Taking care of your lawn – basic tips

ne of the most desired features of any modern garden is a pristine-looking lawn. Our lawn provides the perfect spot in our home to enjoy the outdoor season. Having a lawn entails proper care and maintenance, however.

We mow the grass to the proper height with a quality mower.

I make sure the mower blade remains sharp. The best time to ensure this is during the spring. A dull blade will only succeed at letting the blades of grass turn brown, which puts our lawn at risk of heat stress and diseases. I make sure the blade is at the top or second position so I don’t cut the grass too short, which can remove the energy-generating top growth. We mow only the top third of the grass when cutting, which is why I make sure to adjust the blade to either the top of second level. Taller grass will also support better root development aside from preventing the ground from drying out too fast because of the shade it provides.

We fertilize our lawn every 4 or 5 weeks in spring.

Nutrients from the grass are removed through cutting, so to get maximum growth, those nutrients will have to be replaced. When spring starts, fertilization should be done every 4 or 5 weeks. We use nothing less than special lawn fertilizer mixes with phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen.

Watering is essential.

A lush and green lawn all summer will need the proper amount of watering. When our lawn was newly seeded, watering was done daily for only 5 to 10 minutes. The goal of watering then was to dampen the seeds without washing them away in the process or creating gullies or unsightly brown runners on the surface.

The humidity and temperature also determine the frequency of watering. I see a noticeable blue-grey tint as well as wilted or curled up older grass blades when the grass needs watering. I water deep and water only once a week to enable the roots to grow deeper into the soil. For fellow lawn owners like us, bear in mind that the soil type plays a role in determining how much water is needed by the lawn. While clay soils hold moisture longer and don’t require too frequent watering, sandy soils tend to dry out faster. A rule of thumb is to water once daily for 15 to 20 minutes, using manual or fully automatic watering methods.

We control the weeds, scarify and aerate the soil.

 

Using the right techniques and with persistence, we are able to keep weed growth under control. A mechanical means of weed removal is usually effective enough. A manual scarifier can be used to handle smaller weeds while a root weeder is needed for dandelions and daisies. We should take as much of the root out as possible to prevent stubborn regrowth. We also use herbicides as a last resort and during the worst situations. However, if all else fails, the entire soil may have to be restructured and covered with rolled turf.

I enjoy using a single digging fork to stamp holes into the lawn and fill them with coarse sand, which helps the roots to get adequate air to prevent stunted growth and allow them to breathe. The holes also allow water from the lawn surface to slide off and oxygenate the roots.