A lush, clean yard not only adds aesthetic appeal to your home, but it can be a selling point if you ever decide to move from your current residence to a new one. Aside from this, lush grass feels wonderful when lounging in the summer sun and gives your whole house a cleaner more organized appearance. If you’re looking to improve your lawn care routine, here are 7 easy steps to a lush green lawn you can follow in the coming year.
Healthy Grass comes from Healthy Soil
Fertilizer can help build up soil nutrient content to encourage thick healthy grass growth, so this is one simple step you can take, but you can also have your soil tested. Testing the soil gives you measurements of how much nitrogen and phosphorus, and can help you determine which type of fertilizer or additives you should purchase. Experts do recommend sticking with organic, slow-release formulas to the outer edges first, then in middle by overlapping passes. Mowing frequently will also encourage new grass growth and make sure the fertilizer gets distributed evenly.
Calcium Isn’t Just for Healthy Bones
Many common lawn weeds can be linked to calcium deficient soil. If during testing you find your soil falls short of a 7 to 1 ratio of calcium to magnesium, consider spreading high-calcium lime over your lawn before fertilizing to ensure it can properly absorb the nitrogen and reduce protein for weeds to feed on.
Compost for Thickness
In the early season, you should add a ½ inch layer of organic compost to your lawn to improve and encourage grass growth. Watch the compost you use however to ensure it’s completely decomposed; it should smell slightly sweet and earthy when it’s finished, and will help your lawn be healthier throughout the entire growing season.
Get Crabby with Crabgrass
Crabgrass can burden even the most diligent of gardeners, so you need to stop it before it starts in order to tackle the problem. The weed typically germinates when soil temperature reaches approximately 56 degrees. Wait until the weather reaches this temperature for a few days, and then apply a pre-emergent herbicide to kill off the buds before they sprout. You only need to treat unshaded areas of your lawn as crabgrass does not grow well in shady areas.
Right after a gentle rain, many weeds will begin to sprout. Don’t let the roots take hold, pull them out at this time when the soil is nice and moist and they will come out easily by hand.
Upgrade your Mower
Every good lawn will need a good trim, so make sure your mower is in good condition. Dull mower blades leave ragged tips as they tear the grass rather than cut it. Sharpen blades with a Dremel tool or a file, and make sure to sharpen the blade after you’ve used your mower for about 8 to 12 hours.
Create a Lawn
If you’re dealing with a lawn that is suffering years of neglect, you can start from scratch and build it up again. Sod is an excellent way to do that, and April is a perfect time to lay it. The still cooler air along with moisture gives the grass time to root up, and you can ask the seller for grass that suits the condition of your specific yard. Make sure the rolls you use are fresh, and be prepared to water, water, and water it some more to ensure it takes root.
There are many tips on keeping a healthy lawn, but these 7 should get you started on a yard full of lush green grass in 2014 and all the years to come.