When it comes to a neighbor's postcard-perfect lawn, the grass is greener on the other side. The good news is that, through proper lawn treatment, an aesthetically-pleasing, well-manicured turf is within the reach of every homeowner. In fact, an eye-catching green carpet is now accessible to all Americans regardless of economic status. This is attributable to the ubiquity of pest control products in the marketplace and to advances in fertilization methods and weed prevention. By implementing a premium grass care program and enhancing their property's curb appeal, homeowners can reap multiple benefits including the following:
- An increase in their home's value by approximately 15%
- A healthy, environmentally-friendly lawn that contributes to (1) allergy control, (2) oxygen production, (3) water quality, (4) fire containment, (5) absorption of pollutants, as well as (6) temperature modification
- Deterrence of rodents, reptiles, and insects that would otherwise find the tall grass an ideal habitat and place to breed
Lawn Treatment Methods
To achieve a thick, weed-free, and healthy grass that enraptures onlookers with its glowing green color, homeowners should invest in the following lawn treatment methods:
To maintain plants and lawns and enable them to grow deeper roots, homeowners should soak them to a depth of 6 inches. Typically, lawns need 1-2 inches of water on a weekly basis. One effective lawn watering method involves the utilization of an automatic irrigation system that wets the entire turf in a uniform fashion. Depending on the type of sprinkler used and the water pressure, sprinklers should target a specific area for at least an hour. The quantity and timing of the watering will also depend on the soil type.
Weed Prevention and Control
By mowing high, homeowners can shade the soil and prevent heat and water from reaching the weeds. A generous surface of blades ensures a moist soil, a rich root system, and a vivid green color, as well as contributes to the absorption of nutrients and water.
An essential component of lawn care services is turf health assessment and disease control. By conducting periodic examinations for evidence of lawn disease-ranging from snow mold, necrotic ring spot, and brown patch to dollar spot, leaf spot, and fairy rings- homeowners can lessen or stop damage to their lawns. It is important to soak the soil at least 6-8 inches so that it will produce deep roots. Preferably, grass blades should be watered early in the morning; this will allow them plenty of time to dry. Another disease prevention method is to mow more frequently and higher.
Another way to achieve a thick, healthy lawn is through cultivation or core aeration, which controls and reduces thatch, which breeds lawn disease. Thatch consists of a patch of living and dead roots, blades, and stems that forms in the majority of lawns. Instead of pricey lawn renovation, core aeration provides a low-cost and simple way to accelerate the decomposition process and manage thatch. It helps the soil grow better by allowing it to expand and become more open and softer.
Moss is usually caused by an acidic soil, a compact soil, insufficient soil fertility, weak drainage, or excess moisture and shade. To combat moss, homeowners must tackle the root cause.
Grass that becomes thin because of damage caused by diseases or insects or due to weather can be repaired by lawn seeding. The three main seeding systems are renovation, over seeding, and spot seeding. The condition of the homeowner's lawn will dictate which method to use. Lawn renovation is applied to extremely thin lawns or those with an excess of thatch. Over seeding is generally utilized on lawns that need a thicker texture. For areas that have been negatively impacted by foot traffic or that have perished, spot seeding is particularly effective.
This is a pivotal component of proper lawn maintenance. Liquid or organic fertilizer assures a properly-balanced, healthy soil by providing it with the essential nutrients. It is recommended that homeowners fertilize their lawns at least 3-4 times a year. Fertilizing schedules differ depending on the type of grass in question.
Organic Lawn Treatment
This ecologically-friendly option is an increasingly popular alternative to commercial fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. Organic lawn treatment relies on the following ingredients and products to enhance the soil and protect it from disease and/or environmental stresses:
- Compost or plant wastes;
- Animal manure
- Organic fertilizers (i.e. vegetable meals, dried blood, sludge); and
- Fortified soil conditioners.
In organic lawn treatment, fertilizer is utilized to a lesser extent than in traditional lawn care. However, there is a greater focus on the timing of the fertilizing. Organic lawn treatment also focuses on recycling waste, mowing higher than average, and treating soil with minerals such as calcium.
What follows is a list of lawn care tips that homeowners should consider when committed to transforming their lawns with a little TLC:
- Mowing higher to prevent and eradicate weeds, nourish the soil, as well as conserve water
- Establishing a mowing schedule that corresponds to their lawn's growth
- Not cutting in excess of 1/3 of the grass height in one mowing
- Sharpening the blade two to three times annually in order to promote strong growth for the grass
- Using quality seed when seeding a lawn and ensuring that the seed penetrates the soil
- Seeding the lawn in late fall or summer for optimal results
- Applying mulch during lawn watering to control water losses
- Not watering at night since moisture increases the likelihood of lawn diseasev
- Ensuring that sprinkler heads are positioned properly and spraying in an even manner, and that no debris such as leaves are in the way
- Checking sprinkler heads to make sure they are not damaged
- Adjusting the timer to match the season
- Following weed control, waiting one day prior to mowing and 2 hours prior to watering