While you might spend many hours per week in the garden, attending to new and established plants, it’s also important to take care of your lawn. Especially if you want your yard to look as beautiful as it can be. Although lawn care doesn’t have to be complicated, it does require some regular attention. Read on for some tips you can follow to care for your lawn all year round.
How to Care for Your Lawn Year Round
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You might think of weeding as something that only needs to be done in garden beds, but your lawn can also be overrun with weeds if you don’t keep them at bay. As such, weed control is something you should keep in mind when considering how to care for your lawn. The simplest and easiest way to win the battle against weeds in your lawn area is through an organic weed killer. Take care to get it just on what you want to kill, though. These will generally kill the surrounding plants, too.
It’s a good idea to apply weed killers in spring or summer, and then to repeat the process in early fall, when the plants are soaking up as much water and sunlight (and in turn herbicide) as they can. Weeds tend to prefer acidic environments, so check the pH level of the soil in winter, and adjust as necessary to ward off weeds. You can do this by applying limestone or ground chalk.
Some weeds, like white clover, daisies, and dandelions, can be removed manually with tools like a hand rake. Try to pull as much of the root as possible so that the plants don’t grow back any time soon.
Like any living organism, your lawn also needs to take in nutrients. This means that you should feed it at least once a year (fall is, again, the best time for this), but preferably also every four to five weeks at the start of spring. Since cutting grass actually removes nutrients, it’s necessary to replace compounds if you want to achieve healthy growth.
There are many different lawn fertilizers which are easily purchased from local garden retailers, hardware stores, and other big box stores. Make sure whichever one you purchase contains the necessary ingredient cocktail of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium.
Read the labels before you apply the lawn feed, as amounts used can vary from product to product. The amount you need to use depends on how rich the underlying soil in your yard is. Consider leaving the grass clippings on your lawn on occasion as they will naturally decompose, and will help to boost the nutrients in the soil naturally.
Be careful not to miss any spots when applying the fertilizer too; a drop spreader can be handy to make sure you apply an even, consistent layer. It usually helps if you divide your lawn into a grid of squares when you fertilize. If your location doesn’t receive any rain within three days of you spreading the feed, you will need to water the lawn at that point, too.
Of course, something that you have to do most often to keep your lawn in good shape is mow it. Apart from making your yard look neat and tidy, cutting the lawn also helps to keep it happy because the process thickens the grass. It pays to mow often but only trim it. Don’t cut the grass back to the nubbins.
This is particularly important during the hot summer months, when some extra length can help the lawn to better withstand heat and dry periods. In the cooler times of year, you can cut it back more, as this will allow more sunlight to get to the crown of the grass. However, you should never trim off more than a third of the length of the grass blades at any one time.
Each time you mow, it is a good idea to switch directions and patterns so that the grass straws aren’t continually pushed in the same direction. As well, avoid mowing when the ground is very wet or icy.
Lawns often need to be watered on a regular basis, especially if you live in an area that doesn’t receive much rain, or which has high temperatures. You can tell that the lawn really needs water when it starts to take on a blue-grey tint. In addition, older leaf blades will tend to curl up or wilt when the soil is drying out.
When a lawn has just been seeded or laid, it will need to be watered daily so that the seeds can germinate. This will also help a solid root system to form. If you struggle to remember, or to find the time to water your lawn yourself, consider installing some automated sprinklers.
With a bit of care, and some TLC, your lawn will be the envy of the block. Your neighbors may even ask for your advice on how to care for your lawn. You don’t have to let them know how easy it is to have a fabulous lawn!