Most homes could use a little lawn care help. Putting a little effort into your grass is an easy, inexpensive way to increase the value of your home. After all, a well-manicured lawn is the crown jewel of curb appeal…
Do Not Scalp Lawn.
- People tend to scalp their lawn so they can mow less frequently. Big mistake. Scalping will require more lawn care help in the long run. Grass cut too short will absorb less sunshine though its leaves, hurting its ability to survive and defend itself against diseases and insects. Sunlight can more easily penetrate what’s left of the lawn, providing an ideal environment for weed seeds to germinate.
- Mow on the high side. A higher cut helps ensure a deeper root system. Never cut more than 1/3 of the grass blade during a mowing. The remaining 2/3 will develop deep roots and spread out, eventually creating a dense, healthy turf.
Leave Grass Clippings on Lawn.
- Grass clippings less than 1 inch filter down to the soil surface and decompose quickly. These clippings provide several benefits when left on the lawn: they shade the soil surface and reduce moisture loss due to evaporation. In addition, decomposing grass blades are a valuable source of plant nutrients.
- Longer clippings do not provide any lawn care help. They tend to remain above the lawn where they appear unsightly and can shade or smother the grass beneath. These clippings need to be removed to avoid both unsightliness and lawn damage.
Change mowing pattern.
- Start at the 12 o’clock position and mow to the 6 o’clock position. Next time, begin at the 9 o’clock position and mow to the 3 o’clock position. This prevents turf and soil compacting and wheel patterns from forming in your lawn and gives it a nice stadium look.
- At a minimum, fertilize 3x/year–Late spring, Early Fall, and Late Fall.
- At a maximum, fertilize 6x/year–Early Spring, Late spring, Late Summer, Early Fall, Late Fall. Avoid a fertilizer overdose. Too much of a good thing can be harmful.
- Control weeds early. Apply herbicide to grassy weeds, such as crabgrass, in the spring, and to broadleaf weeds, like dandelions, in the fall.
- Do not use pre-emergent weed control at the time of seeding because it will negate any grass seed that hasn’t germinated. This is a common mistake. Wait until the new grass is mowed three times before applying a pre-emergent herbicide.
- If you don’t want to handle pesticides or aren’t getting the results you want, have a local lawn treatment company do it. You can sign up online for a free estimate.
Keep Beds to a Minimum
- Beds require a lot of maintenance—weeding, edging, trimming back overgrown plants and shrubs. Too many beds scattered throughout the property begin to look cluttered.
- A bed bordering the house is usually sufficient, unless you have a boatload of time and energy to keep up with the maintenance. Keep it simple. Manicured. When in doubt, put lawn where there was a bed.
Water deeply, but infrequently for established lawns.
- This trains roots to grow deep in the soil for strength. Deep roots help your lawn better survive a hot dry spell.
- Water early in the day to avoid evaporation. The sun will be up shortly to dry the lawn’s surface, minimizing moisture-loving diseases.
- Over- watering wastes money and resources and is bad for the grass. Waterlogged soil is the breeding ground for summer lawn diseases.
- It is really worth having underground sprinklers if you don’t already have them. Lawns with sprinklers always look amazing. Get an quote from a local sprinkler company. You can sign up online for a free estimate.