Guide and Tips for Keeping an Ideal Lawn

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Maintaining a healthy, green lawn should not have to be time consuming. Other than doing fertilizing and regular mowing, they are low maintenance. Most lawns can survive with a little rain, a healthy soil, and sunshine. Always make sure to have the right grass perfect for your weather location. There are different types of grasses that will be perfect for your lawns. Let’s take a quick look!

Different Types of Lawn Grasses

Lawn grass is usually divided into two categories. These are warm-season grasses and cool-season grasses.

Warm Season Grasses

Warm-season grasses exhibit active growth between the months of April and October. These are both heat and drought tolerant. They go dormant in winter.

Different Warm Season Grasses

Bahia grass is a tough, warm-season turfgrass. This is usually suited to the heat and humidity of the South.

Bermuda grass is wear-resistant and drought tolerant. It has an aggressive growth habit. This gives the warm-season grass excellent weed resistance.

Buffalo Grass is a warm season turf that is drought tolerant. This has better cold resistance than other warm-season grasses. The grass is quite tolerant of a range of conditions and establishes with seed, sod, or plugs. As an added bonus, buffalo grass control is minimal and mowing is unusual.

Centipede Grass is a tough, low-growing, low-maintenance turfgrass. This warm-season grass grows best in the acidic soil of the lower South.

St. Augustine Grass is a turfgrass that grows in warm climates where sandy soil is prevalent. Unlike other warm-season grasses, the blue-green color lasts into fall.

Zoysia Grass prefers a warm, sunny and well-drained growing site. Zoysia takes more care than most turf grasses but the result is a green, luxurious lawn when it meets its needs.

Cool Season Grasses

Cool-season grasses’ growth is most active during the spring and fall. This is when temperatures range between 60 and 75 degrees. They may go dormant during periods of extreme heat.

Different Cool Season Grasses

Annual Ryegrass requires annual replanting. It has a biennial tendency in cool regions. In late spring, if it overwinters, it will rapidly grow and produce seed.

Perennial Ryegrass germinates quickly and holds up to foot traffic. Ryegrass is a common addition to cool-season grass mixes. It is the overseeding wintergreen option for warm-season lawns.

Bentgrasses are usually tufted and have slender stems and flat leaf blades. These grasses are then distributed in temperate and cool parts of the world. It can also survive high altitudes in subtropical and tropical areas.

Fescue Grass can withstand cold winters. Tolerance for heat, drought, shade and wear varies, so check the label for details. All fescue responds well to a regular fertilizing and aerating schedule.

Kentucky bluegrass is the turf grass of choice in cooler Northern areas. The color and texture of this grass is exceptional with the right growing conditions.

Tips for Keeping an Ideal Lawn

Once your ideal lawn complements your garden perfectly, you will be then obsessed…. obsessed with wanting to keep it at its best. A healthy lawn releases enough oxygen and captures dust. Thus, it keeps you and your family healthy. To keep your lawn beautiful and healthy, follow these nine handy tips.

Step 1: Check the soil pH.

Knowing what type of soil your front or back yard has will help you improve your lawn’s potential. You can take accurate soil samples yourself. You can also take advice from lawn pros and test your soil, so you know your starting point for essentials. With test results on hand, this restores balance to soil pH. This makes the grasses draw on available nutrients. Healthy soil is the key to having a perfect lawn.

Step 2: Feed your grasses well.

Lawn grasses need proper nutrition. Nitrogen is especially important to keep your lawn lush, vibrant, and green. Establish a feeding schedule that meets your lawn’s fertilizer needs, and stick to it.

Step 3: Remove unwanted weeds.

Having healthy soil means seeing unwanted weeds more often. These weeds can grow as either seed heads or flowers, with a wide variety of types that are common in lawns.

Thatch

Thatch is a layer of organic matter that can build up between the leaves and the soil. It consists of dead leaves, grass, and root stems. It prevents essential nutrients from penetrating the soil and down to the roots.

