Lawn care is an easy enough thing to accomplish on your own with the right know how, a little time and the proper equipment. The term “Lawn Care” can encompass a number of things such as proper lawn mowing, lawn fertilization, soil maintenance and pest control. Below we will cover these topics in brief summaries but encourage you to take these tips and build upon them through further searching local resources, which might apply more directly.
Seems easy enough right? Well, yeah I suppose but there are a few things you can do help the overall appearance and health of your lawn. We found some great tips on a local lawn care site here in Boise, ID www.boiselawnexperts.com just through a quick google search on lawn mowing blogs. Likely you will see one in your town as well.
First make sure you are always using a sharp mower blade. This ensures you are cutting the grass and not tearing it. Also helping your mower pick the clippings up or mulch them depending. A nice sharp blade will cut the grass blade multiple times before disposing of it. With a dull blade the grass tends to get cut only a fraction of what it would otherwise, causing clogging and clumps in the grass.
The length of your cut should vary depending on the time of year. A little shorter in the summer and longer in the winter. We almost always see DIY’ers cut their grass too short effecting its health or even leaving bald spots, from scrapping. During the summer you should cut it about 2 ½ to 3 ¼ inches. Sounds a little long but ultimately makes for a nice lush lawn. Then inn winter leave it a little longer about an inch, Likely your lawn will stop growing around November, when it does you want it to be about this length 3 ½ to 4 inches. This will help protect the roots from deep freeze allowing it to return much healthier in the spring.
The Fall and Spring are ideal times to fertilize your lawn. During the summer you should fertilize if needed as a boost to your lawns health. During the Fall fertilization will help feed your lawn throughout the Winter. While a good fertilization in the Spring gives it that wakeup call and nutrients needed to begin its growth season.
The type of fertilizer you use is somewhat dependent on the region you live and the soil your lawn is planted in. A number of places will test your soil and recommend the proper fertilizer to optimize the nutrients in the soil. This is one of those local research items you should conduct. I do recommend having your soil tested and optimized. At the least stop by your local home improvement stores and talk with a pro form the area. They can likely recommend the typical product needed.
This was talked about a little above, however outside of fertilization there are other thing to consider in your soils health. Within our lawns we have the grass, thatch, roots, and soils. When we talk about soil maintenance we really want to encompass all the above. The thatch is a layer of dead roots just below the grass and above the soil. Thatch is good and helps your grass survive. However, too much or too thick of thatch can hinder your grasses health and growth. The roots need room to grow and expand while the soil has to be compact enough to hold water and vegetation and not so compact the roots cannot grow.
The best thing besides fertilization you can do to promote healthy soil is to aerate your yard. We discussed this a bit last post and we do recommend at least once a year to aerate. This helps break up the thatch and compact soil allowing your grass roots to expand and the soil to decompress. With the soil less dense it can hold ore water and nutrients to benefit the grass and feed the roots.
I hope some of these tips where helpful and give you a good idea on how to promote a healthy lawn. As we mentioned to start, a number of factors play into a healthy lawn some of which are regional. We recommend doing a bit of research on local lawn care sites to see what they recommend in your area but these are the basics.
The fall is a great time to take a few extra minutes and tend to your lawn and landscape. The summer has likely been rough on the vegetation with the hot temperatures and sparse rain fall. Hopefully you we’re able to keep you grass alive and the trees and bushes healthy. If not this is a great time to show them a little extra attention helping their roots regain health and prepare for the winter months ahead.
This post will cover some easy tasks you should be doing to your lawn this fall to ensure a healthy lawn when spring arrives.
Through the summer our yards take a beating, one of the best things you can do this time of year is to Aerate your lawn. There are a few different ways to handle this and depending on your yard’s condition something as simple as aeration cleats may work just fine.
