Why Is Nitrogen Important For A Green Lawn
Grass cant grow without nitrogen. In fact, its the most important nutrient to support your lawn. Nitrogen works by encouraging new green growth above the soil line. For anyone who remembers middle school biology, this is where the photosynthesis takes place, which helps generate enough energy so that the roots grow healthy and the grass can ward off any pests or diseases.
Perhaps even more important for you and your lawn, nitrogen is also an essential component of chlorophyll, which is what the plants use to feed themselvesand also what gives them their beautiful green pigment. Without nitrogen and all of the things that it supports, you may notice grass blades that are shorter, brittle, dull in color, and more susceptible to stress and disease .
How To Deal With Grass In Summer Heat
The dog days of summer are a constant worry for homeowners, as just a few days without rain can really impact a once-lush lawn. Then theres the heat to contend with!
We cant give you any tips for how to stay cool yourself in the summer heat, but we can provide some recommendations to help support your grass:
- Use appropriate mowing techniques. Longer grass will help to shade the roots and prevent any harmful exposure to the sun. This will also help the roots of the grass grow deeper, thus outcompeting weeds and creating a denser turf. That said, use a blade height of about four inches in summer, mow less frequently, and mow earlier in the day.
- Avoid watering in the heat of the day, choose early morning or late evening instead. Keep in mind that your lawn will need about one inch of water a weekbut it can tolerate about half an inch every 14-days, depending on water restrictions in your area .
How to keep grass green in a drought?
If youre starting from scratch, youre in luck. Its easy to find drought-resistant and fast-growing grass seeds, especially like the fescues we mentioned earlier. These grasses establish themselves quickly, dont require a lot in the way of maintenance, and are one of our best bets for having a green lawneven in periods of drought.
If youre not starting out with a new lawn, however, there are still some things you can do to keep your grass green during drought :
What If I Want A Green Lawn From Scratch
When sowing a lawn from seed, the intended use and desired look of the lawn will determine the most appropriate seed mix to use. A lawn that needs to withstand heavy wear and some neglect should contain a high proportion of the tough, broad-bladed ryegrass. For a finer, more refined lawn use a seed mix without ryegrass.
The ideal time to sow seed is September when the soil is still warm, yet moist so choose a calm day with light rain forecasted. When sowing, make sure the surface is weeded, raked and level, this is the only opportunity to get it right. When laying a lawn using turves, make sure you get the soil preparation right. It should be cleared of weeds, then forked, raked, firmed and levelled.
Seed MixesFor a formal lawn 80% Chewings fescue, 20% Browntop bent
For a utility lawn 40% Smooth stalked meadow grass, 30% Chewings fescue, 20% Creeping red fescue, 10% Browntop bent
For a tough, hardwearing lawn 35% Perennial ryegrass, 30% Chewings fescue, 25% Smooth stalked meadow grass, 10% Browntop bent
With these restorative tips for year-round lawn care you can ensure your grass is thick, thriving and full of life all year round. Sorting out your lawn can seem like a mammoth task but with regular maintenance you can keep the time spent tending to your lawn to a minimum, without sacrificing the health of the grass.
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How To Keep Grass Green Naturally
Want to support your lush green grass, but do so without chemicals? Here are a few tips for supporting healthy and natural grass growth:
- Apply a thin layer of compost on top of your lawn at the beginning of spring to give it a quick nutrition boost. This can also be done again throughout the spring and summer seasons, just be sure to avoid making too thick a layer.
- Manually remove weeds as you spot them as theyll compete for any available sunlight, moisture, and nutrients and will ultimately impact the greenery you want.
- If you want something a little easier, but still natural, you can add corn gluten meal to naturally kill weeds and also fertilize your lawn.
- Minimize the amount of pet urine that ends up in your lawn. Over time, it can cause the grass to turn yellow and even die. Make a designated toilet spot for your dog.
- Regularlyaerate your lawn and remove compacted areas or any build-up of thatch.
Protect Animals And Insects
It is important to protect birds, beneficial insects, earthworms, and other organisms that play an important role in keeping your lawn healthy.
- Birds and predatory insects feed on grubs and other pests.
- Insects, earthworms, beneficial fungi, and other micro-organisms break down thatch and aerate the soil.
The best way to protect these beneficial animals and insects is to only use insecticides and fungicides when absolutely needed. See Understanding your lawn’s lifecycle for more information.
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Skip The Leaf Blowing And Raking Altogether
While you may find leaves irritating to look at when they fall in your lawn, keep in mind that leaves and grass clippings actually serve as fantastic all-natural fertilizers for your lawn. If you dont like looking at them, invest in a lawnmower with a mulching feature that will grind them into small pieces for you. Still an eyesore? Rake the clippings and shredded leaves and collect them for your compost pile.
