As a homeowner, looking out in the yard and seeing lush, green grass is one of the most satisfying experiences you can have. Being the envy of the neighborhood may not be your motivation, but it definitely doesn’t hurt. While many homeowners want that perfect, “magazine cover” yard, actually getting it is a different story. So how do you get that perfect lawn that you’ve always wanted? Here are a few lawn care tips to keep in mind.
1. Start With the Soil
One of the most important aspects of creating that perfect lawn is to be aware of the quality of the soil. The grass in your yard can’t grow like it should if the soil is in poor shape. You can have your soil tested at local USDA offices to determine the composition of the soil. The composition of your soil will determine what steps need to be taken to improve the quality.
For example, if your yard is full of clay, it will hold too much moisture and grass will not be able to fully take root like it should. To solve that problem, you can add organic matter like compost, peat moss, or aged manure. Having a good mixture of organic material in the yard will work wonders for the soil and the grass.
One of the best additives you can put in the soil is worm castings. This is another term for worm manure, and it has numerous benefits for your yard. Worm castings are very nutrient rich and have beneficial microbes in them from the digestive tract of the worm. This causes grass to grow faster and healthier than normal. To expedite growth, get one of the pure forms of worm castings like Simple Grow, instead of a mixture of worm castings and something else.
2. Do You Need Some Drainage?
If you notice that after it rains, your yard is full of water for a long time in parts, you may need to address some drainage issues. This happens when you have a lot of clay in the soil as well. Talk to a landscaping professional about this issue. They may be able to grade the yard so that the water drains somewhere else. Instead of the water just standing in the yard, it can run off and give your grass a chance to thrive.
While you want water on the grass, it’s not good for the overall health of the yard if water is always standing there. Another option is to aerate the soil and loosen it. You can dig down and break up the soil or use various other equipment to create drainage holes.
3. Mowing and Watering it Right
Many people don’t stop to think about how they mow the yard will impact the overall health of the grass. However, the way a yard is mowed has a major impact on it’s performance. If the yard is new, mow it once it gets about 2″ to 2.5″ tall. Cut it to about 1.5″ to 2″. Once the yard is established, then you can let it grow a little longer. For instance, you might want to let it grow to 3″ to 3.5″ instead. While it’s young, this will help it grow in thicker overall.
The method that you use to water while it’s being established also comes into play. When a yard is new, water it more frequently and not as deeply. For instance, watering 2 to 4 times per day is ideal when it’s being established. Then once it is established, you can scale that back to about once a day, while watering longer and deeper.
4. Fertilizing the Lawn Right
Applying some fertilizer to the yard is important if you want the grass to grow in thick. When a yard is being established, it’s generally best to apply fertilizers that have phosphorus in them. Then as the yard is more established, giving the yard more nitrogen is best. You may also want to utilize organic fertilizers instead of ones with potentially harmful or dangerous chemicals in them.
Overall, getting your yard growing like it should will take a lot of work. But the rewards of having a thick, healthy yard will be worth it.