Go Natural With The Fertilizer
Alright, so youve tried watering it, but it seems like your grass is past the point of no return. But, dont give up just yet! Fertilizer is another helpful step when making grass greener.
When you go to your local store, youll probably have tons of fertilizer options to choose from. Fertilizer is one of those things that many people believe is all the same, so they just go for the cheaper option and call it a day.
However, you should check for a natural fertilizer. They tend to work better than synthetic fertilizers, and theyre better for the environment!
Give Your Grass A Breath Of Fresh Air
17) Aerating basically means poking holes in your lawn to help water, oxygen and fertilizer pierce the soil easier. Some lawns benefit more from aeration than others. If your garden has a lot of footfall, or the soil is layered or has a spongy feel, then aerating will help the roots of your grass grow stronger, meaning your lawn will be thicker and more fertile.
18) There are two main types of aerator available, spike aerators and plug aerators. Spike aerators simply puncture a hole in the soil, whereas plug aerators remove a plug of grass and earth from the lawn. Plug aerators tend to yield better results than spike aerators. Aerators can be purchased or rented from most tool hire companies and garden centres.
19) Growing season is the best time to aerate your lawn, when it will have a chance to heal itself after soil plugs are removed. Cool season grass is best aerated in early spring or autumn, and warm season grass is best aerated in late spring or early summer. Once you have aerated, you should apply a layer of weed killer to discourage weeds from infiltrating the holes.
As you can see, keeping your lawn in tip-top condition is more about making small routine changes and being aware of what your grass and soil type need to help them prosper. Apart from a good lawn mower, some weed killer and fertilizer, and possibly an aerator, an abundant green lawn doesnt require any other special equipment. So there are no excuses for a dull, dehydrated garden this season!
Lawn Maintenance Tips For A Greener Lawn
Besides being able to troubleshoot problems and adapt to changes in the lawn, there are definitely some lawn care tips that should be adhered to when promoting lawn health. Lets take a look at some of the most common and basic lawn maintenance factors that affect a thick, green lawn as well as some of the lesser-known factors that are also important.
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Select Your Grass Seed
There are 2 grass types, cool season and warm season. You can determine which type is right for your lawn based on where you live, sun exposure, amount of traffic, fertilizer application, and your mowing schedule.
Here in zone 5, our climate and temperature indicate that cool season grasses are most appropriate. Some examples of cool season grass seed that work well in our zone are:
- Ryegrass: Perennial
See the Turf Seed Selection Chart below for different varieties of grass seed and the optimal conditions for each type.
Once youve found the grass seed that suits your climate and lawn maintenance style, youre ready to grow!
As part of Northeast Nurserys custom seed blending program, weve created some high-performing mixes for every application:
Watch Your Calcium Intake
Up to 90 percent of common lawn weeds are linked to a lack of calcium in soil. Ideally, you should have a calcium-to-magnesium ratio of 7 to 1. If yours falls short of that target, spread high-calcium lime over your lawn, which will boost its ability to absorb nitrogen and synthesize proteins, robbing weeds of food.
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Use Natural Lawn Fertilizers
Why use natural fertilizers instead of synthetic lawn fertilizers? Because they are better for your grass, the environment, and they are proven to work better than synthetics! A recent study by Austins Watershed Protection and Development Review Department, with the collaboration of Texas A& M, showed that organic and natural lawn fertilizers actually produce greener lawns than synthetics. Moreover, natural fertilizers are healthier for your family and for the environment! There are a number of natural lawn fertilizers to choose from. You can browse them here.
Check For And Identify Problems
Check your lawn regularly, so that you can find pests and other problems early. Make sure to identify lawn problems correctly, then decide whether action is needed.
- Plant damage may not be caused by pests. Plants can be injured by poor growing conditions, poor maintenance, road salt, or dog urine.
- A few weeds or insect pests in healthy lawns is usually not cause for concern.
- Knowing about the pest and its life cycle will help you decide if and when to take action, and how to prevent further problems. See Pest control tips for more information about controlling specific pests.
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Keep Your Grass Longer
Mow your grass on a higher setting. Longer grass will allow for the establishment of longer roots, which can reach more moisture in the soil even when the weather is hot and dry. Keeping grass longer will prevent it from drying out too quickly and ensure that roots are better protected by the longer blades.
