No matter if you’ve recently moved from an apartment into a house or started experiencing issues with the lawn you’ve been taking care of for years, you might be looking for some useful lawn maintenance tips. The curb appeal of your home might mean a lot to you and a thriving, green lawn will add so much to its look. With that in mind, here are some essentials that will help you take proper care of your front yard.
Begin by testing your soil
First of all, if you’ve been trying to start a gorgeous lawn for a while now but unsuccessfully, you might be experiencing some issues with the soil. One problem might be that you’re working with the wrong type of soil. On the other hand, perhaps it is lacking some essential nutrients or the pH levels do not suit the grass you’ve selected for the yard. Fortunately, you can easily have the soil tested to see what you’re working with. You can purchase a soil test kit online or at a local garden centre and do this by yourself. However, keep in mind that these at-home tests are not always accurate even though they do promise to show the levels of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus as well as pH levels. A better alternative would be to take a sample to the local nursery that will have it professionally tested and even tell you what you need to do in order to improve the soil to better fit your kind of grass.
Improve the soil if necessary
Once you have the results of your soil test, you will have better insight into what you have to do in order to make it better. In case the testing shows that your soil is lacking some essential nutrients, the experts at the local garden centre can advise you on which type of fertilizer you should use to make the soil better suited to the type of grass you want to grow. If the pH levels are not right, they will also provide useful advice but you can also find some tips online. For instance, to raise the acidity of the soil, you can add some pulverized lime. On the other hand, adding peat moss and other organic materials would work best for lowering moderately alkaline pH levels while sulphur and iron sulphate can amend soils with high alkaline levels.
Decide which type of grass you want
Although you could be amending your soil in order to match the needs of the grass you’ve opted for, it might be easier to find the types of grass that are best suited for your location. Unless you want a certain kind, you can save yourself a lot of time and money simply by getting a variety that will have no difficulty in succeeding in the soil you’re working with. That being said, you can look through grasses that are more likely to thrive in warmer or cooler climates, depending on where you live, and get the type that you like the most.
Learn how to aerate the soil
Even if your soil is healthy and suitable for the type of grass you’ve selected, you might still be faced with some issues. For instance, if your soil is compacted, the roots of the grass will not have enough space to grow and they might not be getting enough air, water, and nutrients. There is an easy solution to this problem, however. You simply need to learn how to aerate your lawn. This means that you will be creating holes in the ground by taking out some plugs of soil, which will make the soil loose. All you need for this is a garden fork while you can also use a gas-powered aerator. To prevent this from happening again, don’t use heavy machinery on the lawn and minimize the foot traffic in the area.
Know when to fertilize
Using fertilizer might be a must if you need to amend your soil, but you should still feed your lawn on a regular basis. That doesn’t mean doing it every day though. Depending on the grass you have planted, you might need to do it a few times a year. For example, some grasses might need to be fertilized in April, July, and September while others might only need to be fed in the fall. This is why some research is necessary. Other fertilization tips to keep in mind include not using too much fertilizer to avoid nitrogen burns and fertilizing after mowing to let it settle properly.
Adopt useful watering practices
In addition to knowing when to fertilize, you also need to learn how to properly water your lawn. First of all, you need the right tools for this, so look through a wide selection of quality garden hoses, some sprinklers with a timer, and a hose reel. Then, you should also avoid the most common mistakes people make, such as watering too often but too little and watering in the evening. Instead, you want to water every three to four days and give the lawn up to two inches of water as well as water early in the morning to prevent evaporation and various diseases.
Master mowing techniques
How you mow your lawn also plays a role in its success. For example, you don’t want to make the grass too short as that can damage and expose it to disease. Don’t take off more than a third from the top to also prevent weeds from popping up. Moreover, don’t mow wet grass, and remember to regularly sharpen the mower blades so that they don’t hurt the grass. Lastly, you should also look into different mowing patterns and switch up your approach to prevent the grass from laying in one direction.
Take care of pests
Finally, you want to keep various pests that can damage the lawn at bay. If you’re trying to make your garden eco-friendly, you should also steer clear of various pesticides that are full of dangerous chemicals and stick to natural, DIY methods that you can easily find online, such as using mulch, diatomaceous earth, and neem oil spray.
If you’re doing your best to have a thriving lawn that will boost the curb appeal of your home, keeping these nine tips in mind is essential.