ReSET Blog
Blog · November 29, 2018 · AUTHOR: Udi Dorner

9 Strategies For Keeping Your Lawn Green And Attractive

Your lawn is the emerald jewel in the crown of your coat of arms. For some people, green grass comes natural, year after year. For other folks, no matter how hard they try, they seem to wind up with bare spots, yellowing, and weeds. Bright and healthy grass is an essential element of good landscaping. Not only does it improve the curb appeal of your property, but it is also nice to walk on barefooted. While cutting and watering the grass may be the ordinary limit to home maintenance for many families, those who maintain those brilliant and beautiful decorative lawns light up the neighborhood. You know that your grass care is extraordinary when you have to put up "Please keep off the grass!" signs to keep passers-by from defiling it. Because we want others to experience the pride of owning immaculate lawns, we have compiled some weighty tips, below. Please peruse and pass the information on to brighten someone else's day.

Tip #1: Test Your Soil Quality

Even if you laid down a premium topsoil a few years ago that was properly aerated with peat moss and perlite, fertilized with nutrients, and moisturized with vermiculite, chances are that the soil quality has changed since then. Farmers have to rotate crops and condition the soil between grows. Water run-off from rain can leech the fertilizers off your topsoil and wash your investment down the drain. It makes sense to pay a few dollars for annual testing of your soil quality. Grass requires a pH of 6.5 and the ideal balance of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium to reach its full potential. Testing the pH and adding lime, if necessary, is a critical element of the formula that homeowners often overlook.

Tip #2: Edge Your Lawn

Edging your lawn is vital to retaining a neat image and defining your gardens, walkways, curbs, and other structures. Edging adds professional beauty to lawns and makes them pop (stand out). The difference between elegant homes and those that are simply nice is proper and consistent edging. It is advisable to use a power edger, if the border is clearly established, and a manual edger to carefully cut your own borders. An edger is like a manicure for your lawns that adds those finishing touches. Edging also demonstrates that you are high-maintenance and tedious about caring for your lawns because it requires regular attention.

Tip #3: Be Careful How Low You Go

When it gets hotter outside, you should not be inflicting stress on your grass by chopping away its vitality. Instead, you should limit the cutting to retain a grass height of about 2.5-inches. Cutting your grass too low and reducing the cooling canopy effect can dry out and stress the roots. It also gives pesky weeds the opportunistic run they've been hoping for to soak up some sun. When it is cooler outside, you can take the grass down a notch to get that neat turf look. Another rule is to go easy on the grass and work it down slowly. If your grass is overgrown, don't try to fix the problem in just one day. For example, if your grass blades are 6-inches tall, don't take more than a third of that off at a time.

Tip #4: Use Moisture-Sensing Sprinkler Systems

There is too much guesswork involved in retaining the ideal level of moisture in lawns. Although you could always touch the surface of the soil to determine whether it is moist to the touch as an indication of health, an automatic sprinkler system with moisture detection frees you of the repetition. This will also conserve water because it will not oversaturate your grass and flush out nutrients when it is still damp from a soaking rain. In any case, ensure that your sprinkler technology always saturates your grass with an inch of soaking water. Brief cycled spraying that does not penetrate the soil leads to shallow root development and decreases the health of your grass.

Tip #5: Reseed in the Autumn

Reseeding your grass for a strong awakening next spring should be done in the fall. Those beautiful seeds will have plenty of time to set into even pockets while the soil is still pliable. And this way, you don't risk killing any early growth after the winter thaw. The best seed to buy is designer turfgrass that is engineered for spectacular growth and that wow factor. While it may be more expensive, this hearty grass seed will provide you with aggressive and dense growth in the spring. Simply till the soil to aerate it and apply the seed. It is important to never let the seed dry out. If the seeds are baked in the sun and not covered right after you spread the seed, it is not worth a bag of popcorn because dry seeds never grow. Cover the fresh seed with a light mixture of compost-enhanced soil, and natural peat moss for aeration. Adding vermiculite for moisture retention, worm castings for long-lasting organic nutrient enrichment, and perlite for aeration, are some additional steps you can take for your lawns and gardens before winter hibernation.

Tip #6: Remove Debris

In the autumn, especially, lawns tend to fall into a state of sunlight starvation as the leaves, branches, and other matter bury them. Even though your grass is steps away from hibernating in winter mode, you don't want to extend the hibernation and dormancy phase by cutting out the sunlight early. It is important to move debris and open up the window for energy building photosynthesis storage before the cold snap. This is especially critical if you plan on reseeding in the autumn to strengthen your grass next year. Cleaning up your lawns is also an element of good landscaping that should flow over into your gardens and other spaces for maximum curb appeal. Most people stimulate new growth with the basic home maintenance of cutting the grass when it starts getting overgrown. However, few consider how raking and even using a power rake in the spring can stimulate grass growth in dense soil.

Tip #7: Use Fertilizer and Herbicides Systematically

Obtaining healthy grass requires some exacting timing and specific regimens. When it comes to preventing those nasty weed patches from cropping up in too many places to count, it is effective to lay down a pre-emergent herbicide with your first winter thaw fertilization. Six weeks later, you can add an unadulterated fertilizer that is high in nitrogen. When weeds appear, you have to take care of them on a case-by-case basis. If you add weed preventers to the soil, you will wind up weakening the grass in the process. Weed preventer is actually a misnomer because these formulas are intended to choke out weeds in the same manner as a weed killer that is sprayed directly on them. When autumn rolls around, it is good practice to use a stage 4 fertilizer to let the minerals build up for the spring bloom.

Tip #8: Pest Control

When it comes to insecticide formulas, homeowners only benefit if the insecticide is formulated to kill the bugs native to their region. If you purchase a commercial fertilizer that claims to offer insecticide protection, it may be too broad of a spectrum to work effectively. Incorporating a granular insecticide into your fertilizer that is specific for the type of bugs that plague your area is the smarter strategy.

Tip #9: Protect Your Yard During the Winter

When it comes to snowfall and ice, many turn to a de-icer formula to help clean up driveways and footpaths. Too much of these chemicals can be toxic to your grass. The better strategy is to mark off the borders of your lawns to prevent ripping them up with snow blowers, plows, and other trauma. Under 6-feet of snow, you may sacrifice good ground to simply get the job done if you haven't staked out the perimeters in advance. Julia Ellison is a contributor to House Tipster, the greatest innovation in home renovation. By using groundbreaking technologies, House Tipster has created the most engaging platform for homeowners and service professionals. Julia loves all things outdoors as well as her family and friends. When she's not reading a best seller book or the Harry Potter series she's often outside with her dog, Jack, and kids or cooking a delicious Italian meal. 

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