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Top 10 Lawn Care Facts

Warmer weather brings new opportunities to use grass care techniques to have a pristine lawn. Everyone loves to look at a perfect lawn, but few people know about the lawn care that goes into maintaining that lawn. Even fewer people are willing to follow through with all the required lawn care steps. That’s why a thick and lush green lawn is such a lovely oddity. We know you’re different. You’re willing to take the time and energy to give your turfgrass the grass care it needs. So, we’ve compiled a list of our top ten grass care tips to save you from having a weed-infested, brown, patchy lawn ever again.

 

1. Remove Nutrient-Stealing Lawn Scourges

  • Weeds

    Even if you’re not familiar with lawn care, most everyone is familiar with dandelions and crabgrass, and you certainly notice when a lawn is void of them. More than distracting from the beauty of a perfect lawn, weeds take nutrients from your turfgrass, and some are even invasive. Invasive weeds will choke out your grass and spread all over. To get rid of weeds, the easiest grass care method is to pull them by hand or using a fishtail weeder tool. Be sure to get the root, so the leaves and head don’t grow back. If your weed problem has gotten out of control, and there are more weeds than you can count, try a grass care herbicide that won’t kill grass and treat your entire lawn.

 

  • Moss

    Mosses are a flowerless species of plant that thrives in moist, dark, poor quality soil. If you leave moss to its own devices, it will spread until it has completely taken over, and your grass can no longer grow. You can get rid of moss by mixing two to four ounces of Dawn Dish Soap with a gallon of water and spraying it over the moss. The moss will die and dry up within twenty-four hours. You can then use a hand rake to scrape it up.
    Unfortunately, unless you address the root lawn care problem, moss will return. Correct any drainage issues that keep your soil moist. If a soil test determines that your lawn soil is too acidic, add lime to help balance the pH.

 

  • Thatch

    Thatch is a layer of tightly knit live and dead leaves, stems, and roots that forms between the grass and the soil. Thatch is a normal development of a healthy lawn, but if the thatch layer gets too thick, it can restrict airflow, nutrient, and water absorption. An excessive thatch layer happens when the stems and leaves accumulate faster than microorganisms can break it down.
    Dethatching grass care should only be done on an as-needed basis, in late summer or the fall, when excessive heat has passed. Don’t attempt to remove the entire layer of thatch in one grass care treatment and don’t dethatch when the soil is wet. Time your dethatching so that you can aerate and fertilize at the same time. Use a rake or a dethatching machine to perform this lawn care step.

2. Fix Drainage Issues Promptly 

A waterlogged lawn or soil that stays moist for hours or days opens up a number of detrimental issues for your grass care. Moss and fungal diseases are among the list of problems, as well as drowning your turfgrass. There are two main reasons a lawn may stay waterlogged.

 

  • Topography

    The topography of your lawn and gardens should direct water away from the house with a gentle slope. Dips on the surface of your lawn can lead to pooling. If the general topography of your lawn or garden is causing pooling, install gutters and drains to direct water away.

 

  • Soil Permeability

    The type of soil, high clay contents, thick layers of thatch, and compacted soil are all grass care problems that can lead to poor drainage. Depending on the nature of the problem and the severity, aeration might fix this drainage issue. If the problem persists, you may need to gradually change the nature of your soil by adding organic matter.


3. Aerate Your Soil

As we noted, aerating is the solution to many lawn care problems. More than that, aeration is a critical lawn care practice that helps maintain the healthiest of lawns. Aerating should be done once or twice annually, included in your grass care routine at the beginning and end of the growing season.

Aerating is a lawn care practice designed to introduce air and nutrients deep into the soil and root system of your grass. There are several manual tools you can use to punch holes in the ground, or you can use a liquid lawn care hack.

Liquid Aerating Soil Loosener is an easier, safe, and effective way to aerate your lawn. Just spray your yard and allow the powerful formula to open up your soil for maximum nutrient absorption. Follow aeration with fertilizing your lawn for the best results, and if you need to reseed, a great time to do it is about four weeks after you’ve aerated.


4. Fertilize Before Rain

A great way to make sure your grass gets the most out of this common lawn care practice is to apply the fertilizer before it rains. This way, your lawn is sure to absorb the most nutrients deep into the roots and soil. After you aerate, fertilizing is another way to make sure your lawn gets the most from your grass care as the soil is loose and ready to absorb. Pick a rainy week to do these lawn care steps as you want wet soil to aerate, and also after applying fertilizer.

