Need to get your lawn into shape? A good routine is essential to keeping your grass healthy and beautiful. These simple lawn care tips will help you keep ahead of the demands of your lawn.
Tools & materials:
- sprinkler timer (optional)
- lawn fertilizer
- weed killer (optional)
- lawn mower
- grass sod or seed (optional)
First, let’s make sure your sprinklers are in working order. Turn them on and look around the lawn for sprinkler heads that aren’t working. Redirect the sprinkler heads towards problem areas, and replace damaged ones. The dry season will probably sneak up on you, so if you’re considering installing an automatic watering system, don’t hesitate too long. Set your timers to water the lawn in early morning so less water is lost to evaporation.
When feeding the lawn, make sure that the fertilizer you’re using contains a large percentage of slow-release nitrogen and micronutrients. It’s better to use too little than too much, because an overfed lawn can easily get burned (dried out) or develop thatch (excess buildup of dead grass stems between the soil and the grass blade).
The best way to avoid weeds and pests in your lawn is to make sure that your grass is healthy and vigorous. Take a walk around your lawn, making a note of spots that are barren or overgrown with weeds. Weeds can be eliminated by hand pulling (wear some gloves!) or weed killers, but those bare patches could be caused by a number of things including drought, fungus, or pests. Brown patch is most likely to develop in areas of the lawn that are too damp or where there’s poor air circulation, so check the level of your lawn as well.
When mowing, it helps to run the lawn mower in a different direction every time so you don’t damage the lawn by wearing ruts in the turf. Don’t “scalp” the lawn by mowing too short. Leave the grass clippings spread out over the lawn as an extra bit of fertilizer, kicking apart any large clumps with your feet.
If you find that some spots of your lawn that are beyond repair, patch them up with healthy grass. Most grasses can be seeded over your existing lawn, but if you have St. Augustine grass, you’ll need sod or plugs. Sod is already growing grass that is sold in sections at The Home Depot and plugs are smaller chunks. Plugs are best for smaller spots.
The best way to prevent problems is to make sure that your grass gets the care it needs. By properly watering, fertilizing, and mowing throughout the year, your lawn will repay you with a lush carpet of green grass.