Typically, we want to use a core aerator which pulls plugs from the soil. The removal of these plugs allows for the ground to decompress and the thinning of the thatch. A layer of thatch is a good thing in a healthy lawn but left un managed it grow too thick to allow the proper nutrients into the roots.
You can easily rent an Aerator at your local home improvement store for less than $100 a day. Or, if your lawn is fairly young and isn’t too compact a pair of aerator shoes or cleats might work just fine. As you start to care for your lawn walking around with spiked shoes every so often will really help promote a healthy lawn all year.
Once you have the lawn aerated and the soil a bit looser, this is a great time to spread some fresh grass seed, even if you have a healthy lush lawn. The Fall is a prime time for vegetation such as grass to take root. There tends to be more water and milder weather, allowing the seeds to thrive. As long as you over seed at least 4 to 6 weeks before the first freeze your new grass should do just fine over winter.
Remember to water your new seed often, at least two times a day. The soil should stay moist throughout the day as to not kill the seedling. Depending on your geography, watering may not be a big deal this time of year. Either way keep it watered with minimal traction.
We recommend using the same type of grass your lawn is currently planted with. If you don’t know what that is there are some great resources on-line to help you identify your lawn. It’s likely one of the popular regional grasses, but you should be able to find matching seed at the local home improvement store. Depending on the type of seed and how large your lawn is your looking at around $50 .00 to cover an average lawn.
Trimming Shrubs and Trees:
After a long summer, the shrubs are probably looking a little scraggly with branches growing in various directions. The trees are likely starting to turn color and drop their first leaves of the season. Gotta love this time of year!
It also makes a perfect time to trim everything down. This can help not only with appearance and fallen debris but the health of your vegetation as well. When you trim your trees try to cut off the dead branches and the branches growing in a direction other than you want. Such as into or over your house or fence. When you cut the branches try to cut where the branch meets a larger part of the tree or a joint. This will help the try recover better and leave a nice clean look
Leaf Clean Up:
As the leaf start to fall it’s important to keep them from building up on your lawn. When leaves build up on your grass they can starve the lawn of vital sun and water. Ultimately killing your grass and leaving a mess in your lawn over winter. There are a number of ways to get rid of the leaves, including your recycling or garbage. However, we recommend mulching the leaves and cutting the branches up small enough to dispose of easily.
Having a mulch area of your lawn can help not only with the leaves in the fall but the grass throughout the year. Mulch is a great food for vegetables or flower bed and is well worth the investment. Some mulch the grass directly into their lawn, with the proper mower this is an easy thing to do. But, if your mower is a standard residential model, it will likely just leave clumps of grass behind, doing more harm than good. We recommend a 4×4 area with three walls about 4 feet high. As you mow the lawn or pick up leaves just pile them in, Nature takes it course and before you know it you have Super Food for your vegetation.
Thanks for checking out our new site dedicated to Do It yourself tree and lawn care. Let’s face it the job isn’t that difficult if you have the right equipment and the right training. Granted some folks have rather large properties with extensive landscapes. These types of properties probably aren’t the DIY kinda guys/gals. No for us every day Joe, if we just took an hour and focused on our lawn care we would save a ton of money and have a green full lawn the neighbors envy J
There are some tricks or rather processes a professional lawn care company knows which make yards look fantastic! Don’t get me wrong they are professionals and typically care for the work they do. However, it’s not rocket science, it’s just a matter of knowing how to do it, when to do it and with what equipment.
Don’t worry you won’t own a truck and trailer full of tools after deciding to take on your lawn care. Rather a few good multi-purpose essentials, a good pair of gloves and the knowledge to complete the job.
Through a series of posts, we will cover the seasonal aspects what you should do for proper lawn care to ensure a healthy lawn year-round. As well as your shrubs and trees and how to keep them looking their best. A number of following posts will cover individual aspects for general tasks such as mowing your lawn or trimming your shrubs and trees, promoting an overall healthy landscape.
We look forward to checking in with you again shortly with our Fall Yard Care Guide.