6 Lawn Care Basics
You’ve been eyeing your neighbor’s lush green lawn for the longest time, and been wondering why your grass is not as good as theirs. Achieving a perfectly manicured lawn is not an impossible task but neither is it a simple feat. They call it “lawn care” for a reason and it literally takes some love and care to build a nice thick deep green lawn.
It may require a great deal of your time, effort and money. If you’re ready to commit to this task, then here are some of the things that you need to know.
- 1. Preparing the Soil
The very first thing to do is to check the acidity of your soil. If the soil is too acidic, anything you plant may not survive and all your hard work (and money) may go to waste. After which, you should start removing weeds, roots or any unwanted debris. Till the soil and enrich it by adding a layer of loam or compost. Finally, level the soil with a grading rake.
- 2. Laying the Sod or Seeding
Should you have the finances, you can invest in a carpet of sod or turf. This is the quickest way to get that green lawn that you’ve always wanted. But if you are a little short on budget, you can always do the alternative – seeding. Just be sure to choose the grass seed variety that will grow well in your area’s conditions. NTEP tested MD certified Seed should be used.
- 3. Mowing the Right Way
The most common lawn care mistake that homeowners commit is cutting the grass too short or with dull blades. To be safe, follow the one-third rule. Set the mower on the highest possible notch to ensure that you only cut the top third of the grass. Tall grass actually offers tons of benefits. It prevents the soil from drying out and hinders weed growth.
Also, the more frequently you can cut the better (when it does not cause additional stress to the turf such as in a drought) because this promotes horizontal turfgrass growth, prevents too much grass blade is cut at a time, and adds a little water and fertilizer with each cutting back into the lawn (do not bag).
Once you master the basics, you can begin cutting your lawn in different directions each cutting and investing in a nice blade sharpener!
- 4. Watering Deeply
How often you water will greatly depend on the type of soil you have. Water sandy soils twice a week, while loamy soils only need to be watered once a week. Remember to water deeply, not frequently. A well-watered soil fosters proper root growth and prevent pests like chinch bugs. You may use a sprinkler system so that your lawn is irrigated on a schedule and with the right amount of water. But if you have a small lawn, a watering hose will do.
- 5. Feeding the Grass
A good fertilizer should not only contain the top 3 ingredients (Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium), but should also have important micro-nutrients like copper and iron. All these help with the grass’ rapid growth, promote proper root growth, and toughen the grass. Be sure to also check with UMD Extension for the local Montgomery County laws on applying fertilizer to your lawn – Homeowners are held to many of the same lawn care standards the pros are.
- 6. Tilling/Aerating the Soil
When the grass is compacted, nutrients cannot reach the root system. To prevent this from happening, poke the soil to improve the oxygen circulation. Topdressing services yearly also help to combat compaction issues and boost organics.
If the above tasks prove to be daunting, or you simply don’t have the time to do them on your own, you can always talk to a lawn care expert. With our expertise and experience, a lush and well-manicured lawn is within reach. simply fill out our Free Quote form and we will contact you to discuss all of your needs.