Tips on How to Take Care of Your Lawn

Tips on How to Take Care of Your Lawn

Outdoor and Gardening
Outdoor Additions
By Dikran Seferian December 09, 2021

Once your lawn is grassed and ready to go, all that would be left is to keep it in good shape throughout the years. A well-maintained lawn can serve as a living space for outdoor activities as well as a playground for birds and squirrels. Taking care of your turf shouldn’t be a daunting task — and it isn’t. As a matter of fact, it can be a rewarding experience both emotionally and practically.

While irrigating your lawn can be done automatically through the use of sprinklers, other tasks can be a stroll in the park (quite literally). Does the soil need to be aerated? Simply wear one of those spiked shoes and walk around on your lawn. Does the grass need trimming? Get on your riding lawn mower and go for a drive around the backyard. Giving your turf the attention it needs will allow you to enjoy it for a very long time. 

Mow Your Lawn on a Regular Basis

Regularly mowing your lawn allows the roots to spread out and fill the gaps in the soil, preventing the growth of weeds. Consider trimming the grass on a weekly basis during the summer and once every two weeks during the rest of the seasons — even less frequently during colder winters. In summer, adjust the cutting height of your lawnmower to about three or four inches. This will keep the grass from turning brown in dry conditions and the height of the grass will shade the soil from intense sunlight. Make sure not to mow your lawn when the grass is wet as doing so might impede healthy growth in the future. You may also want to keep your mower in good shape and the blades sharp enough for a clean cut.

Keeping Your Lawn in Good Shape

Keeping Your Lawn in Good Shape

Hydrate Your Lawn Frequently

Water is the essence of life — and hydrating your lawn on a regular basis is vital for its well-being. Consider watering the grass early in the morning to get the best results. This will allow it to soak up as much water as possible before the sunlight vaporizes the remaining wetness. The amount and frequency of irrigation, on the other hand, depend on the soil type and weather conditions. However, make sure not to overwater young lawns as it may lead to shallow rooting and poor establishment. Sprinklers with timing mechanisms are ideal lawn tech equipment that will take this maintenance task off your hands. Simply program the timer to water moderately just before sunrise. You may, however, need to check whether using a water sprinkler is permitted in your area.

When and How Often to Water Your Lawn

When and How Often to Water Your Lawn

Smooth Out the Edges

While mowing your lawn is key to maintaining its health down the line, trimming the edges gives the yard a neat, well-defined look. Snip any grass that grows beyond the borders of the lawn using a pair of long-handled shears or a half-moon edging tool. This will essentially give your yard a sleek finish. Keep in mind that a tidy-looking front lawn may very well boost curb appeal as opposed to one with undefined borders. An alternative solution involves lining the border with permanent lawn edging made of wood, concrete, or aluminum — the latter being a relatively common option nowadays.

How to Keep Your Lawn Neat and Well-Defined

How to Keep Your Lawn Neat and Well-Defined

Get Rid of Weeds

You will frequently notice weeds such as dandelions and plantains growing among your lawn grass. These pesky plants tend to smother the lawn, hindering its growth. However, you can easily get rid of them with a daisy grubber or a hand trowel. Other types of weeds to look out for include clover, buttercups, and yellow meddick. Getting rid of these unwanted plants will prevent them from absorbing all the precious nutrients that are in the soil. An effective way to eliminate weeds is by raking your lawn before mowing it. This would essentially help to pull them up into the lawnmower. You may want to avoid using chemical weedkillers as they are both expensive and ultimately ineffective. A homemade weedkiller can be a better alternative.

Effective Ways to Weed Your Backyard

Effective Ways to Weed Your Backyard

Keep Your Lawn Grass Well Fed

Feeding your lawn twice a year is key to maintaining its fresh look. Consider a nitrogen-rich feed in the spring and a fertilizer rich in phosphate and potash (potassium-rich salt) sometime between midsummer and early autumn. Bear in mind that organic fertilizers are always more preferable to their chemical counterparts. The best time to fertilize your lawn is when you’re expecting rain. The rainwater washes the feed down to the roots. Alternatively — if feeding is due and there’s no rain forecasted for another couple of weeks — you could mix the substance with water and feed your lawn as you’re irrigating it. Grass that has lost its glow should look greener within a few days.

Periodic Lawn Maintenance Tasks You Shouldn’t Forget

Periodic Lawn Maintenance Tasks You Shouldn’t Forget

Fill Out Empty Patches

Bare spots in lawns are not uncommon. They can be unsightly and tend to ruin the overall look of your yard. Fortunately, patching them up is fairly easy and inexpensive. Simply sprinkle a handful of grass seeds in the empty patches and you’re good to go. An alternative solution involves making fillers from unused pieces of turf. Whenever you’re giving the lawn a new shape, gather extra strips of grass and place them two inches apart in a seed tray filled with compost. You will then use those strips to replace bare patches. Make sure to firm the new patch down just enough so that it's level with the rest of the turf.

Common Lawn Issues and How to Fix Them

Common Lawn Issues and How to Fix Them

Relieve Ground Compaction

Compacted lawn spots prevent healthy grass growth, leading to bare patches during the drier months and mud baths during the rainy season. You can relieve the compaction by pushing a garden fork into the ground to aerate the soil. Simply drive the fork about five inches into the soil and gently rock the handle back and forth. This allows the roots to breathe and in turn promotes grass growth. Alternatively, you could wear spiked lawn aerating shoes and basically walk around the compacted area. In the case of heavy ground such as clay soil, you can prevent further compaction by brushing sharp sand into the newly pierced holes to allow for better drainage.

Getting Familiar With Lawn Maintenance Procedures

Getting Familiar With Lawn Maintenance Procedures

Solve Pest Issues

If your grass is turning brown in the early fall and critters such as raccoons are digging up your lawn, you’re probably dealing with white grubs in the soil. These creatures are the early phases of chafer and Japanese beetles. As harmful as they are to the grass, white grubs are easy to get rid of using non-poisonous substances. They are also simple to identify due to their white color which makes them easy to see in the dark soil. Avoid using pesticides as they are proven to be unnecessary in most cases. Instead, opt for biological methods such as beneficial nematodes and milky spore disease. These types of pest control are harmless to pets and people.

Other pests you might encounter on your lawn are moles. These creatures tend to damage roots by burrowing ridges in the ground. While they are known to eat grubs, getting rid of those grubs may not solve the mole issue. An effective yet humane way to get rid of moles is by repelling them with ultrasonic devices or spinning daisies placed near the runs.

How to Get Rid of Pests in Your Garden?

How to Get Rid of Pests in Your Garden?

Control Disease and Mold

Several diseases can infect your lawn, the most common one being rust. This infection basically turns the grass dark orange or rust-colored. Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass are especially prone to this disease. The solution to this issue (and many other diseases) involves making adjustments to how you maintain your lawn. Make sure you’re watering properly, fertilizing correctly, and mowing at the right height. In most cases, there is no use for fungicides in your lawn. Many common fungus-related issues tend to go away by themselves and don’t warrant your intervention. Mushrooms after a rain, for instance, will disappear once the soil dries up — the same goes for slime mold. Mowing or raking the mold off also works.

Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Lawn Healthy

Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Lawn Healthy

Written by
Dikran Seferian

Written by Dikran Seferian