Captain Jacks Landscaping Blog Simple Steps for Improving Your Lawn

Simple Steps for Improving Your Lawn

Having a carpet of lush green lawn is easier to accomplish than you might think. By following the maintenance tricks below, you can bring your lawn to life and be the envy of the neighborhood

Mow Your Lawn Correctly

Many of us may be tempted to drop the lawnmower to the lowest setting to reduce the frequency of mowing. By doing this, you will be stressing the grass, making it more difficult to recover. As a rule of thumb, set your mower to the highest possible setting for a healthy lawn. Longer grass is healthier grass; it also stimulates the production of longer, deeper roots, and has more surface area in which the grass can photosynthesize.

The frequency of mowing depends on the length of the grass and how fast it grows. This may range from every two weeks to as often as twice a week. To dial into the frequency for your lawn, aim to only take off a third of the grass at a time. 

Make sure the blade on your mower is sharp. A blunt blade will tear at the grass, placing additional stress on the plant as it grows. A sharp blade will cut the grass off neatly and look tidier. 

Mulch the lawn clippings back onto the lawn as often as possible. The grass clippings are full of nutrients. By mulching them back in, you can also reduce the amount of fertilizer required to keep your grass green and lush. If you don’t like mulching grass clippings, save them for your compost pile. Once your compost is ready, it can be used as a lawn dressing for adding organic matter to your lawn. 

Correct lawn mowing is the best way to manage and improve the condition of your lawn. 

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Watering Your Lawn

To keep your lawn in tip-top shape, be prepared to water your lawn. As a general rule of thumb, your lawn will require about 0.5 inches (or 13mm) of water twice a week. The simplest way to manage this is with the use of a rain gauge. Using a rain gauge also allows you to take into consideration the amount of water your lawn as already received and reduce your water consumption. 

Don’t be tempted to overwater your lawn. This does not stimulate faster growth. In fact, it may hinder your lawn. Grass that receives too much water will have a shallower root depth, making the lawn more prone to disease and reduce its the ability to withstand drought conditions. Overwatering will also result in faster weed growth. 

If you are living in an area with water restrictions, do not despair. Lawns will cope with less water. However, they do need some water, aim at watering the lawn in areas needed the most. Look into investing in a rainwater harvesting or greywater systems to support your lawn. 

Fertilizing Your Lawn

Your lawn needs to be fertilized just before the growing season. This is dependent on the variety of grass you have. Cool-weather grasses should be fertilized in fall (autumn) and warm-weather grasses in spring. If you are not sure of the variety of grass you have, you can simply fertilize in spring and fall. 

If your lawn is looking less than optimal, you can fertilize in spring and fall. If the lawn is in really bad shape, look at increasing the frequency of fertilization to every 5 to 6 weeks. 

When choosing a fertilizer, always opt for organic. These are slow releasing and feed nutrients to the lawn over time. They will also not burn the lawn. 

The best time to apply fertilizer is after heavy rain or a good lawn watering. Once the fertilizer has been placed, water the lawn gently to make sure all the fertilizer is off the grass blades and sitting as close to the soil as possible. This is especially important if using a non-organic fertilizer. 

The amount of fertilizer to use should be simple to work out. The bag of fertilizer should say how many square feet or meters it covers. Simply measure your lawn and apply as directed. 

Aerate Your Lawn

The soil in your lawn will become compacted over time. Aerating your lawn promotes root growth of the grass. The best time to aerate is during spring and fall. Aeration can be done manually, especially if you have a smaller lawn. If you have a large lawn, consider hiring a core aerator. 

Overseeding Your Lawn

Overseeding your lawn is a great way to revive thin, bare or dead patches of grass and help overcrowd any weeds you may have by thickening the lawn. 

Overseeding your lawn should ideally take place after aeration and weed control. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. Some grass seeds need to be sown in fall and some in spring. This is dependent on whether they are cool-weather or warm-weather varieties. 

As a general rule, seeds will germinate best when the temperatures are between 40- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit (4 to 27 degrees Celsius). Seed germination can take up to 4 weeks, so if you are seeding in fall, make sure that this is well ahead of frost season. 

Controlling Weeds in Your Lawn

Weeds are inevitable. If you only have a few weeds in the lawn, manual removal may be the easiest. Just be sure to remove the entire root. If you have a bigger weed problem, using a herbicide that only kills broadleaf plants will be the easiest way to rid your lawn of the leaves. As always, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for dose strength and application requirements. Make sure you do not spray the herbicide into any flower beds or on plants you do not want to be killed. And do not water the lawn for at least three days after applying the herbicide. 

By following the maintenance tips above, you can have the greenest, lushest lawn in your neighborhood. 

Having a lush green lawn is simple. By mowing your lawn frequently and correctly, watering your lawn, adding fertilizer when needed, aerating at least once a year, Overseeding ad controlling weeds you can improve the look and health of your lawn. 

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