The best time to give your lawn a complete makeover is in late summer or early fall. Since late summer is just around the corner, now might be a great time to start working on your lawn.
Renovating and taking care of lawns can be quite daunting. But if you have the right tools and basic knowledge at your disposal then things will turn out to be quite easy.
Here we bring you 10 tips that will make taking care of the lawn much easier.
1. The Right Tool For The Job
The most important and expensive tool you need to get is a lawnmower. There are different sizes and types of lawnmowers. You have to decide which one is best for you depending on the size of your lawn. We recommend getting one with battery mode. The ones with batteries are easy to use and create less pollution.
The rest of the items are a wheelbarrow, shovel, rake, water hose, shears, hand- weeder, soil aerator, and fertilizer cart. All these things have their own significance. You need a fertilizer cart to distribute fertilizer evenly on the soil. An aerator is to loosen the soil under the grass for better air travel. Hand-weeders are handy to uproot weeds without using any chemical.
You should get a shovel or a spade to dig in your lawn or remove dirt. The digging gets easier if the shovel is honed regularly.
Shears are helpful to cut grass that cannot be reached by mowers. Water hose is for watering and rake is to gather dry leaves and loose litter. You will definitely need a wheelbarrow to transport the heavy tools and dirt on the lawn.
2. Conduct A Soil Test
Soil testing is mandatory before doing anything to your lawn. You will need to hire a specialized soil testing company to conduct the soil test since you can’t do it yourself. You can reach these companies through their websites over the internet.
A cheaper alternative is to get help from government services by calling local agricultural offices. Soil testing is very important because it will let you know the condition of the soil in different parts of the lawn and what needs to be done.
After soil testing is done, you can move on to putting fertilizer and balancing the ph.
3. Take Accurate Measurements
Taking the measure of your lawn is another mandatory step. You won’t understand how much fertilizer, herbicide, or pesticide you will need if you don’t know the measurements.
You can use tape or yardsticks or a measuring wheel. Take measurements of every area including narrow spaces. We always recommend taking the measurement manually.
4. Properly Use The Lawnmower
You have to mow your lawn often depending on the growth of the grass. Mowing two or three times a week is recommended. There are many rules for mowing the lawn. One essential rule is never to cut the grass more than one-third of its height. Cutting more will only slow growth.
Another essential point is “mowing height”. Your mowing height should never be less than three inches. Four inches is most acceptable. You should also keep the blades of the lawnmower sharp.
Stones, twigs, and debris can make blades dull over time. So it is better to sharpen them every three to four months.
5. Water Your Lawn Deep
You need to water your lawn deep and frequently. Water twice a week and make sure at least half an inch of water is accumulated on the soil. This will ensure that your grass grows deep roots instead of shallow ones.
If your lawn area is not even, we recommend watering each area separately. You have to make sure that half an inch of water accumulates in all places.
You also need to measure rain and regulate water accordingly. You can use a rain gauge or check the websites for daily rain data.
The best time to water the lawn is at 5 am. If this is too early for you to water manually, then we recommend setting up a timer with the watering system. You can also water anytime during the day except for midday when the sun is at its peak. The heat will evaporate the water before it can reach deep into the grounds.
Watering during nighttime can cause fungal growth so it should also be avoided.
6. Aerate When Necessary
Aeration reduces compactness in soil by loosening the soil core. This way more air, water, fertilizer, and nutrients will reach the grassroots. You only need to aerate your lawn once during the spring and fall season.
However, some people advise that you only need to aerate your lawn every spring.
The easy way to figure out aeration is to do the screwdriver test. You have to do the test when the ground isn’t frozen. Try to push down a flat-headed screwdriver in the soil. If it goes in easy, you don’t need to aerate. If it doesn’t go in easy then water the lawn and try again. If you fail to push it down again, you will know that the ground needs aeration.
This test has to be conducted in multiple areas of your lawn since soil quality can vary from place to place.
After you decide to aerate, you have to get a good aeration tool. Various types of aeration tools are found. The ones with nails, in the end, can actually increase the compactness of the soil. Hand aerators can be very tiring even if you have a small lawn. The best idea is to use a core aerator. A core aerator is big and heavy. But it can also be very tiring to use.
Either use one that your neighbor already has or check-out your local shops to buy one. We do not recommend buying aerators online or the purchase of liquid aerators. They tend to be unreliable due to a lack of scientific evidence.
7. Decide On The Right Herbicides
There are two types of herbicides. These are pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides. The pre-emergent herbicide kills weeds before they can grow and the post- Emergent kills them after they’ve grown.
There are varieties of brands of these herbicides. But they all get the job done pretty well. You will find specific types of post-emergent herbicides for plants.
There are liquid and granular types of pre-emergent ones that can be mixed with water or fertilizers. You have to read the label to know how much and what type you should use and how it will likely work.
The crucial thing about using herbicides is temperature. Pre-emergent herbicides will only work when the temperature of the soil is around 55 degrees Celsius. You should check on agricultural websites to know when the right time of the year is to use them.
The same goes for post-emergent herbicide. They will harm your grass if sprayed in air temperature higher than 70 degrees. They will also harm the roots of other plants and trees. You should use personal caution while using these even though the herbicides are relatively safe.
8. Don’t Overuse The Fertilizers For You Summer Lawn
Fertilizers supply the soil with nutrients that give your grass that rich green color and vibrancy. The most important nutrient is nitrogen. However, too much of it might have the opposite impact.
If you fertilize frequently, then use less of it. For each season one pound should be enough. If you have sown seeds then one and a half pound should suffice.
There are many brands of fertilizers in the market. You should select one based on the result of your soil test.
You can only do specific things to your lawn as per the seasons. If it is early spring, then you should aerate your lawn and apply the herbicides. You should only use fertilizers during mid to late spring. It is important to regulate mowing and watering during summer and rainy seasons. You should also take precautions against fungal diseases. By following these basic steps, you will have covered almost everything for your lawn care.