Who doesn’t want to have a lush green lawn that stays beautiful all season long? If your front yard is the neighborhood eyesore, it may be time to reevaluate your lawn care strategy. For those homeowners ready to wave goodbye to insect invaders, unsightly discoloration, and ravenous weeds, there are seven simple but effective steps you can take to make your lush lawn dreams come true.
Start with a soil test
According to GreenHow, a provider of pest control services in Boston, “The foundation of any lawn health care program is a soil test.” For those budding yard care enthusiasts, soil testing is essential in managing the fertility of the soil to avoid over-fertilizing it.
As with any well-thought-out project, it’s best to see what you are working with before planting. Soil sample testing is an easy and inexpensive way to understand your soil’s needs. It will show the composition of your soil, PH levels, and the quality and bioavailability of the vital nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus.
With this information in your back pocket, you can customize your lawn care rituals accordingly.
Make soil amendments
In addition to information on your soil’s PH levels and nutrient contents, a soil test will also offer recommendations on additives that will amend your soil to optimal health. Ready to improve your soil texture or tweak the soil’s PH? If so, consider introducing composted materials. This organic matter will work wonders for your wilting lawn.
Grass roots need air as well as water to grow. Often, soil can be compacted or “thatched,” preventing nutrients from penetrating the soil and reaching the roots. Aerating adds small holes into the soil to allow air and nutrients to penetrate the roots.
When applying fertilizer to your lawn, choose slow-release organic fertilizers when possible. Various types of organic plant foods and compost options are available that will add microorganisms beneficial to your soil. The Boston Globe calls these “probiotics for your lawn.”
Overwatering can be as detrimental as not watering enough. Aim to water your lawn twice per week for about 30 minutes each time. When you reduce watering to twice per week, it encourages the roots to grow deeper to search for groundwater. This root depth is vital in drought tolerance.
A good rule of green thumbs is to water in the morning, as close to dawn as possible. Never water at night as it will lead to rot and mold growth. At the same time, be sure not to water during the day, as the sun will evaporate most of the moisture.
Staying on top of weeds can be difficult and time-consuming, but maintenance is critical. If you spot a few stray weeds, it’s best to pull them out. Using chemical pesticides can do more harm than good, ending up in waterways and contaminating groundwater.
There are natural ways to combat pests. Most lawn pests can be controlled by introducing insects that prey on them. For instance, a worm called nematodes can get rid of grubs, which are most likely to infest your lawn. If you see brown and bare spots, you likely have grubs.
Mow the lawn
Mowing the lawn seems to be a given for even first-time homeowners. Because a lush lawn often entails a meticulously manicured appearance, you may be wondering how often you should mow.
Ultimately, the mowing frequency will depend on your location, climate, and type of grass. In most cases, frequent mowing encourages new growth and leads to solid roots.
During the warmer months, it’s best to mow your lawn twice per week. Additionally, yard care experts recommend keeping your property’s grass less than two inches tall.
Enjoy your lush lawn
Once you’ve adopted the necessary weed-fighting strategies, it’s time to get out there and enjoy your lush lawn. You’ve earned it!
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