Tuesday May 20, 2014
Our lawns are more than just decorative pieces to our home. They play host to yard games, picnics, parties, and barbecues for much of the year. The trouble is: how can you grow a lush, green lawn efficiently.
A good first step is to assess the pH level of your land’s soil and know the quantity and availability of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. This will help you pick the right seed blend and understand what types of treatment your lawn will need to grow to its fullest potential.
Fertilizer can be a tough decision, and there is no cookie-cutter approach to treating your soil and seeds. It’s best to choose a slow-release, organic fertilizer. Be prepared to mow frequently in the weeks following, as the fertilizer really helps to boost growth.
Mowing. Believe it or not, having a functional mower with sharp blades can make a huge difference in your lawn’s growth. It’s a good idea to, during spring and early summer, to sharpen mower blades after each 8-12 hour use-cycle. Dull blades tend to tear off grass as opposed to cutting the blades clean.
One major inhibitor to grass growth is crabgrass. It’s that nasty weed that grows up and out, and never seems to cease growing, no matter how many you try to yank from your yard. Crabgrass begins to germinate around April when temperatures hover around 55-60 degrees. By applying a herbicide specifically designed for crabgrass during this time, you can help you lawn avoid looking like a jungle.
After spring rains when the soil is moist, it’s a good idea to head out and pluck weeds. When weeds (especially those that carry seeds) are wet, there is less of a chance for pollen to spread—and they’re much easier to grab during this time, too. When it isn’t raining, be sure to water your entire lawn twice daily. The best times to water the lawn are in the early morning before the sun rises, and at dusk.
As a last tip to help get your lawn up to par: let it grow. Especially for those homeowners with brand new lawns, it’s best to let grass grow to about three inches and maintain that height for a couple years. Keeping blades at this length will help shade un-sprouted seeds and reduce levels of evaporation.