You want your lawn to look good throughout the year. Of course, that requires some work on your part or on the part of a professional like Emerald Lawns. We’re going to discuss 6 easy ways to improve your lawn in this article. We hope you employ some if not all of these suggestions.
1) Aerate your lawn.
We know. We know. We sound like a broken record, but lawn aeration is important. Your lawn is probably the most, well-trafficked area outside your home especially for kids and pets. It also faces compaction problems from the lawn machinery you use to maintain it. Seems unfair, doesn’t it? Well, fair or not, soil compaction is a problem. It can keep the sun and water out which will cause your lawn to suffer. Why? You need passages in the soil for water, air and nutrients to get into the root zone. To loosen the hardened soil, you can use a hand-held or machine-powered aerator. This will remove small cores of soil and make room for the air, water and nutrients necessary for its survival. You can even wear aerator sandals and walk around your yard. The spikes in the sandals open up the lawn. They’re not stylish and they don’t pull out the plugs, but they’re better than nothing. They’re also not going to reduce compaction like a machine aerator, but they will help to let air into your soil. The sandals may look cool and you might like to wear them, but they are no substitute for a real core aeration.
2) Water deeply and less often.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – it doesn’t help to water your lawn more than once a week to a depth less than one inch. You need to water your lawn once a week and water it one inch thick. If you need to use a tuna can to figure out how long it takes to water your lawn to that depth, then use it as a measuring stick. Don’t overwater the lawn. That creates different problems. Remember to water in the early morning hours before the heat from the day causes evaporation or the wind gets too high.
3) Mow a little and more often.
This is the opposite of the advice for watering, but it’s what is best for your lawn. Regular cutting keeps the grass thick and the lawn tidy. It also is a weed deterrent. When the spring and summer come, blades grow faster, it is therefore suggested that you mow at least once a week or preferably once every five days. For St. Augustine’s grass, you should set your mowing height for 3-4 inches and for Bermuda grass 1-2 inches. Of course, during a dry spell, you don’t want to over-mow. You can leave the lawn alone and wait until the fall comes for it to bounce back. If you’re going to mulch your lawn with a mulching mower, make sure you mow at least once a week.
4) Tidy up the edges.
If you trim your edges, this keeps the grass looking crisp, and clean and makes sure it doesn’t spread into borders. Post mow, you can trim any grass that hangs over the edges with long-handled edging shears or what’s called a rotary trimmer. You should re-cut edges every spring using a half-moon edging tool. For a straight edge, why not cut your grass against a wooden plank? For curved edges, you can use an old pipe from a hose to guide you. Edges that have suffered damage are fairly easy to fix. Use a spade to cut through the turf and take out a small rectangular piece from the area that is damaged. Lift it up from the ground and turn it to the other side so the damaged part is now facing the lawn. Then, press it down firmly using the spade and fill in the damaged area with compost. You should then sow grass seed over it with the compost. Finally, you’ll want to water it.
5) Reduce thatch.
That is a layer of dead grass and roots that has built up on top of the soil’s surface. If it gets to be more than half an inch thick, it starts to block the flow of air, water and nutrients which can eventually lead to soil compaction. Remember though that it’s not necessary to remove all the thatch. Some is okay. It’s when the roots begin to grow along the lawn and not in the soil that you have real trouble. A minor thatch problem can be rectified just by raking. For more major thatch issues, you should call in a professional to help.
6) Re-cycle your grass clippings.
This is known as grass-cycling. Grass-cycling occurs when you reuse the grass clippings created by mowing. You throw them back on the lawn as if they were mulch, helping your grass retain water. It’s been proven that grass clippings decompose quickly and return needed nutrients to the soil.
By following these six simple tips, you can improve your lawn. An improved lawn not only looks better but is better for the environment, especially your home environment. Even if your lawn isn’t the envy of the neighborhood, it’s important to take these steps to keep it healthy and prevent bigger problems. As you know, you can always call the experts at Emerald Lawns. We know how to improve your lawn and make it look beautiful all year round. Call us today at 512-990-2199 and we’ll be happy to set up an appointment with you.