There’s no denying that a beautiful green lawn offers more than just a pleasing landscape to gaze your eyes on; it also gives you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. But, what if your lawn is less than lush? Maybe you've experienced a bout of fungus or mold; maybe droughts are slowly turning your grass brown and dry, or maybe you have patches where there is no grass at all! The good news is that with a little focus, time and effort, you can tackle just about any yard lamentation or even start from scratch. Here are a few tips for helping you get back in the green.
The first step is to assess when to do what. With one day’s effort followed by care and maintenance, you can easily get your lawn back on-schedule for unending green goodness. However, it’s important to pick the right day! For instance, fall is a great time for aerating and dressing your lawn for the growth to come, while spring is all about de-thatching and renewing. It's important to know when to do what so that you don't end up creating more work for yourself in the long run. If you’re prepping your lawn for winter, a core aerator is great. It allows oxygen, nutrients and seed to reach all the way down to the soil. Remember to store clippings, twigs (under ½ inch) and other vegetation in compost, turning once every two weeks.
After a good coring, or thatching if you're looking at springtime planning, it's always a good idea to get a soil test. Soil tests can determine which minerals are already present (or sorely lacking) in your area. This is the best way to determine which fertilizer to employ. Generally speaking, you want to add fertilizer with high phosphorus content which is may be mixed in along with nitrogen, calcium and/or potassium. These macronutrients will really give your seeds the boost they need to grow. When you're ready, load fertilizer into a spreader, checking to make sure the dispersion setting is correct for the task and simply distribute evenly on your lawn. For something different, try bone meal!
Once you do begin to experience new growth in your lawn, you'll want to be sure you’re ready to keep weeds at-bay. Crabgrass is a common foe of the field, and there are many seed blends that have a little crabgrass deterrent already added in. For spot treatment, grab a spade and manually remove the weed, making sure to dislodge the whole root and throwing it into a bag to prevent re-growth. These definitely don't belong in the compost! You can also use weed killer which is available at most grocery and home stores.
Now that we've got the foundation for a great yard established, the hard work is over. At this point all you have to do is maintain as needed and water weekly, avoiding the hottest part of the day. As the sun cools but before it’s about to set, apply water evenly using whatever hose or irrigation rig works best for your yard. For best results you should aim for an inch of water every week, breaking up watering sessions over the course of the week. Keep it up and you should have the lawn you've always dreamed of in no time!
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