Mowing the grass too short can cause damage. It can leave the lawn scorched to the point where the grass may not be able to recover. Luckily, this problem is totally avoidable. As a general practice, avoid mowing your grass shorter than three to three-and-a-half inches or cutting more than one-third of its height at once. Mowing more frequently will make it easier to mow to the right length while still adhering to these guidelines.
Keep in mind that if you choose to mow your grass short, you will have to water it more often and more lightly. Light and frequent watering will cause shorter roots. In turn, this increases stress during droughts.
Add Flowers In Your Lawn
Want to add some color to your lawn? Flower beds are the perfect way to do this!
Not only do flowers brighten up your space and make it appear livelier, but they also reflect your personality. You can opt for perennial flowers that bloom during a specific season or get annual flowers that have to be replanted each year.
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Make My Lawn Look Better
This was my lawn last year when I used no product. A sorry sight indeed.
The first step in making your lawn look better and making your lawn healthier is good practices. These are some things you might ask yourself at the beginning of Spring and the answers to those questions:
Q. How often should I sharpen my mower blade?
A. You should sharpen your mower blade every 10 hours of use. A dull mower blade will shear the grass blades inviting disease into your lawn. Keep that blade sharp!
Q. How do I change the oil in my mower?
A. You should change the oil in your mower typically once per year. Most mowers will use a standard 30W oil. Simply drain and fill. The only reason you should need anything else is if the manual says specifically, or you plan on mowing in cold weather, which is doubtful.
Q. How tall should I let my lawn grow?
A. You should set your mower on the highest setting typically, but especially in the hotter months. 3 ½ is the desired length. This will keep your soil cooler, and prevent weeds from sprouting up over the grass. One short mow in early Spring is acceptable to promote growth and aid in dethatching/aerating.
Q. Do I need to bag my lawn clippings?
Next I applied Dyna Green Step 1 Dimension fertilizer with Crabgrass Preventer . Unlike most pre-emergents, Step 1 can be put down all the way into mid-April and still be effective.
Lawns On Newbuild Properties
Ive put lawns on newbuild properties into a category oftheir own, because they sometimes have some quite specific challenges.
If youve bought a new home with the turf already installed, you might notice a few anomalies in the lawn.
It will probably start out looking OK, but as time passes,therell be strange patches appear for no apparent reason. They may be baldybits, or they may be a sickly yellow colour. You might also spot an influx ofweeds or areas of lawn disease. The root cause of the problem usually lies inthe soil.
Sometimes builders will save themselves time by spreading ashallow layer of topsoil over all the rubble in the garden and then laying turfon top of that. To be able to grow reasonably independently, grass needs atleast 15cm depth of good quality topsoil to get its roots into.
Another potential problem in some gardens of newbuild homes is shade. Small spaces with tall fences can suffer with low light levels in parts of the garden and grass does best in sunshine.
If your newbuild lawn is disappointing you have 3 options,
Im more than happy to visit any problem lawn in the Belfastarea to advise.
- Keep moss under control
- If possible, trim hedges, trees and shrubs to let more light in.
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Get Rid Of Thatch Build
When was the last time you seriously cared for your lawn? You probably mow every week, but neglect to do anything else. If thatch buildup occurs, it can be deadly for your grass.
Thatch to some degree is helpful as it protects roots. But too much thatch will block nutrients and water from seeping down into the soil. Spend an afternoon removing thatch to let your roots get the supplies they need.
Aerate And Overseed Your Lawn When Needed
Water and nutrients need to reach lawn roots in order to lead to thicker and greener grass. Over time, lawns can become compact, whether its from traffic or harsh weather, limiting this easy access of water and nutrients.
The solution is annual aeration. This practice breaks up the soil and enables the lawn to breath. Also, those small holes aeration creates can provide the perfect access for overseeding in thin, bare areas. Aeration and overseeding are key elements that shouldnt be forgotten on the journey to greener, thicker grass.
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Mow The Grass Properly
Before mowing anything on your lawn, you must know what type of grass youve planted first. This is due to the varying ideal height for different grass types. Cutting one in an undesirable height, especially when too low, will affect the grasss growth in the long run. This mowing guide will make sure that youll have the best lawn in the neighborhood.
