Complete Lawn Care: Everything You Need To Know
Lawn care is necessary to keep everything neat, tidy, eye-appealing, and beautiful. The process consists of a broad range of tasks, including mowing, planting, and pruning. Unfortunately, all of these tasks are time-consuming and must be completed regularly. Property owners with tight schedules will turn to the professionals while others will tackle the process themselves. Whatever the case may be, there are some very important things that you need to know about lawn care, especially true if you are concerned about perfection. Below, you will discover more information about complete lawn care.
The most common reason why people maintenance their lawn regularly is curb appeal. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines curb appeal as “the visual attractiveness of a house as seen from the street”. Lawn care is all about what you want people to see when they look at your house as they pass by. Unfortunately, too many property owners do not care about curb appeal. When you pass these properties, you will see the grass uncut, weeds growing out of control, and there may even be items or trash scattered about. What do you think when you look at these houses? Well, one thing probably comes to mind and that is unappealing.
To achieve and maintain curb appeal, you will need to keep your lawn mowed and watered, prune your shrubs, and weed your flower beds. If you stay on top of these tasks, you may discover that you enjoy doing them. If you don’t, you can always contact the professionals.
One of the most grueling and time-consuming tasks of maintaining a lawn is mowing. Of course, the time it takes to mow your lawn will depend on its size. If you have more than an acre of property that needs to be mowed, it could take at least an hour to mow it. And, this is not to mention weedeating and other lawn maintenance tasks that must be completed at the same time.
A riding lawnmower is recommended for lawns that are an acre or larger. Push mowers are more suitable for smaller lawns and those hidden behind privacy fences. However, it is not unusual for people to utilize both a push mower and riding lawnmower to maintain their lawn.
Having the proper equipment will ensure everything goes smoothly. It is crucial to keep your lawnmowers maintained as well. Routine oil and filter changes will go a long way in keeping your lawnmowers in good condition.
Alternative Mowing Patterns
Grass has a mind of its own and most people don’t understand that. This is just one of the things that separate a professional lawn care specialist from the regular individual. In terms of your lawn, you have to think of it like hair. Just think about how you constantly brush and comb your hair in the same manner. You have probably been doing this for so long that your hair just automatically adheres to the same style and pattern. Well, your grass will act similarly. It develops a sort of memory and falls in the same direction most of the time
When you approach your lawn cutting routine, in the same manner, it is going to produce the same results. Many people just walk the same paths trying to finish as quickly as possible. There isn’t anything wrong with this. That is unless you just simply don’t care about your lawn. Mowing your grass in the same pattern every time will not only cause the grass to lay in one direction, but it can potentially cause what are known as compacted ruts. If you want to prevent this, you should simply just trying mowing in alternate directions and changing patterns. This will lead to more evenly cut lawn with better-looking results.
Cut At The Right Height
Did you know that grass has roots that are as long as the blades of grass are high? That’s okay because most people don’t. What this simply means is that it doesn’t do you any good to cut your grass lower, hoping that you won’t have to cut it as often. When taking this approach, you will just simply do more harm than good. This is why it is best to aim for a height of right around three inches. Cutting below this recommended height will only weaken the blades of grass and make them susceptible to drought as well as other diseases.
Only Mow When Dry
Have you ever tried to cut your grass when it was wet? Maybe you got up early one weekend and wanted to get the job done so you could have the rest of the day to lounge around. You probably noticed that the dew created a lot of restriction. Well, this should be more than a good indication that something wasn’t right. When grass is wet it is not only harder to cut, but it clogs the mower decks quicker. Cutting the grass wet is never a good idea because it causes the grass to clump. When it clumps like this it will sit on the surface of the lawn and cut the grass off from water and oxygen. If your grass doesn’t have enough water or oxygen it will die.
Grass needs a specific amount of water to stay healthy. This is why many property owners will opt to install sprinkler systems. These systems are designed to deliver fresh water to the entire property. The downside to lawn sprinkler systems is cost. Depending on the size of your property, you could easily spend $1,000 or more on a sprinkler system. Of course, you can attempt to install the system yourself and save a little of money in the process. But, if you want to ensure full coverage, you will need to turn to the professionals. It is estimated that a sprinkler system for a ½-acre lot will cost about $2,500.