There are many options when it comes to grass care fertilizers. Granular and liquid, and many different macronutrient breakdowns. We prefer liquid lawn care for fertilizing above granular for its ability to be more quickly absorbed. The major macronutrients for lawn care are:

  • Nitrogen - Lawn care fertilizer rich in nitrogen helps to promote new, green leaf growth. If your lawn has a nitrogen deficiency, you will see slow growth and yellowing grass.
  • Phosphorous - Lawn care fertilizer rich in phosphorus promotes root growth. This macronutrient is especially important when you’re growing new grass, or at the beginning of the growing season for an already-established lawn.
  • Potassium - Lawn care fertilizer rich in potassium helps facilitate internal processes in the grass, including photosynthesis, respiration, water and nutrient absorption, and protein production. Potassium strengthens the grass’s structure so that it is more resistant to drought and other stressors during the growing season.


5. Edge and Mow

Obviously, a healthy lawn requires regular mowing as part of the lawn care routine. You take all these grass care steps to encourage healthy growth, but you keep it cut to the optimal length for the best physical appearance. Most people mow their lawn, but few know there is a proper way to mow. Most people mow their lawn as short as possible to get away with mowing less frequently. But mowing too short can scalp your lawn, making it more susceptible to weeds and disease.

Remove no more than ⅓ of the grass length at a time, aiming to keep it three to four inches long in the summer months. This grass care tip helps your lawn look healthier because longer grass blades shade the roots and protect it from getting burnt. Longer grass blades also help maintain a lush green color and allow you to water less frequently.

Like with many other lawn care processes, there is an optimal time to mow. Mow your lawn in the early evening, avoiding the added stress of the mid-day sun, and give it ample time to recover before the next day’s afternoon sun. Avoid mowing when the grass is wet, as this can damage your mower, or cause damage to your soil.

Switch up the mowing pattern so that you don’t create divots in your lawn or teach your grass blades to grow in one direction. Be sure to maintain your most valuable grass care tool - your lawnmower. In the middle of the growing season, your mower will probably need an oil change, and the blades sharpened. Dull mower blades tear the blades of your grass and cause the tips to brown and lose moisture quickly.


6. Let Clippings Lie

A seemingly counterintuitive lawn care tip is to let the grass clippings lie, as opposed to bagging them as you mow. If you’re mowing frequently enough, grass clippings will be short and break down quickly. Short grass clippings will not contribute to a thick layer of thatch and will help to feed your grass.


7. Correct Bare Patches

Bare patches in a lawn are arguably the biggest scourge on an otherwise beautiful lawn. You can look the other way for a few dandelions, but those bare spots just draw the eye right to them. Luckily, you can correct bare spots anytime, but the best time is in spring, and right after fertilizing. Start by scoring the ground to remove dead grass and loosen the soil. Lay new grass seed and keep moist for about two weeks. In the hot summer months, you might need to water your new grass seed multiple times. Avoid mowing your new grass until it is about three inches tall, and when you do mow, take only the top ⅓ off.

 

8. Water Your Lawn Correctly

Always water your lawn deeply, about one to two inches of water per week, and less frequently as opposed to light waterings every day. Of course, the exception is when you are taking other grass care measures like overseeding or correcting bare spots. Water early in the morning, so your lawn has the entire day to dry out. Take rainfall into consideration. More rain means less irrigation, and less rain means more grass care and watering.


9. Use Compost

Not to be confused with fertilizer, compost is an important step to go the extra mile for your grass care. Spreading compost over a lawn will help it grow greener and stronger, and fight off annoying weeds. Using decomposing organic matter, or compost, increases the helpful microorganisms that make your grass care so much easier.

You can make your own compost or purchase it from local home improvement stores, but the easiest way to add organic material to your soil is again with liquid grass care. Soil Hume: Seaweed, Humic/Fulvic Acid Soil Treatment adds organic material directly to your soil to get all the benefits of a homemade compost mixture. However, you won’t have to worry about spreading compost on too thick and smothering your already established turfgrass.


10. Reseed Your lawn

If your lawn is generally pretty thin, you can follow this lawn care tip: overseed. Overseeding is the lawn care process of laying new seed on top of an existing lawn. For the best grass care results, overseed in the late summer or early fall. Then follow these lawn care steps:

  • Prepare your lawn by aerating if needed, fertilizing with a formula rich in phosphorus, and then mow your lawn very short. Mowing your grass super short when you overseed is important so that the new seed can get adequate sunlight. After you mow, use a rake to remove thatch and loosen the soil.
  • Select a grass seed that is appropriate for your grow zone, and use a lawn spreader to seed your whole lawn evenly. Follow the package directions, and avoid weed and feed products as they can inhibit germination.
  • Keep your lawn moist with light waterings one to two times a day for the first four days. Then water heavily every other day for the next five days. In the second week, water on your regular watering schedule. Following this watering lawn care process helps to encourage deep new roots to grow.

 

Grass care is the most essential tool you have to keep your lawn looking its best. Everyone knows they need to mow their lawn to keep it looking decent, but that’s the bare minimum. Following the more advanced lawn care tips and schedules is added work, but when you have the lawn that’s the talk of the town, it will be well worth it. From fertilization to aerating, Simple Lawn Solutions is your partner in beautiful lawns and healthy grass. 



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