A healthy lawn isn’t just a pretty, lush carpet of green – it serves as the foundation for your home. It’s the center of your landscaping, the frame for your gardens and an ideal place to play and relax. Lawn grasses limit rainwater runoff, help control soil erosion and help cool the air.
No matter what type of turf you’re growing, proper care can make all the difference. Learn how to grow a healthy lawn with these lawn maintenance tips and ideas.
Having the proper tools for maintaining your lawn can transform grueling yardwork from a labor-intensive chore to an activity you may enjoy. You can start with the basics and expand as you need certain tools. If you’re a one-stop-shopping type, make one big shopping trip to gather everything you need for the ultimate experience in lawn care.
The following basic tools will help grow a healthy lawn:
Garden Hose: A quality garden hose brings valuable water from the faucet to every inch of your yard. Gilmour’s durable and lightweight Flexogen Super Duty Hose holds up for years.
Wheelbarrow or Garden Cart: This useful tool on wheels can be used to haul everything you need for your lawn and garden. Soil, fertilizer, seeds and tools are easily transported. You can even use it to store all your garden tools in one place for easy access.
Trowel: The pointed blade of this hand tool makes it ideal for breaking up the soil and digging small holes. Use it to help fill in small holes or dig up weeds with extensive root systems.
Garden Shears: A heavy-duty version of scissors, these small shears are perfect to trim along garden beds or snip the heads off bothersome weeds.
Lawn Rake: Use a lawn rake to clean up fall leaves, remove grass clippings and tidy up your yard. Look for a rake with metal prongs for longevity.
Grass needs consistent moisture to grow and maintain a beautiful green appearance. Keep your lawn vibrant and healthy by using the proper watering techniques.
If you’re wondering how long you should water your lawn, measure the amount of time necessary for future watering sessions by placing straight-sided plastic containers around your lawn. Measure the amount of time it takes for the water to reach the necessary depth in the containers. You may find that you need to adjust the sprinkler’s location to give the lawn an even watering.
With busy summer schedules, you may be wondering how to water your lawn. The easiest way to water the lawn is to connect the irrigation to an electronic water timer. You can easily program the timer’s start time, frequency and duration of watering. A convenient rain delay feature pauses the watering schedule to prevent unnecessary watering on rainy days.
The best time to mow your lawn is when it’s perfectly dry. Grass cuts neater and leaves less mess behind when it’s not wet. Because of changing weather conditions, it can feel impossible to schedule your mowing. You may be mowing twice per week in spring, or every other week during late summer. Most grasses thrive when kept at a height of 3 to 4 inches and don’t let grass get any taller than 5 inches before mowing. If more than 1/3 of the grass is removed at a time, you can stall the growth of the lawn and make it vulnerable to weeds.
If you’re wondering how to have a nice lawn, learning how to maintain lawn mowers is important. It’s a good idea to have your lawn mower blades sharpened once per year. Sharp blades make clean cuts, neatly slicing through the grass blades instead of ripping them. To prevent your lawn mower from rusting, wash off all the little grass bits after mowing. Keep a garden hose and nozzle close by where you store your mower for easy cleaning. Gilmour’s cleaning nozzle sprays a strong jet of water to wash off grass clippings, dirt and other debris.
Over time, your lawn creates a layer of built-up grass, or thatch, under the surface. You may not see it, but it stops nutrients, moisture and oxygen from reaching the soil beneath your grass. It can turn the lawn brown, leaving you frustrated and wondering how to grow a green lawn. The simplest answer to a thatch problem is to aerate the area by poking some holes in it.
The holes created by aeration breaks up thatch and compacted soil while encouraging roots to grow stronger and deeper. At the beginning of the growing season, use a spike aerator or a plug aerator on a moist lawn to create holes in the surface of your grass. Excavated soil plugs can be left on the grass and then broken up with a mower or rake once they’ve dried out.
The primary way to add nutrients to your lawn is to simply leave the clippings after mowing – as long as you’re only cutting an inch or two. Grass clippings will break down quickly, adding nitrogen and organic materials to the soil.
The best time to fertilize your lawn depends on the type of grass you’re growing. Warm-season lawns (such as zoysia and St. Augustine) should be fertilized while the grass is growing. Fertilizing too early in the spring will encourage weeds. Cool-season lawns (such as bluegrass, rye and fescue) should be fertilized in the fall. This builds healthy roots throughout their main growing season.
Choose a quality grass fertilizer and follow the directions on the label. After fertilizing, sweep your sidewalks, pathways and patios so no fertilizer is wasted. Water the area well to ensure the fertilizer settles deep in the grass roots.
Don’t let weeds seize the opportunity to establish themselves in bare spots. Easily seed bare spots by roughing up the bare soil with a rake, sprinkling on a bit of compost or topsoil and sowing grass seeds by hand. Make sure the seeds make good contact with the soil by tamping them down with your shoe, then watering the area.
A healthy lawn doesn’t need a lot of pampering. In fact, it’s pretty easy to learn how to have a nice lawn. Smart lawn care practices will create healthy grass, saving you time, money and energy. Instead of fussing over your lawn, you’ll have more time to enjoy it.
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