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Depending on how much you like yard work or even how long you’ve owned a home; your skill level when it comes to lawn care may be very basic at best. If you have only ever really wanted to mow your yard and be done, or you just bought a home with a yard to care for you probably don’t have expert level skills yet.
It’s okay to admit you’re a lawn care beginner and you need some lawn care tips to get your yard looking lush and green. Everyone starts somewhere and a new interest in lawn care is only going to result in your yard looking more and more fabulous as your skill level increases. Luckily there are plenty of lawn care tips from pros and other experts to help you on your way.
If you’re thinking it’s time to step up your game and make your lawn look amazing, take a few minutes to keep reading. Not all lawn care suggestions are created equally. Some are definitely more helpful than others. Here are some lawn care tips that are especially helpful for you if you’re just starting to really care about your lawn and how it looks.
1. Fertilize Your Lawn Based On Season And Location
Depending on where you live the best time to fertilize your lawn can vary. You want to make sure you’re fertilizing at the right time or the nutrients your lawn needs to absorb won’t be as effective. Since you’re already going to the effort of fertilizing your lawn you definitely want to make sure your work is worth it in the end.
If you live in cooler climates where winters can be harsh the best time to fertilize is mid to late spring. Your yard will just be thawing and starting to really grow after a winter full of freezing temps and snow. If your winter was particularly harsh you will definitely want to wait until the late spring timeframe. Lawns that haven’t thawed all the way won’t be as easy to work on.
If you live in warmer climates like the southern United States, you have a little more flexibility when it comes to fertilizing. You can choose to fertilize in early or late spring, as well as early or late summer and sometimes even into early fall. Your window of time the grass will benefit from fertilizer is much more open in these areas because the ground usually will not freeze in the winter.
Fertilizer is important to making your yard look as lush and green as you’re hoping it will when you think about an ideal lawn. You don’t want to skip this step when you’re starting to really care about how your lawn looks. Just make sure to keep the right timeframes in mind and tackle this lawn care task when the timing is perfect for your area.
2. Don’t Mow Your Lawn Too Short
Mowing your lawn too short once or twice isn’t going to result in a catastrophe but you shouldn’t make it a habit. Mowing a lawn too short can result in undesirable things like brown patches, weed overgrowth, and even pest problems in your yard.
To avoid these things try to aim to remove no more than the top third of the grass blades when you’re moving. Longer lawns stand up to heat and sun better than shorter ones. They’re also more likely to feel plush and carpet-like instead of dried out and thin. Since you’re already hoping to improve how your yard looks this is a key factor. Thin lawns don’t look as great.
It might feel odd the first few times you change up the length you’re used to cutting your lawn to, but you’ll be able to see why it’s a good change quickly. Stick to the top third rule and ignore that urge to go shorter. It won’t result in the lawn you’re hoping for.
3. Aerating Is Important, Especially At First
If you haven’t spent a lot of time on your lawn in years past then you probably haven’t aerated it at all. This isn’t usually something people think of right away unless they’ve really started putting effort into their lawn. Don’t skip this part just because you might think it’s a little over the top. It really does make a difference.
Aerating your lawn can help reduce built-up tough spots (or “thatch”) and loosen the soil. It’s another step to making your lawn feel as good as it’s going to look. Built-up thatch and tough soil won’t give you that amazing feeling when you’re outside enjoying any hard work you’ve put into your lawn.
As with fertilizing, there’s a key time to focus on when you’re aerating your lawn. Focus on using an aerator when your lawn is moist and just starting to grow for the season. For most people that’s going to be mid to late spring, so keep that in mind.
Sometimes there are suggestions to wait until the end of fall or beginning of winter to aerate. This isn’t usually ideal because by then the ground may be too tough for the aerator to really penetrate. It’s another case of putting in the effort and not getting the right results. Stick to that mid to late spring timeframe and see what a difference aerating your lawn really does make.
4. Water At The Right Time Of Day
If you haven’t noticed it yet, timing is a huge factor for all aspects of lawn care. This extends to daily or weekly routines you might need to adjust too. When your lawn needs to be watered it’s important to water it at the right time of day in order to avoid things like encouraging conditions for a diseased lawn, or water evaporating because it’s too hot.
Aim for early morning watering rituals, before the day is too hot to make watering ineffective. Make sure you’re watering your lawn long enough to soak the soil a few inches down, but that doesn’t mean you should water it for hours upon hours. Soaking your lawn isn’t going to do anything to help its look and feel.
Just like with mowing and fertilizer, timing and a “less is more” approach are important. Stick to the right time of day and make sure you aren’t watering your yard too much. Watering your yard is important but it’s also important not to overdo it.
5. Sharpen Your Mower Blades
It’s easy to forget about this step in your lawn care routine, especially if it’s not something you’ve considered before now. Mower blades should be sharp so they are actually cutting the grass instead of hacking or chewing up the blades instead. Blades that are sharp mean your lawn isn’t going to be damaged while you’re mowing.
You can sharpen the blades on your mower yourself or take your mower to a shop if you think you need some help. Either way, it’s just important to make sure those blades are staying sharp for the best possible results when you’re mowing. You don’t want to mow just to find out your lawn is now damaged and isn’t going to look good even after you’ve worked hard.