CARE AND FEEDING OF A BEAUTIFUL LAWN
A Beautiful Lawn Doesn't Just Happen By Itself
This is the process of starting a new lawn. If you have just moved into a new house with no lawn yet or want to replace your existing lawn; or have an existing lawn but want to make it better, you'll benefit from this information. For the existing lawn which needs some help, the easiest way to do this is to aerate and seed. Aerating is the process of poking thousands of holes in your turf, which is easily done by an aerator. Before beginning this process, mow your lawn as low as you possibly can without throwing dirt and rocks all over the place. Then run the aerator over your lawn area several times. A good aerator will poke these holes anywhere from 2 to 8 inches apart, pulling up a plug of soil and leaving it on the ground. If you have an area with more than 6 inches between holes, you won't have a very thick lawn here, so be sure there are plenty of holes in your lawn.
When this is done, it's time to seed. Use a seeder, don't throw the seeds out by hand. Have the measurement of your lawn area written down, because the amount of seed and fertilizer you'll need is based on your lawn size. Use half the amount of seed you have and spread it in one direction. The other half is spread going the other direction, so you're more likely not to have missed a spot. When you are done seeding, it's recommended that you drag something across the lawn--a piece of chain link fence or a board--which breaks up those plugs of sod left behind when aerating. This should cover the grass seeds nicely for better germination, and a thicker lawn. The final steps include spreading a starter fertilizer over the newly seeded area, and watering.
If you are starting from scratch, the steps are similar, but there are a few extra steps to do. You'll find good information from several sources, covered in a later section.
There are other, more expensive but easier options to beginning a lawn, including sod. See below for sources for this option.
The next step is feeding, or fertilizing your lawn. If you have just planted a new lawn, fertilize with a starter fertilizer to help your new lawn get off to a great start. For an established lawn, regular fertilization will keep grass a rich green, thick and healthy. It's recommended that you fertilize your lawn four times a year, beginning in early Spring about thirty days before growing season starts. Fertilize every 60 days from that point for a richer, healthier lawn.
Weed control is an important aspect of a beautiful lawn. No one wants an otherwise beautiful lawn's appearance ruined by dandelions or other weeds. Learn how to keep them out of your yard. Weeds grow year round, yet many people only apply weed control products during the Spring. Like fertilizer, most applications of weed control products will last about 60 days. In fact, you can buy combination weed control and fertilizers, which will save you a step in your lawn beautification program.
MowingMowing seems to be one of the easier tasks of maintaining a beautiful lawn, yet it is often the one job that is done incorrectly. Each grass type has a height range that is best. Learn what that height is and don't cut it any shorter if you want a healthier, more beautiful lawn. Mowing it too close to the ground will result in a scalped look, not the lush green look you are aiming for. Keeping your grass mowed to the right height will also save water, too.
Watering is a very important part of a maintaining a beautiful lawn. It's especially important when you have just seeded a new lawn to keep the seed wet for germination, or if you have put down a sod lawn, to be sure it's roots reach to the soil below. But even after your lawn has been established, you still need to have a schedule of regular watering to keep your lawn looking its best. An underground automatic sprinkling system is the recommended way to do this; you can set timers to water at specific times of the day and you can be sure that all parts of your lawn will be watered if you have set the sprinklers up correctly. If you can't afford this, setting out sprinklers and taking care that all parts of your lawn are watered is the next best method. Hand-watering often results in missed areas, plus you probably have other things to do with your time than stand around with a hose in your hand. When you are working with a new lawn, watering every day, even several times a day, is recommended. Once your new lawn is growing, you can cut back on your watering.
For More Information
There are plenty of places to go for more information on establishing and maintaining a beautiful lawn. For basic tips, try Lawn Masters Lawn Care Tips web site. They can help you with all aspects of your lawn care. Another good source is the Lifescript web site. They have a good section on lawn care tips. The Reviewguideforyou web site is still another source for lawn care tips. If you'd like to turn some or all of your lawn care duties over to a professional, Scott's Lawn Care or TruGreen ChemLawn can help. Your local and online TrueValue store is also a good source, as are Lowe's and Home Depot. You'll be able to find all the lawn care products and tips you need at these and many other sources.