The average homeowner mows their lawn at least thirty times a year and spends around four hours a week doing yard work. While tending the lawn can consume a lot of time and effort, all the hard work you put into it will eventually pay off. Not only does a well-kept lawn increase your home’s value and curb appeal, but it also acts as a natural air conditioner that’s capable of cooling your house down.
Moreover, just like an air filter, it captures tons of dirt and dust, keeping you and your family healthy. The better you care for it, the better it will be able to perform these functions. On that note, here are some practical tips that will help you maintain your lawn’s health and aesthetic appeal.
CUT YOUR GRASS ACCORDING TO THE TEMPERATURE
For lush, green grass year-round, adjust the cutting height according to the season. As the temperature starts to drop, you’ll want to cut your lawn to 1½″ for the first mowing of the year to effectively get rid of all the dead grass and allow more sunlight to reach the crowns. However, during the summer, you’ll have to raise the blade to 2 or 2½″, then lower it back to 1½″ for the last mowing of the year.
Keep in mind that most blades sit a quarter of an inch above the bottom of the mower deck. So, when adjusting the height of the blade, be sure to measure starting from a hard surface up until you reach the bottom of the deck, then add ¼″. Ideally, you should only cut the grass when it’s dry and avoid mowing in extreme heat not to stress your lawn or yourself.
ALWAYS USE A SHARP MOWER BLADE
The extra care you put into cutting your grass to the perfect height will all be in vain if you’re using a dull mower blade to do it. A sharp and leveled blade cuts grass neatly and evenly, whereas a blunt one will tear the grass instead of trimming it cleanly.
Damaged grass tends to turn yellow rather quickly. It also requires more water and nutrients and is generally more susceptible to disease than healthy grass. As the dedicated reviewers at Know It All Learning explain, a lawnmower is only as good as its blade; an unbalanced one may damage both your grass as well as the bearings inside the mower. Sharpening and balancing your blade three times a year should do the trick unless you hit a lot of rocks, in which case, you’ll need to maintain it more frequently.
AVOID LIGHT SPRINKLING
Many homeowners resort to light sprinklings to avoid overwatering their lawn. However, shallow watering only moistens the grass and the surface of the soil. As a result, the water won’t penetrate the soil deeply enough, consequently promoting shallow root growth and increasing the need for frequent watering. Most lawns require 1 to 2″ of water per week, but this largely depends on the type of grass, temperature level, and soil condition.
Seeing as how they drain quickly, sandy soils may require twice as much water, whereas clay soils will typically need half as much. Ideally, you should water your lawn three or four times a week early in the morning. Soak the grass until the soil is moist 4 or 5” down, then wait until the top 2” dry out before you water it again. You can easily insert a wooden ruler or dowel into the soil to measure the moisture’s depth.
APPLY FERTILIZERS AND WEED KILLERS WISELY
There are several factors to consider when applying fertilizers and weed killers to your lawn, including your geographical location, the type of grass you have, the types of weed plaguing your lawn, and the condition of the soil. The best defense against weeds is adequate sun exposure coupled with open space for your grass to germinate.
Different weeds require different chemicals, so be sure to use the right products and methods based on the kind of weeds growing in your yard. Some chemicals work only on moist soils while others are rendered useless by water, so read the package’s instructions and safety warnings before you apply them. In any case, it’s best to take care of weeds early in the spring and summer before they develop deep roots or reproduce.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the many considerations and details that go into lawn care. You won’t have to work your fingers to the bone to keep your yard in tip-top shape. Maintaining your lawn is not about the amount of work you put into it; it’s about knowing when and how to do it. With the above tips in mind, you will have a lush, immaculate lawn that’s guaranteed to spark your neighbors’ envy.