Another alternative to a sprinkler system is manual watering. To manually water your lawn, you will need water hoses and sprinklers. Each sprinkler will need to be attached to a water hose. The sprinkler sits on top of the grass and sprays water in various directions. This is an extremely affordable setup but it is not as convenient as a professionally-installed lawn irrigation system. You can save some money just by utilizing one sprinkler, moving it from one place to another until the entire lawn is thoroughly watered. If you have a small lawn, you may find it easier to just spray it down at least twice a week. Larger lawns will not be that easy to water.
The amount of water can vary from one lawn to another. But, the experts recommend at least 45 minutes of watering twice a week. The areas near curbs may need a tad bit more water because heat tends to buildup in areas near concrete and blacktop. This is enough water to keep your lawn healthy and free of diseases.
Precision Lawn care takes time but thorough watering is a necessity for health. The experts do not recommend watering more than twice a week to avoid shallow root systems and weed growth. Forty-five to sixty minutes of water bi-weekly will create a healthy root system and keep insects at bay.
Consider Aeration In The Spring Or Fall
Most people don’t know what aerating is or understand exactly how important it can be for the lawn. Aerating is extremely beneficial for any lawn. This is because it drills into the ground with hollow, cylindrical metal spikes that help penetrate the soil. Doing this will not only give your lawn’s roots plenty of room to grow and expand, but it will allow water and nutrients to penetrate your soil, helping them reach the roots quicker and more effectively.
Stop Weeds Before They Start
There is simply no denying that weeds can be a major problem for even the most seasoned lawn care professionals. Now, just imagine how much trouble they can be for the average individual. Heck, weeds have given some amateur gardeners so many problems that they just gave up. You do not want to let this to happen to you and the best approach as always is to tackle the problem before it becomes a problem. How does one go about doing this? The trick is to stop the weeds before they germinate. Go to the areas of your garden or yard where weeds will most likely grow and place a pre-emergent herbicide.
This is a specific product that is usually just designed to help control the growth of crabgrass, but it can also do wonders for those unwanted weeds. It tackles the problem by attacking the seeds and stopping them from sprouting in the first place. The best time to use an application like this is early to mid-spring. Just remember that you always want to apply this substance with care and always follow the directions on the back of the product to the tee or you might end up in worse condition than before you started.
Eliminate Broadleaf Weeds
You already learned about eliminating weeds. Unfortunately, eliminating weeds won’t technically be the same thing as eliminating broadleaf weeds. Broadleaf weeds are, in fact, weeds, but they are much tougher and aggressive. These plants will pounce on any weak areas in the lawn and go straight to work. Don’t fret thou because these weeds are easy to stop, as they look nothing like grass. They look more like dandelions. Killing them will be easy enough if you just pull them up by the stem, ensuring that you get the root and all.
Corn Gluten Meal
Speaking of getting rid of weeds, if you want a product that will do the job more effectively then you should consider checking out corn gluten meal. Never heard of it? Don’t worry because most individuals haven’t corn gluten meal is just a safe alternative to other weed-killing products. This meal will prevent the germination of weed seeds naturally. It is high in nitrogen and contains properties that make it act like a natural fertilizer, so you are killing two birds with one stone.
There are several ways to fertilize a lawn. Fertilizer contains nutrients that are required to grow healthy, lush, green grass. Before you go out and buy a bag of fertilizer, you must determine what type of grass is growing in your yard. The most common grasses found in the United States include Bahia, Centipede, Buffalo, St. Augustine, Bluegrass, Ryegrass, Fine Fescue, Zoysia, and Bentgrass.
If you cannot determine what type of grass is growing on your property, you can always contact your local evergreen landscaping company. Most of these companies will go far and beyond to help the community. So, you may be able to get an expert from the company to come out and access your property. If this doesn’t work, you can always turn to your neighbors. You can also take a sample into your local home and garden store.
Before fertilizing your lawn, you need to perform a pH soil test. This test is extremely important because it measures the acidity and alkalinity of the soil. Most home and garden stores keep pH soil testing kits in-stock year-round. Just follow the directions on the back of the package to test your soil.
The next step of the residential lawn care process involves measurements. You need to take full measurements of your lawn before moving forward. These measurements will help you determine the exact amount of fertilizer you will need to complete the job. Measure the width and length of your lawn. Multiply those two measurements to determine the square footage of your property.
Take the results of the pH test to your local home and garden store or evergreen lawn service. An expert will help you choose the right fertilizer for your lawn. Of course, you will need to determine if granular or liquid fertilizer will work better for you. Your lawn care expert may recommend liquid fertilizer because it has a quicker absorption rate. The downside to liquid fertilizers is they require multiple treatments.
