order to have a great looking home landscape, there are a few things to keep in mind regarding lawn care basics. But once you have the basics down, and if you keep with them, there is no stopping you from having a great looking lawn.
Before You Mow
Before you do anything, like mowing, you need to make sure that you clean the lawn. This means raking up leaves and debris, and clearing the area of unwanted brush. If you are looking to have a level lawn, getting rid of bumps and or dips, there are some things that you can do. To get rid of little valleys, you can fill the holes with topsoil and then add grass seed.
Bumps can be removed by using a garden spade to cut an X in the raised area. Peel back the sod and then remove the soil as needed before replacing the sod. By cleaning and leveling your yard, you will make it easier to mow the lawn, and your yard will have a pleasing uniformity of appearance.
Mowing the grass should be done regularly. Depending on where you live, and how fast your grass grows, this may need to be done once every week or once every other week. You should adjust the lawn mower blade so that it does not cut off more than one third of the grass’s height. The surface area of each blade of grass is important in sustaining the health of the lawn. If the grass is cut to short, an environment especially conducive to disease is created, and this can result in a rather unhealthy lawn.
One of the essentials of lawn care is making sure that you do not have too much soil compaction. Over time, your soil will become compacted and harder beneath the grass. This begins to cause problems like moisture penetration and grass root restriction. Aeration makes it possible for your soil to “breathe” a little easier.
There are two types of aeration. One is the kind called “plugging”, where a special device removes clumps of soil, about the size of a finger, from out of the ground. The other kind simply punches holes into the soil. The point, however, is that this allows water seep down better (preventing erosion and drying out), as well as providing room for helpful organisms like earthworms to live. It is usually possible to rent an aerator if you do not wish to buy one. It is good to aerate about once every year or two.
Fertilizer can help your lawn grow as well. While it is not strictly necessary, and while it is possible to grow a healthy and attractive lawn without the aid of fertilizers, many people find them very helpful. It is important not to apply too much, however, as this can result in the death of your lawn, and also can result in harm to the environment as the excess fertilizer is washed away.
Fertilizers usually come in liquid or granular form. Liquid fertilizers act fast and require application every two to three weeks. They can be applied with a hose-end sprayer or by using a watering can. Granules are dry and require that you water the lawn immediately after their application. You most often use hand spreaders or mechanical spreaders to disburse these types of fertilizers. They can last eight to twelve weeks.
When you use fertilizer, you should be aware that it might be harmful to let your children play on the lawn for a few days. You need to make sure that the fertilizer has been absorbed below the surface before allowing yourself or others to play on the grass. Many conscientious landscapers find that they do not need fertilizers to create a successful lawn.