Every neighborhood has that one lawn that makes all the other homeowners envious. If you have always wanted your lawn to be the best one on the block, then follow these tricks. With dedication and key information about what helps a lawn thrive, you’ll soon have a gorgeous and healthy green lawn.
Leave the Clippings Alone
One of the easiest ways to improve your lawn’s appearance is to ditch the clippings bag that came with your mower. Allowing the clippings to stay on the lawn since it brings nutrients to the soil instead of wasting them in the garbage. Grass clippings decompose quickly, but there are other options if you can’t stand the sight of them on your lawn. A mulching mower makes clippings less unsightly by cycling the grass through the blades several times to chop it up before it gets deposited on the lawn. You can also save the clippings and compost them before spreading them back out as fertilizer.
Compost Kitchen Waste
Another simple and economical way to fertilize your lawn is composting kitchen scraps. Use either an indoor compost bin or an outdoor compost pile to collect organic waste like vegetable stems and fruit peels that would normally be thrown away. After a few weeks, these materials will get broken down into a rich fertilizer that can be spread over your lawn to keep it green and nourished.
Water Longer, Less Often
Many people assume they should water a lawn by running the sprinklers for a few minutes each day. However, you should actually water your lawn once a week for an extended period of time. Grass evolved to soak up water from drenching rains and hold onto it. Your lawn will look better if you water it with approximately an inch of water once a week. Use a rain gauge or a shallow container to measure the amount of water applied to the lawn. You can test how hydrated your lawn is by examining the soil. When the first two to three inches feel dry to the touch, it’s time to water again.
Cut Grass to the Correct Height
Cutting your lawn too low can wreck it in the long run. The roots of grass tend to grow only as deep as the blades are high, which means that cropping off too much height can damage your lawn’s strength.
For optimal results, set your mower blades to cut at two to three inches from the ground. You can go a little shorter if your lawn is fast-growing. You can use a grass cutting guide to find the best length for your specific type of grass.
Keep Your Blades Sharp
The appearance of your lawn is a direct result of the items you use to take care of your property. In order to make your lawn more eye-catching and presentable, you should ensure that you use sharp blades when cutting your grass. Dull blades can rip or tear the grass instead of neatly cutting, which results in damage to its root system. To tell when your blades need sharpened, pay attention to the cut grass. Sharp blades result in neatly cut grass. If it looks shredded and rough, your blades need to be sharpened. To prevent dulling, keep blades clean and dry when not in use and avoid mowing over gravel, cement and other damaging surfaces. Blades should be replaced every year or two.
Aerate Your Lawn
The soil underneath your lawn becomes compacted over time due to wear and tear. When the soil becomes hard and compacted, water circulation is decreased and beneficial organisms can no longer move around and proliferate easily. Over time, this can result in your grass turning brown or dying off in patches.
To combat compaction, aerate your lawn once or twice per year. Lawn aeration is the process of punching holes through the soil. These holes should be evenly spaced and three to four inches deep. You can use an aeration machine or a small, hand-held aerator to create the holes.
Utilize Lawn Edging
Using lawn edging to outline your lawn and separate it from flower beds and other features not only elevates aesthetics and curb appeal, but it also makes mowing and trimming easier. Edging creates a noticeable path for your mower to follow and can even eliminate the need for a trimmer if it’s low enough.
There are many types of lawn edging ideas to choose from. Decorative edging can be purchased in a variety of heights and materials, such as wood, metal, plastic and stone. You can use House tipster lawn edging ideas for inspiration on how to make your lawn more attractive. Taller edging of two to three feet in height can also serve to keep small animals like dogs and rabbits out of your garden beds.
Maintain the Thatch
The layer of dead grass and upturned roots that collects at the soil’s surface is called thatch. A thin layer of thatch is beneficial because it provides protection and insulation for the root zone of your lawn. However, overgrown thatch can prevent ventilation, water and vital nutrients from reaching the roots of the grass.
Signs of excessive thatch include patches of dead, brown grass and a spongy feel when walking on the lawn. You can use a steel rake to thin out the thatch. For large accumulations of thatch, a mechanical de-thatching machine may be required. Early autumn just before the grass goes dormant is the best time of year to prune the thatch.
Use Herbicides Sparingly
An abundance of weeds can choke out your lawn, but pouring on herbicide is the wrong way to approach excess weeds. These harsh chemicals are often labeled as safe for grass, but they can kill the beneficial organisms and bacteria that keep your soil healthy. Eventually, this reduction in soil quality can lead to your grass dying off.
Use a manual weed puller as your first line of defense against weeds. Moist soil makes weeding easier, so try pulling weeds after watering or a soaking rain. If chemical weed killer is still needed, use a spray bottle to spot treat weeds instead of spreading the herbicide all over the lawn. Not only is this approach healthier for your grass, but it also reduces the amount of environmentally damaging run-off.
Seed Your Lawn
Nothing says “curb appeal” like a soft, deep green carpet of grass covering your lawn. However, not all species of grass are created equal. To have the best-looking lawn in town, you must start with the best seeds. If your current crop of grass is too pale, rough or otherwise unappealing, it might be time to consider seeding your lawn.
Seeding can also be used to fill in bare patches if you don’t need to replace the entire lawn. Seed your lawn early in the autumn season to avoid the seeds drying out from summer heat and to prevent competition from weeds and crab grass. You can either till up the soil and start fresh or spread the seed over your existing lawn, a process called over-seeding.