A well-maintained lawn is the norm of American houses. Any homeowner would like their lawns to be filled with thick layers of healthy green grass, free of weeds and other random plants. Although initially, lawns were considered a method to prevent the yards from getting too dirty, it has become a prominent feature of most houses’ landscapes. The following tips will keep any lawn free from weeds and make the process of maintaining lawn a lot easier.
1. Pull Out Weeds
The first thing to consider for properly maintaining a lawn is how to eliminate existing weeds efficiently. Depending on the size of the lawn and the number of weeds that usually sprout up in a lawn, there are different methods to eradicate weeds. The first one includes pulling the weeds out by the root by hand. This is effective for lawns with a few weeds here and there and does not need severe measures.
For lawns with stubborn weeds, investing in a handheld weeder like a fishtail weeder or hoes like a scuffle hoe is recommended. For lawns with weeds that have spurred out of control, the application of herbicides such as glyphosate is required. The herbicide must be applied directly to the weeds during the late winter and early spring.
2. Dethatching the Lawn
An important step in maintaining a lawn is to dethatch the lawn. Thatches are an aggregation of organic matter, dirt, and debris between the grassroots and blades. These ultimately result in patchers of dead grass on the lawn, giving ideal conditions for weeds to grow. Dethatching essentially includes removing the dead grass stems with the help of a power dethatcher or a designated rake available for thatching. While this process will initially leave the lawn looking terrible, it will allow air, water, and fertilizer to reach the soil better. In under a month, the lawn will come back to its original glory, looking thicker and healthier than ever.
3. Sow Grass Seed
Maintaining a lawn filled with grass is comparatively easier than maintaining a full garden, which further justifies its popularity among homeowners. Overseeding in the bare patches of the lawn in the early spring or during early fall will result in the consistent growth of the lawn. Seeding of cool-season grasses like rye or Kentucky bluegrass must be done during this time. For the warmer season, grasses like Zoysia grass and Bermuda grass must be sown during the early summer. Bigger lawns can be overseeded with the help of seed spreaders.
Homeowners must ensure to water the seeds as soon as they are sowed to help them establish themselves into the soil. Until the seeds sprout, the lawn should be kept moist and should never be allowed to dry up completely.
4. Aerating the Lawn
Circulation of air inside the soil is crucial for a well-grown lawn. Compacted soil can prevent the roots of the grasses from breathing properly, often resulting in root rot and, consequently, the death of the plant. To figure out if a lawn has compaction problems or not, a square-foot section of the lawn must be dug out and inspected. If the roots of the grasses are no longer than an inch or two, the soil needs to be aerated.
To properly aerate a lawn, it must be thoroughly watered one or two days before the process. Running a core aerator once over the entirety of the lawn will finish the task of aerating. Once the soil is upturned, a layer of sand or compost must be sprinkled generously over the top.
5. Mowing the Grass
To avoid weeds and tall clippings of grass, the lawn should be mowed regularly. The cutters must be set appropriately, so the grass is no longer than two to three inches tall. Having grass that is this tall will look neat and aesthetic and provide shade to the weed seeds, preventing them from germinating. The kind of lawn mower one decides to purchase will depend on the size of lawn they have.
For smaller lawns, a classic handheld reel mower will aptly do the job. However, for bigger lawns, it would be advisable to get an electric push mower or even a riding mower. Mowing regularly will ensure that the grass clippings are short and won’t bother much if left on the lawn itself. However, if the clippings are longer due to occasional mowing, rakes can be used to get rid of the clippings. One can also purchase a mower that allows one to attach a collector to collect the grass clippings.
6. Proper Irrigation
Proper irrigation is imperative to the process of maintaining a healthy lawn. Without regular irrigation, the tips of the grasses during dry spells of summer will turn brown, and gradually, so will the real grass. However, brown grasses do not mean that they are dead. Instead, it means that one has to wait for it to rain for them to become green again. If regular irrigation is practiced, homeowners can save their grasses from turning brown and keep them green no matter how dry the season is. Irrigation can be conveniently done through water sprinklers or garden hoses. However, for places with longer dry seasons, permanent irrigation systems that work with underground pipes are a better option.
7. Maintenance of pH
Acidic soil in lawns binds up the essential nutrients and prevents the roots from using them. To make the soil less acidic, limestone must be used. Ground agricultural limestone can lower the acidity level of the soil, making it more fertile and healthier. Limestones are particularly more effective when they are finely ground. The amount of limestone a lawn requires depends on how acidic it is and what kind of soil it has.
These were some of the top maintenance tips that will help maintain lawns more conveniently. To decrease the environmental impact of grass-filled lawns, organic fertilizers must be used, and controlled irrigation must be practiced as well. It could be difficult for some homeowners to spend time on lawn maintenance, in which case, they should bring in experts who are proficient in doing so.