Most Americans love the idea of having a garden. An attractive exterior alongside a backyard oasis is among the must-haves for 79 per cent of Americans when they’re trying to buy or rent a home. It is, in fact, the number 2 most important consideration, after an updated kitchen.
However, maintaining a backyard costs precious time and hard-earned money. It’ll help to read this article and get our expert guide on the necessary tools to have and steps to take when trying to create the perfect lawn.
How To Get The Best Lawn
1. Go Green Out of the Gate
Usually, you should have cleared away leaves and debris, seeded your new grass, and fertilized it by May and June. However, for those getting a late start, Frank Rossi, Ph.D., a turfgrass specialist at the Cornell University Turfgrass Program in New York, commented that if one lives in a northern state, one has an opportunity which the rest of the country does not have.
According to him, one can still plant some seeds even in June and can fertilize as well. This will help to alleviate invasive crabgrass. He said if you get your grass thick, you’d have solved 85 per cent of your crabgrass issue without even using a chemical. Be sure to water and mow regularly, though.
On the other hand, people in southern and western states are not so lucky. While it is too late to plant new grass at this time, you can keep your grass growing by watering and mowing it properly. In Frank Rossi’s view, in the western parts of Mississippi, mowing the lawn and watering it for proper growth are the primary goals, especially if it doesn’t rain.
2. Water Wisely
Rossi went ahead to say that to keep your lawn hydrated; you have to water it deeply but infrequently. As such, you should avoid programing your sprinkler system to run every day as this can lead to disease and weed problems.
Also, he recommended buying a soil moisture sensor. They come in two types. One is the simple meters which you put in the ground, while the other is the wireless sensors that connect to a smartphone app. Both of them are capable of indicating whether your lawn needs more water to support plant life adequately.
Jason Henderson, Ph.D., an associate professor of turfgrass and soil sciences at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, says to think of the sprinkler as a tool to bridge you until the next rain. Wilted areas should be watered more. Spend between 15 to 20 minutes in each area.
3. Mow the Right Way
Frank Spinelli, CR’s lawnmower test engineer, recommends that you sharpen your mower blades at least once per annum to get the best results. This is because mowing your grass with a dull blade will injure the grass. You can take the mower to a repair shop or hardware store and have a professional sharpen the blade for you. It only costs between $5 and $15.
Ross advises that you should never cut off more than 30 per cent of the leaf tissue as you mow. It’s best to keep the grass about 3 inches in length as this will let the roots grow deep into the soil.
Henderson also says you should off-load the clippings back onto the lawn. This way, the soil can absorb the nutrients they contain. After you’re done the cutting, wash out the underside of the mower’s cutting deck. This spot houses the blade. Some mower has a washout port that lets you connect a garden hose and make cleaning easy.
4. Show Your Mower Some Care
According to Kris Kiser, president, and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, keeping the oil and air filter clean, blades sharp, and replacing spark plugs when necessary will save your mower from destruction. However, if your machine is old, it is better to buy a new one. A new and modern mower will work better than one that has lasted for 20 years.
Getting a perfect lawn is no easy task. If, however, you put your heart into it, everything will turn out great in the end. All it takes is a good investment in tools and some commitment to watering and mowing.