Developing and maintaining a good lawn requires a team effort. Today, many homeowners are realizing that it is possible to create and maintain a thick, uniform lawn by working in harmony with these four factors that will help you achieve a lawn you can be proud of.
Four Quality Lawn Factors
The timing and intensity of climatic factors such as precipitation, temperature, sunlight and wind speed all significantly affect the health and lushness of your lawn.
2. Varieties (Type of Grass)
Whether you are simply overseeding your lawn with new grass seed to renovate it, or are planting an entirely new lawn from seed or sod, selecting appropriate grass seed is very important. New varieties of Kentucky Bluegrasses, Ryegrasses and Fescues provide better color and are bred to be more tolerant of drought, disease and pests. Choosing the right genetic factors by picking the best turf varieties is just as important to grass as human genetics is to our health and longevity.
3. Cultural Practices
- Mow Lightly & Frequently – When mowing, cut no more than 1/3 the length of the blade. To maintain your lawn at a recommended height of 2 1/2 inches, mow before your lawn reaches 4 inches in height.. Never mow when your lawn is under stress; it can cause your lawn to turn brown and leave brown lines where your mower wheels have passed. In the summer, reduce stress and help insulate your lawn by raising your mowing height to 3-3 ½ inches.
- Aerate Each Year – Aeration helps relieve stress from compacted soil, reduce thatch build up and improve utilization of moisture from either irrigation or rainfall. All lawns benefit from annual or twice annual aeration to reduce thatch and compaction and improve moisture and air movement. Your lawn’s root system will become stronger, resulting in a better quality lawn.
- Adjust the pH – Lawns with a pH less than 6.5 should be treated annually with Lime (sweetened).
- Leaves – Leaf removal on a frequent basis reduces thinning of your lawn due to smothering.
- Shaded Areas – Prune and thin out tree canopies to encourage light and air movement. This will help reduce the disease potential to your lawn. Also, consider planting attractive ground covers if the area is heavily shaded.
- Water – When you lawn needs water, it will acquire a bluish color; also, the foot prints you leave when walking on it last for several hours and have a silvery shine. Heavy watering (1-2 inches) every 5-7 days will replenish the needed water in your lawn to ensure that it continues growing. If you have an irrigation system, set it to run every 2 to 3 days but run longer per zone versus running a shorter period every day.
4. An Effective Program
In an ideal world, turf would get its nutrition solely from the soil. However, the most abundant sources of nutrients (i.e. leaves and grass clippings) are collected and disposed of. While leaving grass clippings on the lawn provides some nutrients, it is not sufficient. An effective lawn care program, based on carefully timed applications of complete balanced fertilizers, will provide your lawn with the nutrients it needs to thrive. Feeding your lawn every 6-8 weeks during the season is just as crucial for grass plants as eating regularly to look and feel good is for people! It is important to note that even a healthy lawn will have some weeds, insects, and occasional disease. However, these conditions can be managed with carefully timed and selected treatments.