Most homeowners desire the perfect lawn, but many consider themselves to have a “black thumb” after several unsuccessful seasons of lawn care. Achieving a gorgeous lawn doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does require more steps than just regular mowing. The best way to cultivate a healthy lawn is by diligently mowing, watering, fertilizing, and aerating the ground. Here is a quick guide to faking a green thumb with minimal effort.
Experts strongly recommend growing the grass longer in order to mow the lawn more frequently. For the best results, set the mower blades to at least 3 inches tall so that roughly one-third of the grass will be cut at a time. Cutting more than one-third of grass may result in thick clippings that are slow to decompose, thus causing thatch. Thatch prevents nutrients, water, sunlight, and air from penetrating the soil. Additionally, homeowners should ensure that the mower blades are sharpened and balanced so that the grass is cut cleanly and evenly. A dull mower blade tends to shred grass, which may cause the lawn to develop diseases as well as other damages.
In order to promote a healthy lawn, watering should occur in the mornings between 6 and 10 AM. During this period, lawns lose less water to evaporation and the ground has ample time to completely dry before nightfall. Diseases are prone to develop when lawns remain wet overnight. Homeowners are encouraged to apply 1 to 2 inches of water to their lawn per a week at three to four-day intervals. However, this general rule can vary drastically depending on the grass type, soil conditions, and temperature. Moreover, lawns with sand soils may require twice as much water since the ground usually drains quickly. Conversely, slow-draining clay soils typically need only half as much water. Ask one of your local green thumb friends to take a look at your lawn and pick their brain about their watering schedule.
Aerating is the process of removing small plugs of soil in order to enable water and fertilizer to penetrate the ground more effectively. This may sound complicated, but don’t let it scare you. Grass roots require oxygen, water, and nutrients to thrive. Aeration is designed to improve air-to-soil interaction. By decreasing soil compaction and stimulating the breakdown of thatch, the process opens space for roots to successfully grow. After aerating the lawn, weed killers should be promptly applied to the open holes.
The best time to eradicate weeds is in the early spring and summer as they haven’t yet had a chance to develop deep root systems. Because weeds require different chemicals, homeowners should consider their geographic location, soil conditions, and grass/weed type before applying weed killers and fertilizers. Grassy weeds like crabgrass work best with pre-emergent weed killers, which can successfully destroy germinating plants as they sprout. Dandelions should also be attacked as soon as they emerge from the ground. However, broadleaf weeds need to be sprayed while they are actively growing.
In order to promote quick root development, begin fertilizing in the early spring. The purpose of fertilizing the lawn is to strengthen the roots, encourage lush growth, and prevent invasive weeds and pests. Although there are many varieties of fertilizer on the market such as synthetic, granule and organic, some of the most effective products consist of key nutrients such as phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen.
Low Maintenance Plants
Along with providing colorful flowers and attractive foliage, hardy plants or groundcovers like perennials and shrubs are great for suppressing weed growth. However, homeowners should remove existing weeds before planting groundcover plants. Other effective groundcover plants include asters, rudbeckia, and persicaria. Using ground covers on slopes or hills will save you many hours of mowing.
Maintaining and Repairing Outdoor Power Equipment
Homeowners will have the best results when their lawn tools and equipment are in good working order. Spring is the perfect time to assess the state of your equipment, perform basic maintenance on engines, and replace parts. Cubparts.com has a handy OEM parts lookup tool and can ship across the US and Canada. Not sure what you need? Contact the knowledgeable staff via their parts ordering assistance form.