Moss

Moss is a nonflowering plant that can cause the worst of lawn problems. They grow in areas with high humidity, shade, and low-quality turf. It reduces the grass’ ability to grow.

The best solution is to remove the whole weed, including the roots. This can be then done by hand or using a tool. Spray the weeds directly with herbicide that has low toxicity if there’s a large quantity of weeds.

Note: Please be careful with using herbicide! Always read the labels and seek advice.

Step 4: Always water your lawn.

The ideal conditions for watering a lawn are usually between 8 am and 9 am. Don’t wait until your lawn is brown before you give it more water. Your watering schedule should be based on three factors. These are the species of grass, the health of the lawn, heat, and soil conditions.

Cool-season grasses (bluegrass, ryegrass, fescues) generally need 1–1.5 inches (2.5–3.8cm) per week. It rises to 2.25 inches (5.7 cm) in hot, dry weather.

Warm-season grasses can last for weeks without watering, even in the summer. These grasses are usually called drought-resistant grasses. Examples of these are buffalo grass and blue grama.

Step 5: Improve drainage.

Lawns with poor drainage often become waterlogged for hours or even days. This can lead to other complications to your lawn if drainage is not improved. The drainage rate varies based on soil. Sandy soil drains fast, and may only need 0.5 in. (1.25cm) of water to reach a 6 inch (15cm) depth. Loamy soil takes roughly 0.75 inches (1.9cm) of water to reach a 6 inch (15cm) depth. Dense clay soil drains slowly and may need 1–1.5 inches (2.5–3.8cm) water to reach 6 inches (15cm) depth. The landscape of your lawn also affects the drainage of it. Drainage should fit the gutters and drains the direct excess rainfall away from the lawn. Add a selection of wet plants that thrive in water or re-shaping the area. Adjusting the gradient is also effective to improve the drainage.

Step 6: Aerate and overseed your lawn.

Aerating your lawn is essential for gaining the right nutrients. This happens while allowing better penetration of air and water to the root zone of the grass. This can be usually done by creating small holes in the soil at certain intervals and depths.

Over-seeding rejuvenates tired and worn out lawns. This covers the entire space with large quantities of seed mixed with fertilizer. This fills in damaged and thinning areas. Also, it improves the colour and reduces the chance of weed and moss invasions.

Step 7: Do not over mow your lawn

Avoid cutting your lawn below two inches (5cm), and keep it at 2.5–3.5 inches (6.4–8.9cm) if you can stand it. Cutting away more than one-third of the grass height can cause damages to your lawn. If your lawn stops growing, remove an extra 0.5–1 inch (1.25–2.5 cm) on the final mow. This helps prevent matted grass and snow mold over the winter. It is also better to mow when the lawn is cool and dry and when you are using a lawn sweeper. The heat will make mowing sessions difficult. While wet grass can be slippery, it can also be dangerous. After mowing, you can leave the grass clippings on the lawn. Grass clippings decompose quickly and provide nutrients for the lawn. Check out these best lawn sweepers that are very effective in cleaning for all types of leaves.

Step 8: Fertilize your lawn.

Fertilize once a year. Late fall is ideal, but never during frost, snowy or soaked ground, or during a heatwave following a frost. There are a variety of grass fertilizers available from most gardening shops. The type required will depend on the existing soil and weather in your location. Most of these will have recommended instructions for application. It is always best to follow their guidelines for the product.

Here are a few tips on how to apply fertilizer to your lawns.

  • Choose a product with about 30–50% slow release fertilizer. Slow release fertilizers have a less dramatic effect. It has less risk of burning your lawn or causing excessive growth.
  • Find a nitrogen-heavy fertilizer. Look for the ideal ratio that is 3:1:2 or 4:1:2.
  • Choose an organic fertilizer if possible. They are also less likely to damage your lawn than synthetic products.

Step 9: Be a responsible lawn owner.

Be a responsible lawn owner is the major key upon achieving a perfect lawn. Remember, it is not always how hard you work on keeping your lawn healthy. It is always about timing. You should know when and how to achieve your ideal lawn.

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