Follow These Steps And Your Grass Will Always Stay Green And Thick
Theres nothing better than a lush, green lawnespecially when youre equipped with the know-how for how to get it there.
Were happy to let you in on a few secrets for how to make your grass green. It starts with knowing your grass, but continues with using fertilizer and addressing any damage as it comes.
We spoke to our landscaping pros who have combined over 50 years of keeping grass looking green and healthy and they boiled everything down to 4 essential points that we unpack in this article.
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Vital Lawn Mowing Safety Tips
The lawn should neither be over or under fertilised, of it is under fertilised it will lack in nutrients and using too much fertiliser will cause the roots to burn and it can change the pH in the soil.
And if it really does need watering, it should be watered in the early mornings to give the grass time to reduce the amount of water that evaporates when it gets hot later.
Soil should be watered up to six inches deep and home-owners should find out what type of soil they have, as certain types need more watering, such as sandy soil.
Alan Titchmarsh advises summer is not the best time to try and achieve a perfect lawn, and work should be completed in spring.
But if you are determined, mowing the lawn is the best first step. He also urged to always try to mow when the grass is dry, as that way you avoid skidding and the production of sticky clods.
Water Deeply And Less Often
Watering your grass is obviously important, but it isnt just as simple as watering more when the weather heats up.
When it comes to watering, preparation for the summer months should take place all year since you need to train your grass to become hardier.
If you water grass too often, it wont need to send down roots in search of water deeper below the surface. Grass that is watered too often develops a shallow, superficial root system, and when water becomes scarce, it struggles to survive.
To encourage deep and healthy root growth, you should water your lawn deeply once a week. This way, when the summer arrives, your grass is already stronger and hardier and better equipped to survive.
A watering schedule like this can sometimes be difficult to remember. An excellent solution is to install a sprinkler controller to take care of it for you.
Some smart controllers nowadays are even able to adapt the watering schedule to local weather conditions, ensuring your grass receives exactly the optimum amount of water without you having to think about it.
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How To Have A Healthy Lawn
Like many Canadians, you probably take pride in having an attractive lawn. Find out how to care for your lawn as easily as possible, while reducing the need for pesticides!
Many people use lawn care products like herbicides and insecticides to maintain their lawns. But “cosmetic” pesticide use is now restricted and even banned in many communities across Canada.
There are ways to have a healthy lawn without using pesticides. And when you do have to use pesticides, there are ways to use them safely.
Limit Traffic And Do Not Apply Fertilizer On Drought
At this time, minimize traffic on drought-stressed lawns. Growth is very slow so postpone mowing until moisture returns in the next 7-10 days. Traffic from lawnmowers and equipment can cause permanent damage when conditions are hot and dry.
Also, postpone fertilizer applications until moisture returns and grass is actively growing. Fertilizer applied now will not be taken up by dormant grass and the nutrients could cause environmental harm.
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How To Fix Dirt Patches In Lawn
Say youve overfertilized or have become the target of some pesky dandelions. Whatever the reason, tending to a dirt patch is easy and will have your lawn looking lush and green in no time.
How To Select Grass
Beyond selecting a grass that will grow well giving your climatic conditions, there are some other things to consider like pH, fertility, soil moisture, and environmental stresses.
Some grasses will be more shade tolerant than others , while others are better at forming sod . Additionally, some grasses are better suited for very specific activitieslike bentgrass being used for a putting green or a croquet court.
When to plant grass can be found in our gardening guide!
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Get Your Lawn In Training
To build a strong, healthy lawn it is important not to water it too frequently. Its all about training your lawn to develop a deep root system that will see it through the summer months without the need to switch on a sprinkler every day. To get the roots of your lawn searching for water at a deeper level, you’ll need to give it a long soak two to three times per week, rather than a short daily soak that will create a shallow root system.
Pro Strategies For Thicker Greener Grass
For many Central and Southern Maryland homeowners, a green grass shows they care for and have pride in their properties.
In summers heat, its especially important to do all of the things all year long that contribute to a lawns health. Because, as the pros know, you cant do just one thing to nurture a thick lawn. A mix of the right strategies is necessary when it comes to how to make grass greener.
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How To Make Grass Thicker
In addition to choosing the right grass in the first place and regularly aerating your lawn, you can do a few additional things to make your grass thicker
- Address diseases. Avoid mowing when the lawn is wet and check for signs of disease or fungal infection. This may appear as powdery residue or colored patches or spots. Also, check for indications of pest damage .
- Ensure that your soil is healthy. Check for your local extension field office and obtain a soil-testing kit. It will alert you to nutrient deficiencies that may be responsible for your thinning lawn.
