Photo Courtesy: Neosnaps
Every homeowner wants to have a beautiful yard that is the envy of his or her neighbors. Because of the vast amount of literature and professional advice that has gone into the maintenance of lawns, there has been some confusion surrounding the whole subject. The simplicity of maintaining healthy, lush, green and beautiful lawns has been turned into a complex matter. However, it does not have to be so. Lawn maintenance should be handled with the ease and fun that it deserves. There are a number of proven activities which, if followed carefully, can lead to your lawn being its most beautiful during the remaining part of the summer.
Expert estimates indicate that the average person invests around 40 hours each year tending their lawns. In America, the estimates even get more interesting, especially when measured in dollar amounts. The overall expenditure on equipment and lawn care products per year adds up to$8.5 billion!
What a lawn – Johannes Gilger’s lawn that he just mowed in Aachen, Deutschland (Germany) – Photo Courtesy: Johannes Gilger
Lawns occupy a significant portion of land – more so as people get to appreciate the kind of serenity and calmness that lawns bring. Acres in land have been devoted to lawns, and this has a positive effect on the environment and ecosystem balance.
Lawn Maintenance Tips
Lawn maintenance is a very enjoyable, rewarding and relaxing experience. Below are three activities that can turn your lawn into a magical landscape you will flip over.
This is a critical activity that should be done regularly. Experts recommend that lawn fertilization should be done twice a year, in spring and mid-summer. There are special foods that are blended with professional knowledge to add much-needed nutrients to the soil. Nitrogen is the principal nutrient in fertilizers and is responsible for the dark green color seen in lawns. In addition to coloration, nitrogen also enhances vigorous grass growth.
The reason fertilization needs to be done a few times a year is that, when done too often, it causes the grass to grow very fast, and this will become costly for maintaining the lawn. Moderate the fertilizing to keep the soil structure in shape without making it too fertilizer-dependent.
To those not familiar with lawn fertilizers, it can be very confusing as there are lots of fertilizer blends available in the market. Some blends are made specifically to prevent weed seeds from germinating. It is common to find pre-emergent herbicides blended with fertilizer, but experts in this field recommend that you use pre-emergents separately as they are more effective that way.
Fertilizing the lawn should be done after it has been mowed and given time to dry. This is due to the fact that wet grass normally makes fertilizer stick on the grass blades, causing the lawn to burn. The fertilizer spreader is an indispensable piece of equipment that helps in the distribution of the fertilizer. It is effective in ensuring that fertilizer is evenly distributed across the lawn. It also has a spreader that is usually loaded on the sidewalk to avoid spillage.
Watering the Lawn
“Home is where the sprinkler is!” – Photo Courtesy: Robert Couse-Baker
Fertilization, though a major activity, cannot make the lawn green and healthy on its own. Watering is a must and should be done regularly, especially during periods of drought and prolonged sunny weather. Watering should be done in the morning, as this gives the lawn time to dry up before the fungus become active during nightfall. Remember, deep soaking makes the roots grow deep while light watering results in shallow roots which are susceptible to drought and heat. Depending on the soil type, it is good you keep the watering at 1 to 1.5 inches per week, especially during summer.
Prevention of Brown Spots
Brown spots occur due to a high concentration of urine. Pets usually play on the lawn and, at times, urinate on the grass. Such urine, if not diluted, can end up forming brown spots. With an average of 60 million Americans owning dogs, the chances of having such spots are very high.
Howard Young of Thousand Oaks, California, USA says about his lawn ,”The constant use by our three dogs left some pretty nasty brown spots.” Photo Courtesy: Howard Young
When such incidences happen, the first and immediate step to take is to water the area of the lawn where the pet has urinated. This activity should be done within eight hours. If you fail to do so, you will have to reach for the repair kit to green the grass again. Grass repair kits can be bought from specialized stores, or you can improvise your own by mixing seed, sand and fertilizer.
The writer is a member of several gardening bodies and contributes in several magazines that talk about Toronto lawn care. He has a special passion for lawn care and every single aspect of it. When not writing and talking about lawns, you will find the author in botanical gardens just admiring the vegetation.