Owning a home is a considerable accomplishment and comes with a variety of responsibilities, many of which involve proper upkeep. Taking proper care of your home includes not only keeping the inside looking fresh and tidy but also maintaining your yard with proper lawn care.
Whether or not you are a homeowner, you know that one of the most critical aspects of lawn care is cutting your grass. It’s a no-brainer! When your grass looks long and unkempt or worse, dry and patchy, the look and feel of your home can take a downward turn. You want to look at your home and yard with pride, not with a sense of dread or disappointment.
Luckily, we have the steps you need to take to practice proper lawn care listed out for you in this post.
- Know Your Grass
- Cutting Your Grass
- Understanding Macronutrients
- Proper Fertilization for Your Grass Type
- Additional Steps for Proper Lawn Care
Read on for a crash course in cutting your grass and choosing the proper liquid lawn care products to suit any grass type!
Know Your Grass
Have you ever looked at your lawn and considered what type of grass you are growing? Likely you haven’t, thinking, as many of us do, that grass is grass. Depending on where in the United States you’re living, you are probably growing a specific type of grass that may require individual steps taken during lawn care. Identifying your grass type can save you time and money when coming up with a proper lawn care routine.
If you live in the northern part of the United States, your grass is most likely a cool-season grass. Your cool-season grass typically survives winters reasonably well but can enter dormancy during the summer to avoid drought stress. If you live in the south, you will be growing warm-season grass. It behaves just the opposite of cool-season grass in that it thrives during the summer and falls dormant during the winter months.
Anywhere in between is considered the Transition Zone. This area of the United States is home to a range of grass types. You’ll have to do some investigating based on grass color, blade shape, and growth speed to help determine which grass is growing in your yard!
Cutting Your Grass
You’ve taken step one and figured out which type of grass you are growing. Keep your grass type in mind as we continue this post - it will become important when we talk about proper fertilizer! Before we dive into liquid lawn care, let’s talk about the most prominent and essential element of proper lawn care - consistently cutting your grass.
Although cutting your grass is a fairly straightforward practice, there are specific steps you can take to make sure you are mowing your lawn correctly. These are our most effective mowing tips for you to put into practice with your yard:
- Change up your mowing pattern: While this step may seem unimportant to the ultimate goal of cutting your grass, starting from the same spot in your yard each time you mow and moving in the same direction causes your grass to grow in a specific direction. To encourage more upward growth, try switching up your mowing pattern!
- Don’t cut your grass too short: We cannot stress enough the importance of not cutting your grass too short. Cutting your grass too aggressively forces your grass to work on growing its blades rather than deepening its roots.
As a rule of thumb, you’ll want to leave your lawn slightly longer than you might expect. Leaving your grass long allows a healthier root system to grow, keeps weeds from taking root, and helps trap moisture close to the root system. Try not to cut any more than one-third of your grass’ growth at a time.
- Watch the weather when you mow: It’s best to mow your lawn when it’s cooler outside, during the mornings or evenings, or on days when it’s overcast. You’ll also want to be sure your lawn is dry when you’re cutting your grass, as cutting wet grass can result in an uneven cut. Wet grass clippings can also clog your mower and lead to clumps of wet grass littering your lawn. You’ll need to rake these clumps up pronto to avoid causing the grass underneath to brown and die.
Cutting your grass when the weather is cooler and when the sun isn’t beating down on your lawn allows your grass to keep moisture in its roots and prevents your grass from experiencing heat exhaustion.
Our final suggestion for cutting your grass involves your mowing equipment. Before you begin mowing your lawn, make sure the gas tank of your mower is full and check your mower’s blades for dullness. Dull blades cause ripping and tearing in your grass, which leaves your lawn more prone to disease. Be kind to your mower - they are pricey to replace!
Proper Fertilization for Your Grass Type
For those who have cool-season grass, you’ll want to fertilize your lawn three times per year. You’ll fertilize twice in the fall, once in the spring, and lightly supplement during the summer. If you’re looking for the perfect general use liquid lawn care product for your cool-season grass, try our 3-18-18 High Phosphorus & Potassium NPK. This fertilizer blend works to improve your lawn’s top and root growth and provides the vital nutrients your lawn needs to grow lush.
Our 16-4-8 Complete Balanced NPK is our top recommendation for a liquid lawn care product for warm-season grass. The 16-4-8 formula provides your lawn the help it needs to grow thick and strong, while also supporting your grass’s root growth and health. This fertilizer is suitable for all warm-season grass types and is made up of only high-quality, natural feed-grade ingredients. Fertilize your warm-season grass three times per year, starting in early spring, then in early summer, and finally in late summer.
For those living in the Transition Zone, it can be easy to misidentify the grass type growing in your yard. You and your closest neighbor may likely have two different grass types that make up your lawn! If you’re not sure what grass type you are growing, Simple Lawn Solutions 16-4-8 blend is a safe choice for liquid lawn care.
However, if you determine that your yellow, patchy grass is suffering from a deficiency, such as too little nitrogen, you’ll want to select a product like our 15-0-15 Phosphorus-Free blend. This phosphate-free formula helps to improve your grass’ growth and coloring, while simultaneously providing the macronutrients your lawn needs for better root health and growth.
Additional Steps for Proper Lawn Care
We’ve covered two of the most important steps you’ll need to take, as a homeowner, for proper lawn care. But your role in maintaining your lawn’s health and overall upkeep doesn’t end with mowing and fertilizing. There are a few more essential steps you will need to take your yard from acceptable to incredible.
- Watering your lawn: Though you may live in an area of the United States that gets a decent amount of rainfall, it's important to supplement what Mother Nature didn't deliver. Our yards are made up of 80% water, requiring hydration on a regular schedule to remain healthy and green.
The average lawn will require 1-2 inches of water per week, so plan to break out the garden hose or set up your sprinkler to properly hydrate your front and back yard. Be sure not to overwater your lawn, however. An overwatered yard is susceptible to fungus or other diseases. Try to water your lawn before the sun rises, to ensure your grass absorbs as much water as possible.
- Aerating your lawn: With all the mowing you’ll be doing to keep your yard looking trim and healthy, it’s likely your soil will become compacted over time. When compaction occurs, it becomes much more difficult for water and nutrients to penetrate the soil and reach your grass roots. Compaction leaves your lawn looking dry, patchy, and dead over time.
To avoid soil compaction adversely affecting your lawn, try aerating your soil! Soil aeration is the process of creating holes in your soil and removing the soil, allowing the ground to breathe and nutrients to reach the roots more easily.
The type of grass that makes up your yard will determine when you should aerate. If you have cool-season grass, plan to aerate in the early spring or fall. If you have warm-season grass, you’ll want to aerate your lawn in the late spring and early summer.
Get Out and Start Mowing!
Knowing the type of grass you are growing is step one in proper lawn care, followed closely by cutting your grass and providing the liquid lawn care your grass requires to remain in pristine condition. You may feel overwhelmed by the many steps you’ll need to take to keep your lawn in good shape, but never fear! Once you know your grass type, the first step is to get out and start mowing.
If you’re stuck on what grass type you’re growing or at a loss as to which liquid lawn care product is right for you, Simple Lawn Solutions is here to help! Check out our blog to get your lawn care questions answered, and our shop for the liquid lawn care products you’ll need for proper gardening, fertilizing, and aeration. You’ll have the kind of vibrant, brilliant green lawn that your neighbors will envy in no time!