Granular fertilizers are available in slow- and quick-release formulas. Slow-release is more popular because it requires fewer treatments. If you have a weed problem, you should consider a fertilizer with a weed killer.
To ensure adequate and even coverage, you will need to invest in a drop spreader or rotary spreader. Drop spreaders are more suitable for lots less than ½ an acre and rotary spreaders for larger lots. The idea is to coat the lawn thoroughly and evenly without overlapping, which will result in a chemical burn.
To achieve maximum results, you will need to pick the best time of the year to fertilize your lawn. The experts recommend early fall or spring. It is best to avoid the summer heat because it will do more damage than good.
Once the fertilizer is applied properly, you will need to follow up with a thorough watering. About 45 minutes of watering will help the fertilizer absorb into the soil.
Let Your Grass Clippings Fertilizer The Lawn
Are you one of those individuals who take the extra time to rake their lawn after each cutting session? Is this something that you actually like doing or are you just doing it to make your lawn look better? Well, did you know that you actually might be hurting your lawn rather than help it? You do not want big clumps of grass left sitting on top of your lawn because this will simply starve it of oxygen and water. This is something that you learned earlier, but it doesn’t mean that you can utilize some of those short grass clippings.
The next time you cut your lawn just simply let those grass clippings lie on the lawn. This is a practice that is known as grass-cycling and it can save you an abundance of time. It not only eliminates the need to rake the lawn, but it can help the lawn grow and thrive. These clippings will act as fertilizer, feeding the lawn nutrients that they need. Heck, this is a practice that might even save you some money if it eliminates the need to buy fertilizer altogether
If you are creating a lawn from scratch, you will need to start by planting grass. There are several factors to consider when it comes to planting grass. These factors include the season, right grass seed, pH level, soil preparation, nutrients. The first thing you need to consider is the time of year. It is not recommended to plant grass during the summer season because the heat will damage the grass seeds. Early spring or fall is the best time to plant grass.
Choosing the right grass seeds is also very important. If you choose the wrong grass seeds, the results will not be in your favor. Determine what type of grass you have before buying seeds. You need to determine the pH of your soil. To do this, you will need a pH soil testing kit, which is available at most home and garden stores. The pH should be between 6.0 and 7.0, anything more or less will be too acidic or alkaline. To correct the pH, you can add a bit of ground limestone to the soil.
Soil preparation is also very important. Depending on the size of the area, you may need to rent a sod cutter. A shovel is more suitable for smaller lots. The soil needs to be broken up into small particles, so the seeds will have a place to grow. Follow the instructions on the back of the package to plant the seeds.
About Artificial Grass
When it comes down to it, getting grass to grow can be difficult. Attempting to maintain that grass is even tougher. In some areas, you’ll never be able to keep your grass green and healthy. If you live in an area like this, you should make the switch to artificial grass. This is one of the best ways to keep your yard looking great while also ensuring that maintaining it will be much easier. Artificial grass or turf is made using synthetic fibers.
It looks identical to real grass so people won’t be able to tell the difference. Initially, this type of grass was used only for sports arenas. Today, it is available for residential and commercial applications. While it is much easier to maintain, you’ll still need to take steps to keep your artificial grass looking amazing. You’ll find out how to do that below.
Brushing And Washing
Many people want to partake in go green lawn care. If you fit into this category, you should consider going with artificial grass. This is one of the best ways to spruce up your yard without spending too much time and effort. Just remember that you will need to brush and wash the yard regularly. It is pertinent to spray the turf every month or so. This is essential for keeping the grass green and beautiful. Spraying it down will remove dirt, dust, and pollen. This will also help ensure that the infill remains evenly distributed. If your area receives enough rainfall, you’ll be able to avoid spraying it so often.
You’ll want to brush the grass too. This is a good way to enhance its appearance and get rid of excess debris. When it comes to spraying the grass, you can use water or you can mix it with a mild cleanser. After the installation, you need to brush the grass more often. This will help ensure that the infill can settle properly.
Caring For The Infill
Since you’re dealing with artificial grass, you’ll have to worry a lot about the infill. This is the portion of the grass that is responsible for holding the grass down. Unfortunately, it is common for the infill to become dislodged by wind and heavy rains. This will result in the infill climbing upward towards the grass blades. When this happens, you should replace the infill. You can choose from many different types including silica sand, polymer elastomer, and thermoplastic, elastomer. Either way, you need to keep a close eye on the infill to avoid potential problems in the future.
