Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Lawn Healthy, Naturally
IF YOU ARE LIKE ME, you always want your lawn to be the best on the block. You might think it takes a lot of work to maintain a healthy and beautiful lawn when it actually doesn’t. This article contains methods of keeping your lawn looking beautiful and keeping it healthy without long hours of back-breaking work in the hot sun or spending mega money on harmful chemicals.
Fertilizing Your Lawn:
I believed I had to fertilize my grass often to enhance the growth. I thought it looked better and it grew at a faster pace than it would have otherwise. I never knew that while I did so much work fertilizing my lawn, I was also welcoming insects and diseases that could have harmed my grass. Fertilizing the right way can make all the difference.
Many fertilizers contain large amounts of nitrogen. Too much nitrogen can be bad for your lawn. In most cases you should need to fertilize your grass once, usually in the fall when it begins growing. Fertilize your grass in October if you live in Northern Latitudes and November in mid-latitudes. Some lawns may need a second application in late spring to early summer but only if it’s showing signs that it is needed. Using synthetic fertilizer over time will diminish worms and other microorganisms in your lawn. A great way to fertilize your lawn without using synthetic chemicals is spreading a thin layer of compost or organic matter over the top and raking it in.
Cutting the Grass:
Do you cut your grass at a low setting? Most people cut their grass too short thinking it will look better. I’ve learned that if you cut your grass at a higher setting it keeps your lawn and soil healthy with fewer weeds. There are also many preferences as to which type of mower to use to cut your lawn, which is a whole other ball game. There are riding and walk behind mowers along with self-propelled and push mowers. You can find much more information on different mowers here.
I recommend that you cut the grass at about 3-4 inches with a sharp mulching blade, and don’t bag the clippings; it will help the grass to grow better than anything that you can purchase from the store. In order for this to work you can’t apply pesticides or heavily fertilize your lawn.
Cutting at this height will also prevent unwanted weeds from growing after you have cut them, and shade the new weeds to discourage growth. It will also keep your soil moist which will help the grass grow quicker and be much fuller instead of spotty.
When you use a sharp blade it smoothly slices each blade of grass instead of tearing it. When using a dull blade you will have yellow jagged tips. A sharp mower blade equals a greener lawn.
I had a habit of applying pesticides to my lawn thinking I was helping but in reality I was hurting my lawn along with the soil. You have probably used pesticides at some point or another. The chemicals kill the insects, but this is unnecessary, since all of them are not harmful.
Many bugs that are beneficial to your lawn will kill most of the harmful insects. I recommend letting nature take its place, staying away from chemicals and using a natural approach.
Do you water your lawn daily? I did the same thing before I learned that this was unnecessary for the growth of my grass. It is also bad for the soil and the environment. A lush lawn only needs 1 to 1.5 inches of rain per week. I recommend you water your lawn for about 20 minutes, preferably in the morning and 2-3 times weekly depending on the temperature.
Maybe you are following these procedures and your grass is still dying in spots. Even the healthiest lawns die in places. I recommend you remove dead spots, scratch the surface and reseed.
If you have followed the procedures up until now you haven’t been using pesticides on your lawn and you haven’t been fertilizing it heavily, than great job! Keep in mind that no lawn is perfect.
About the Author: Matt is the owner of LivingHorticurally.com. On his site he shares his experience and knowledge on gardening and lawn maintenance along with reviews and tips on tools of the trade. He has over 20 years’ experience in all aspects of lawn and garden maintenance. He is currently the Horticulturist at a Private country club in Massachusetts .