Spring and summertime is when your lawn needs look its best, and keeping your grass in great condition certainly takes a little effort from you. Understanding different elements of lawn care such as proper mowing or watering techniques is what will help your lawn make it through the summer season. Here are several best lawn care tips to consider.
A lush green lawn is a pleasure to look at, but keeping that plushness and rich color takes a lot of work. We spend our money on lawn installation, care products, equipment, and maintenance. Lawns generate oxygen and control erosion, so they help the environment.
But in the last fifty years our obsession with our yards has made our lawns far from natural. Widespread use of pesticides (like herbicides, insecticides and fungicides) has caused environmental and health problems.
Shockingly, homeowners apply 10 times more pesticides per acre than farmers – a total of 67 million pounds each year. Fortunately, long-term organic lawn care eventually cuts down on costs and lawn maintenance. Just work with nature! Read the following best lawn care tips and make your lawn more eco-friendly and beautiful at the same time.
Choose the right time and the right grass
You can avoid the need for pesticides by planting your lawn at the appropriate time and with the best type of grass for your climate. Picking the right grass will reduce the amount of fertilizer and care needed. What’s more, if you mix several similar cultivars it will help increase resistance to stress and disease.
Make sure your lawn mower has a freshly sharpened blade. It may help stop diseases of the grass because the clean cut heals more quickly, creating less stress on the plant. And remember to remove no more than one third of the blade with each cut to reduce stress. While it might be tempting to set the mower blades low so you won’t have to cut the lawn again so soon, in fact slicing off more than an inch of grass at a time can cause what is left to turn brown.
What about the clippings
When you mow, don’t bag the clippings. Let them decompose on the lawn instead as they add nitrogen back into the soil and reduce the need for fertilizers.
When you choose a fertilizer, opt for products labeled “natural” or “organic”and use compost tea four times a year to boost the natural health of your soil. During the fall, rake about a half-inch of compost over the grass.
Watering deeply but irregularly brings better results at keeping your grass green than watering daily. Of course, it depends on the type of grass and the type of climate how often you’ll need to water your lawn. Early morning is the best time for watering. At noon water evaporates too fast and if you water in the evening, the moisture can help grow unwanted fungi.
Take care of your soil
The best pH for grass to grow best is a pH between 6 and 7, so begin by getting a soil test through your local extension service and adding natural mineral amendments. If your soil is acidic, use limestone, if it’s alkaline, use suplur. If you hire a professional to take care of your lawn, make sure they use natural products. Although evidence shows that long-term exposure to pesticides and nitrate-based fertilizers can be dangerous, there are a number of professionals who still use them.
Alternatives to yard cover
If you live in a hot, dry climate where it’s hard to keep a green lawn, give xeriscaping a try. This is a garden technique that replaces traditional lawns with drought-tolerant grasses, perennials, shrubs, and trees so that you don’t need extra irrigation. Also, consider alternative yard cover; convert a part of the yard to groundcover, beds with plants, wildflower meadows, or rain gardens.