Deal With Debris
You’ll want your yard looking great. Unfortunately, dirt and debris can ruin your artificial grass very quickly. It is said that debris is the number one enemy. When leaves and branches fall onto the grass, they need to be removed immediately. If they’re not, they will rot and this will cause the turf to start deteriorating. You can solve this problem by using a leaf blower. If you do not have one, you’ll have to resort to using a rake. Either way, this will get rid of the debris and keep your artificial grass in good shape.
If you’re going to be using a rake, you have to be very careful. Be gentle or you may damage the grass by dislodging the infill.
Shock Absorbing Material
Most people will want their artificial grass to feel like real grass. To do that, they’ll place some type of shock-absorbing material under the grass. Unfortunately, this creates another problem. This material is only going to last so long. It is common for the material to begin degrading in a few years. This will result in the artificial grass feeling much harder when walked on. This is a problem you’ll need to deal with immediately. You’ll need to pull up the artificial grass to replace this material.
Thankfully, you will only need to do this every few years. Still, this is an essential part of taking care of your artificial grass.
Artificial grass is great but you have to take precaution to prevent it from getting damaged. Remember that this type of grass should never be exposed to hot temperatures. Therefore, it is a good idea to keep your grill away from it. You never know when you’re going to drop grease and that could damage the grass. It is also essential to keep fireworks away from it. Never drive your vehicle over the artificial grass either! Finally, you should know that this type of grass does not need fertilizers or pesticides.
These things should be kept away from the artificial grass at all costs. If you do spill something and make a mess on the grass, you’ll want to fix that problem immediately. You can do so by using a damp cloth and a cleaner that has been designed for this purpose. Or, you can make your own. Using a mixture of water and bleach, ammonium, or white vinegar. This should take care of the problem.
Be Careful With Pets
If you have a dog or cat, there is a good chance that they’ll want to potty outside. And, they’ll likely choose your artificial grass for this purpose. Unfortunately, this is going to create problems in the future. It is something you cannot tolerate. The pet’s mess will ruin the grass. On top of that, the odor cannot be washed away easily. It is best to provide your pets with another spot to use the bathroom. This will help you keep your grass in great condition.
Installing Artificial Grass
There is no denying the fact that artificial grass is great. However, the installation process can be tricky. Spreading grass seed would be far easier. Nevertheless, artificial grass will be worth the extra work in the long run. So, how can you install this grass? First and foremost, you’ll need to prepare the surface. It is best to remove at least 3 inches of the dirt or lawn. You’ll also need to create a 2% grade. This is imperative for drainage purposes. Make sure that the water can flow downward. After that, you’ll need to put down gopher wire and edging. This will prevent gophers from getting inside and ruining your new yard.
Now, it is time to begin rolling out the turf. You’ll need to grab a turf knife and cut the edge off. It is best to cut it from the backside. You should cut the material in 3 stitch row. Once you’ve done that, you can layout the grass. Your next step will depend on the seams. If you do not have any, you can go ahead and secure an end of the turf within nails. If you have seams, you’ll need to make sure that they’re secure first. Using tape and glue is the best way to ensure that the seams remain secured.
Once you’ve secured the grass to the surface, you’ll need to add the infill. Before doing that, you’ll want to use a power broom or push broom to prepare the turf. This will ensure that the blades are standing straight up. It will also help guarantee that the infill can seep into the backing. Using a drop spreader is a good way to dispense and spread the infill. Remember that you’ll need to use roughly 2 pounds of infill for each square foot. Refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure you get the right infill materials.
Once you’ve spread the infill, you’ll want to use the broom again to push the infill into the backing. Finally, you’ll need to check the turf. Walk around and it to make sure there is no excess turf anywhere. If there is, you can take care of it by trimming it off. When you’re finished, everything should be clean and even.
Artificial Grass Cost
People love the look and durability of artificial grass. The only problem here is that it is expensive. You can save yourself a little money by installing it yourself. However, this is difficult and you may not get it right. That could result in bigger problems. Therefore, it is generally best to pay for the materials and labor. So, how much can you expect to pay? On average, you’re going to end up paying roughly $13 per square foot. The price of the grass itself will be right around $3 per square foot. However, that price can increase or decrease based on the manufacturer and the quality of the material.
Either way, it is best to spend more. This will ensure that you get the best grass possible and that it will last for many years to come.
At the end of the day, total lawn care should be your top priority. You want your yard to look amazing and there are many ways to achieve this goal. Whether you go with artificial grass or grass seeds, you’re going to have a lot of work ahead of you. Take your time and work on it a little at a time. This is the best way to get the most satisfactory results.