A lush lawn can be a real booster when it comes to your home's selling price, as our real estate agents will tell you. That's good news, but attaining a beautiful lawn requires some work and commitment. Here are some tips that will guide you toward creating the lawn of your dreams.
- Improve the soil
Lawns need good soil to look healthy. Be sure that your soil's pH (the measure of the acidity or basicity of the soil) is right for the kind of grass you want to grow. Soil test kits can yield the pH, and you can use amendments to fix it. You may need to till the soil if it is exceptionally hard, and perhaps adding some good quality soil.
- Fill in sparse areas
If you need to lay down strips of sod to fill in sparse areas, be sure to till and rake the area first, removing stones, sticks, and old clumps of grass. Moisten the areas you want to fill in and lay the strips on top of them. Keep the strips moist, and water so the grass doesn't dry out. You can also sprinkle grass seed in sparse areas.
- Spray for weeds
It's a bit late this year, but in spring, get rid of weeds by spraying pre-emergent herbicide after your second mowing. You can also spray herbicides on weeds in spots as they emerge, or subdue crabgrass with a fertilizer that has an herbicide. The fertilizer encourages thick growth, which helps inhibit the weedy grass.
- Provide nutrients by fertilizing.
Grass needs nutrients, just like all your other plants, and particularly since nutrients leach away with rain and irrigation. Use a starter fertilizer to promote root growth for new grasses; for established lawns, use a fertilizer that boosts the nitrogen your lawn needs. Get a slow-release fertilizer that will keep releasing to feed your lawn for up to three months.
- Watch for lawn pests
Signs that lawn pests are afoot include dying grass patches, wilt, brown spots, and insects in the grass or turf layer. Also, check roots to make sure they're not being eaten. Some common pests are grub worms, chinch bugs, sod webworms, and cutworms. One of the most popular insecticides is Sevin® granules, which you sprinkle on your lawn after watering or after it rains.
- Irrigate properly
Good watering practices will help your grass seeds to germinate and will keep sod moisture levels where they should be. Generally established lawns need about an inch of water each week. Rather than hit or miss watering with a hose, use an irrigation system to encourage deep root growth, the key to a thicker lawn.
- Mow grass the right height
Mowing grass the right height can keep weeds down, while encouraging good growth. The right height depends on the type of grass you've planted. For most cold-climate species, it's about 2-1/2 inches. Mow according to the needs of the grass, rather than a weekly calendar. Mow to the recommended height but don't remove more than a third of the height in a single mowing so as to avoid stress to the lawn. Keep mower blades well maintained so they cut cleanly rather than tear the grass. Torn grass can be susceptible to lawn diseases and pests.
Need more tips for improving your lawn and landscape? Contact us today.