In general, its recommended to cut the grass without exceeding one-third of its height to relieve the plants stress from mowing. Plants get stressed, too. Also, keep the grass a little taller in summer to battle the drought on the lawn.
Weather and seasons might help you schedule your mowing session since the grasss growth rate depends on what the weather condition is. Plants grow faster on rainy days and cooler temperatures than dry seasons.
Is It Possible To Grow A Beautiful Lawn Naturally
In many places, an attractive and good lawn means one free of weeds with a lush carpet of uniform green grass. In fact, Americans are so obsessed with attractive lawns it is now a multi-billion dollar industry.
We spend money to kill the plants that are already growing and then plant or sod with grass. We replace the natural ground coverings like clover, plantain, and dandelion with flowerless grass for the sake of looks.
I definitely understand why, and in many neighborhoods with HOAs, these are requirements. The good news is that there are many ways to maintain an attractive lawn without the need for harsh chemicals.
Making this switch can actually help save money. It will also improve growth for pollinators and reduce chemical use and exposure. It will also create a safer lawn for children and pets to play on!
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How To Make Your Centipede Lawn Look Better Than Your Neighbors
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First, a little information about centipede grass. Centipede tolerates infrequent mowing, little fertilizer, acidic soils, and partial shade. These characteristics are why centipede is so commonly used as a utility grass in the coastal plains.
Centipede does NOT tolerate much foot traffic, compacted soils, high soil pH, high phosphorus, excessive thatching, drought, flooding, and heavy shade. Each of these problems will have to be corrected before the centipede can improve. Chronic problems may mean replanting with a better-adapted grass species bermuda for disease and wear issues and st. augustine for shade issues.
For local horticulture updates, follow me on Twitter:
Gardening Calendar for February
Using Edging For The Lawn
An attractive edging can be constructed with paving stones or brick and laid flush with the lawn. This kind of edging will also reduce the need for hand trimming. Steel, aluminum, and plastic edgings are attractive and readily available alternatives as well. Edging can also save on lawn maintenance by keeping mulch in and grass out.
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Use Premium Grass Seed
Theres a saying, You get what you pay for, and that is certainly true when it comes to grass seed. When you use premium grass seed like Scotts® Turf Builder® grass seed, youll know that it will sprout fast, provide even coverage, and stay in place. Coated with WaterSmart® PLUS coating that absorbs 2X more water than uncoated seed, Turf Builder® grass seed feeds to jump-start growth and protects seedlings against disease. Lawn pros know that planting a lawn with premium grass seed allows you to start with a thicker lawn so its easier to keep it looking lush and full.
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Water Your Lawn Deeply And Less Often
Turning your sprinkler on for just a few minutes a few times a week really wont do much to help your lawn. For a healthier lawn, learn to water your grass deeply and less often. If you water infrequently and deeply, the roots of your grass will start to grow deeper down into the soil. This helps your grass stay green during periods of drought or extremely hot weather. Experts recommend that you water your grass with 1 inch of water, once a week. This amount of course can vary depending on your local weather conditions, soil type, grass species, etc.
How do you know if youre watering your plants with 1 inch of water? You can use this simple test. Place a series of shallow containers throughout your lawn and turn your sprinklers on. Keep watering until you measure 1 inch of water in the majority of the containers.
This simple test will also help you determine if your sprinklers are watering your grass evenly. If the depth of the water in the containers varies widely, this may explain patches of drier grass in your yard. In this case youll need to adjust your sprinkler heads. Its also important that you dont over-water your grass.
Youll know when its time to water again when the first 3-4 inches of soil are dry to the touch. Use an electronic soil tester to test the soil moisture, or use a trowel or a screwdriver to open the soil and feel it with your finger. To help your grass retain even more water, you can use water absorbing polymers .
Use A Variety Of Ways To Deal With Problems
Pest problems that keep coming back are often a sign that your lawn care practices need to change. These changes can include:
- correcting drainage or fertility problems
- adding lime
- increasing mowing height
- removing thatch
For help in dealing with common problems like weeds, pests, and diseases, see Dealing with lawn problems.
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