Caring for Your Lawn: The Basics
If your home is a work of art, then your lawn is the frame that showcases that art. It is the appetizer that is served before a fine meal. It is the welcome mat that you put out for the world. How you maintain and care for your lawn, then, demonstrates your attention to detail and your pride of ownership. Right or wrong, it can add to or subtract from the overall impression and property value of your home.
Properly caring for your lawn does not need to be difficult and it does not need to take up all of your free time. It does, however, require attention to detail and discipline. If you can dedicate yourself to a few basic ideas and perform a few regular tasks, you can and will have the lush, green lawn that you’ve always wanted.
If you are serious about your lawn, the first thing you should do is find out if you’re using the right type of grass for your region. Different grasses thrive in different areas because of variances in soil, sun exposure, climate, and rainfall. Ask the professionals at your local nursery what is the best grass for your area. If the previous homeowner planted a type of grass that doesn’t grow well, you may have to replant your entire lawn.
Once you’ve determined the appropriate grass type, the next step is to test your soil. You can buy a testing kit from your local home improvement or gardening store, or you can have it done professionally. You will want to test both the pH balance and nutrient composition of your soil. Then you can compare these results to what is required for the type of grass you plan to grow, and you can adjust your fertilizer usage accordingly.
Once the basics of planting are done, the focus moves to maintenance. With most lawns, the most important precursors to optimal growth are proper watering and mowing. Most people cut their grass too short and they don’t water frequently enough.
A good rule of thumb is to maintain your lawn height at 3 to 3 ½ inches. Also remember never to cut more than a third of the blade length of your grass at once. Maintaining a taller length will shade the fragile roots and give your lawn a fuller appearance.
Newly seeded lawns only need less than ten minutes of daily watering , just enough to wet the seeds without washing them away. Sprouted lawns require about twenty minutes of water a day and mature, healthy lawns should receive only one heavy watering per week.
About the Author: Philip Brown is a lover of green, healthy lawns. A former lawn care professional, Philip now spends his time sharing what he knows with others. When he’s not blogging about lawn management at The Lawn Enthusiast , you can find him tending to his own front yard down in Loganville, Georgia.