- Water regularly and apply a nitrogen fertilizer. Dont worry, well discuss more about this below.
How To Get A Beautiful Green Lawn Without Chemicals
Nothing sets off your home and garden like a lush, green lawn. It’s a living framework that makes trees, flowerbeds and shrub borders look their best. Lawns are the ideal carpet for outdoor recreation and entertaining. They draw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and give off oxygen, and they help keep air temperatures cooler in the summertime.
But our love affair with lawns comes with a cost. Each year U.S. homeowners apply more than 3 million tons of synthetic lawn fertilizers and 70 million pounds of lawn pesticides and herbicides. These chemicals pose serious hazards to our children, our pets and wildlife of all kinds. To make matters worse, it’s estimated that 65 percent of these chemicals find their way into our lakes, rivers and underground aquifers. With water shortages and droughts becoming commonplace, it’s also becoming much more difficult and more expensive to pamper a chemical- and water-addicted lawn.
Converting to a natural, low-maintenance lawnone that you can feel good about and that’s also low maintenanceis easier than you may think.
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Keep The Grass Longer In Summer
Weed Out for broadleaf weeds and crabgrass is an effective solution if you have crabgrass this time of year. It kills crabgrass to the root. Creeping Charlie is another ongoing battle this time of year. Weed Free Zone and Weed Beater Ultra are the best solutions we carry for Creeping Charlie and other broadleaf weeds.
When applying liquid solutions to plants like turf grass, remember to avoid application when the air temperature is at or above 85 degrees. At this temperature, most plants are stressed and adding a chemical solution can worsen the condition. During hot spells it’s best to apply in the evening when temperatures drop and the sun is low in the sky or wait until the heat breaks and cooler days arrive.
After you’ve treated your lawn for insect or disease problems, fertilized it and brought it back to a vibrant green, you may find some sparse or bare spots in need of seeding. Fall is the best time to seed your lawn and at Gertens we have seed for any condition your lawn requires: Sun or shade, heavy to sandy soils,high traffic, low maintenance, anything. The seed you need to make your lawn better than ever is at Gertens.
Tip No : Mow Only The Top One
The top one-third of a blade of grass is thin and leafy, decomposes quickly when cut and can contribute up to one-third of the nitrogen your lawn needs . While its decomposing, this light layer of clippings also helps slow water evaporation and keeps weeds from germinating. Check out these handy mowing tips.
But the bottom two-thirds of a blade of grass is tough, stemmy and slow to decompose, contributing to thatch. When thick enough, thatch prevents sunlight, air, water and nutrients from reaching the soil. Cutting more than the top third also shocks grass roots and exposes stems, which tend to burn in direct sunlight.
So if two inches is your target grass height, cut it when it reaches three inches. Since grass grows at different rates at different times of the year, every Saturday isnt necessarily the best time to mow. Sometimes you need to mow it more, other times less. The ideal length for cool-climate grasses is three to four inches for warm-climate, one to two inches.
Mow when the grass is dry and avoid mowing in the heat of the day when youre more likely to stress the grass and yourself.
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Control Lawn Weeds Insects & Diseases
All of the tips above help create the best lawn possible to ensure thicker, greener grass. This naturally reduces weeds, insects and diseases. However, these pesky lawn invaders are always lurking, waiting for the opportunity to infiltrate your lawn if it shows any signs of weakness.
Sometimes, certain conditions can lead to some weed breakthroughs or an excessively wet season can result in turf disease. Keeping an eye out for these challenges and managing them quickly can make simple problems disappear versus exacerbate into bigger, more visually unpleasing results.
A lawn care pro can offer solutions such as a combination of pre-emergent and post-emergent weed control tactics to keep all weeds at bay. Nothing blemishes thick, green grass faster than weeds, insects, and diseases.
You Dont Have To Slave Over Your Lawn To Keep It Healthy
If youre an average homeowner , you spend almost four hours a week on yard work and mow your lawn 30 times a year. And while you may not realize it, your lawn pays you back for all this hard work. It serves as a giant air conditioner to help cool your home. It releases a tremendous amount of oxygen and captures tons of dirt and dust to help keep you and your family healthy. It gives you a place to play croquet. And the healthier your lawn is, the better it keeps up its end of the bargain.
The good news is, you dont have to slave over your lawn to keep it healthy. In fact, to a great extent, its not the amount of work you put into your lawn its when and how you do it. The following six ingredients are essential for a healthy lawn. We focus on northern or cool-climate grasses like bluegrass and fescue, but most of the information applies to warm-climate grasses like zoysia and Bermuda grass, too.
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