A lush lawn is not something the average homeowner thinks about before the Spring. But once the trees start blooming and your grass isn’t quite coming in how you imagined it; time to hit your local home store. Here are a few tips and tricks to get the most out of your lawn while it’s still early.
First and foremost, get local advice pertaining to the growing conditions in your area. There isn’t one fertilizer, one weed killer or one grass seed that works for every lawn. Get customized solutions for your region. Talk to an expert at your garden center or call your agricultural extension service.
Apply a pre-emergent herbicide to your lawn after the second mow of the spring. This will prevent seeds scattered in previous years from germinating, which is where crabgrass grows from. As the seeds remain viable for a few years, it’s a good idea to apply the herbicide every spring. Making a preemptive strike on crabgrass will save you tons of hassle later, trying to fight it back in the heat of summer.
Don’t over stress about the shady part of your lawn. Many people over water and over fertilize these shady areas, because it seems that the grass is having trouble growing. In fact, it’s these measures that prevent it from growing to it’s potential. Shady areas need less water because the sun doesn’t evaporate it as quickly and less fertilizer because without sun, it doesn’t grow as much. Cut your fertilizer amount to about half of what you’d use for a sunny spot.
Cut your lawn the right length. Cutting your lawn too short can weaken the grass and allow weeds to dominate. Finding the right length for your grass variety will allow it to grow thick and lush while crowding out more established weeds. Adjust your lawn mower to the right height for your variety.
If you’re really having trouble with growing grass, check your soil's pH. Most home centers sell pH testing kits, however, using an extension service can guarantee more accurate results. For growing grass, soil needs to be a pH between 6.0 to 7.2. Add lime to raise the pH, add iron to lower your pH.
Cut down on your lawn care by planning ahead. It’s generally recommended that you fertilize four times a year for the best lawn ever, but if you want those results with less work and more cost efficiency all you have to do is fertilize once in the fall! Fertilizing about 3 weeks before the last mow of the season will give your grass stored nutrients throughout the winter. It will help feed the growing root system as the temperature cools before the grass becomes dormant. Those stored nutrients will give your grass a burst of energy come next spring.
Having a healthy lawn not only makes your home look great, it becomes an inviting place for your children to play, or the perfect place to have an afternoon picnic. A healthy lawn is the best weed preventer of all. A thick lawn crowds out weeds without having to use a lot of chemicals to prevent them.