Summer is almost here, time to come out from those by-the-fire seats, to sunny backyards, for some sunny activities. To complement that, all we need is a a lush green lawn, but landscaping and maintaining a stadium-style lawn can prove to be a bit daunting. Grass Seed USA, a coalition of American grass seed farmers, has compiled 5 tips, and developed an infographic filled with natural turf trivia and breaking down what consumers need to know about planting and maintaining a healthy lawn.
1. Arm yourself with the right tools.
The proper equipment can take a lawn from looking well manicured to professional. When selecting a mower, don’t jump straight to those that pick up the grass clippings. Allowing the clippings to decompose in the lawn will add to the overall health of your yard. If you mow often, the shavings are small and less noticeable. Adding an edger to your arsenal is another great trick for cleaning up the lines and defining your yard.
2. Know your lawn.
Grass seed is not one size fits all. Select the right grass seed or sod based on where you live. It’s also important to consider how you plan to use your lawn. Do you have children and pets that will be playing on it regularly, or will the purpose be primarily curb appeal? To determine the right grass, talk to your local garden center.
3. Only feed as needed.
According to Grass Seed USA, many homeowners over water their lawns, which does more harm than good. A simple trick to determine whether your lawn needs watering is to push a screwdriver into the grass. If it enters the dirt easily, your lawn has plenty of water already. If you have trouble getting the screwdriver into the ground, it is time to give the grass a drink. It is recommended to fertilize your lawn at least once a year. However, putting your lawn on a four time a year schedule will help achieve optimal health.
4. Break out the ruler.
The maintenance crews for professional sports fields are meticulous about the height of their grass because it ensures a uniform look. Grass Seed USA recommends maintaining a lawn height of approximately two inches. It’s important not to cut more than one-third of the grass height at a time to minimize damage, so aim to mow when your lawn is about three inches in height.
5. Replenish as necessary.
Grass is a natural carpet that cleans and repairs itself. It’s equipped to withstand a number of elements yet is impacted over time. If you’ve noticed that your lawn is sparse in areas, or not as full and lush as you’d like, it may be time to add more seed. The best time to plant new seed is in the spring and fall when the temperatures are more moderate, but reseeding may be done throughout the year. The important thing is to avoid drastic temperature changes and water regularly yet moderately to give the seed time to absorb moisture and build roots.