Picture a luxurious home with French doors, picture windows and colorful patio furniture with brilliantly colored potted plants. But then you turn to look at the backyard lawn and it’s brown and dried out, completely taking away from the beautiful, picturesque outdoor esthetic. The bottom line? No home is fully complete without a perfectly well-maintained lawn. Before you have any guests over for a summer get-together, first tend to your grass so it doesn’t detract from your gorgeous outdoor patio. Here are some secrets to get your lawn looking like a state-of-the-art golf course.
Don’t go too short
You don’t want your lawn looking like an untamed jungle, but you don’t want it looking too bare either. It’s possible to go too short when you mow your lawn. In fact, the lower you mow, the more herbicides and water you need – which makes it hard to manage over time. Cutting the grass too short also stresses out the grass. Paul James, host of “Gardening by the Yard” said that you should raise the mower to the highest possible notch so you’re mowing only the top third of the grass. Taller grass tends to have better roots and won’t dry out as fast.
Use sharp blades
Cutting anything with a dull blade usually doesn’t work out too well – and the same goes with your grass. Keep your mower blades sharp so that the grass doesn’t look beat up and uneven.
Mowing and water don’t mix
It’s vital to let your lawn completely dry before taking a mower to it. When you cut wet grass, the water compacts the soil so that the roots can’t breathe, causing the grass to die. This means you’ll have random bald spots all over your lawn. Patience is a virtue – wait until the lawn fully dries.
Know when to water
There is a very fine line between not watering enough and watering too much. Not enough water will obviously dry out the grass, while too much H2O will build up a mass of tangled roots between the grass and soil (not to mention you’ll be wasting water). So how do you know what the appropriate amount of water is for your lawn? Here are some sure signs that your yard needs more watering:
- Footprints across the grass are still imprinted into the ground.
- Your grass gets a slightly blue hue.
- The soil resists when you push a screwdriver into it.
As a general rule, you should be watering once a week. If you have a newly seeded lawn, water every day for five to 10 minutes only.
Ward off weeds
Nobody likes weeds strewn about their yard. But these pesky things are often hard to get rid of. They seem to come back year after year. According to HGTV, the best way to banish weeds is to grow such healthy grass that it chokes out the invaders all on its own. But if you see a few pop up right before a party, no worries. Follow these tips:
- Mow regularly – it stops dandelions and crabgrass before they have a chance to spread their seeds.
- Weed every week or so using a garden hoe to stop them before they get big.
- Use thick layers of newspaper to smother the weeds after you’ve cut them down as low as possible. Wet it down and in a few weeks, the weeds will be gone. Cover up the newspaper with mulch or leaves to disguise the paper.
Aerate your lawn
Sometimes grass gets too compacted and the nutrients can’t get to where they’re needed. Aeration is the process by which you poke holes in your yard to improve oxygen circulation and allow it to grow.