Read our how-to guide and know about the simple steps to a greener Healthy Lawn. Hurry up! You are only six steps away from your dream lawn.
Every homeowner has to spend hours trimming down the weeds, manicuring the overgrown grass, mowing the turf, aerating the soil, reseeding the lawn, and watering every single leaf. But, what is the main goal of all this hectic yard work? In a single sentence, to keep your lawn greener and healthier!
No doubt that as a result of this time consuming and tiring yard care routine, your lawn pays you back by developing into a thick and vibrant welcome mat that remains active 24/7 to relieve your stress and anxiety.
Not only does a well-established lawn add to the visual aesthetics and overall worth of your property but it also contributes greatly to improving the living habits of your family members. For instance, you start to spend more time playing outdoor games with your family. You start to jog and exercise regularly and filter your lungs with the fresh air.
However, the question which arises here is, is it really impossible to get a greener and healthier lawn without putting your blood, sweat, and tears into it? The one-word answer is, NO! In fact, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel since all you need to do is to follow some simple steps mentioned below and you’ll get what you call a dream lawn.
Steps to a Greener Healthy Lawn
Step 1: remove the weed
Start your journey towards a greener, healthier lawn by removing the weeds from there. Remember that even if your lawn has very few weed plants, those invaders will never let your turf grass glow gracefully and grow thicker.
Whatever the plant feed you are providing to the grass or whatever the watering and mowing pattern you are following, those pesky weeds will steal all the goodness and make your desired plants suffer and suffocate.
Thus, the first and foremost step of getting a greener garden is to brush out all the weeds from the roots. Fortunately, the market is full of effective herbicides and you can get a specialised product effortlessly, according to the type of weed you are dealing with.
You can also use home remedies for treating some common weed types like a concentrated solution of water and vinegar can sweep the dandelions out in a week. Similarly, you can get rid of crabgrass weed simply by mowing it abruptly.
Whatever the remedy you use, don’t forget that your target is to remove the weed from the roots and not only to cut out the external part. For doing so, you can get help from handheld or electric devices as well.
Step 2: mow and manicure the existing grass
Once your lawn gets free of weeds completely, the next step is to mow down the existing grass and manicure it neatly. However, before doing so, you need to identify the type of turfgrass you are having.
A major misconception among homeowners is that all types of grasses share the same maintenance needs. However, that’s not the reality. Especially when it comes to mowing, then every specific type of grass needs to be mowed down to a specific length; neither too short nor too long.
And that’s also the rule of thumb that induces more resilience, against drought, pests, and diseases, within your grass. Generally, the grass could be either warm-seasoned or cool seasoned. If you are living in the north, odds are your lawn contains cool-seasoned grass and vice versa.
The best thing about cool seasoned grass is that they don’t need long daylight hours and can grow thick and luscious green even in shade. The grass strains which fall into this category are tall fescue, ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, and fine fescue. The ideal mowing height of these grass strains is 2.5-3.5 inches, 1.0-2.0 inches, 1.5-2.5 inches, and 1.0-1.5 inches respectively.
On the other hand, the warm seasoned grass strains include Bahiagrass, Zoysia grass, Bermuda grass, Augustine grass, and centipede grass. The ideal now Ng heights of them are 2.0-2.5 inches, 1.0-2.0 inches, 1.0-2.0 inches, 2.0-4.0 inches, and 1.0-1.5 inches respectively.
Step 3: Remove thatch
After removing the weeds and chopping the overgrown grass, you need to clean the accumulated debris from the soil using a dethatcher or power rake. This dead, compressed and accumulated debris between your grass blades is called thatch.
The main reason why you must remove it is that it can act as a good growing medium for weeds and pests. Since no healthy plant or grass grows into the thatch, the weeds might take it as vacant space and start growing and flourishing there.
If the depth of thatch build-up is 3-4 inches, break it off and let a layer of only 1″ stay there for insulation purposes. Standalone dethatcher or dethatching attachments can make the whole process even easier and quicker. However, after dethatching, your lawn might look terrible but it will recover in a few weeks.
Step 4: solve the compaction problem
The key to healthy and denser turf grass is well-aerated soil from where all the water, nutrients, and gases could pass through easily. Thus, you need to solve the soil compaction problem which might originate due to high foot traffic.
In this regard, you first need to test the compaction level by inserting a screwdriver into the soil. If it gets inserted into the soil easily up to 3-4 inches, it means the soil is appropriately fine and loose and doesn’t need to be aerated. On the other hand, if you’d feel reluctance while inserting the screwdriver below 2″, then your lawn needs quick aeration.
Before 1-2 days of aeration, damp the soil properly to make it soft and fine, after which you can aerate it using a tiller or standalone aerator. If you are lacking such heavy-duty devices, you can use a thin, metal rod and dig the soil roughly up to 3-4 inches to reduce its compactness.
Another problem associated with compact soil is poor drainage. Since the soil is not loose, water could not seep through it. Resultantly, your lawn starts pooling or flooding right after rainfall or storm. Thus, aeration also creates better drainage which, in turn, preserves your plants’ health.
Step 5: fill the bald patches
Uneven grass and bald patches are the elements that can destroy the entire curb appeal of your lawn. So, you need to fill all the bald patches by reseeding the lawn.
However, before purchasing grass seeds, check for the germination season and maintenance needs of the product. Usually, the cold-seasoned grass seeds are good to sow in fall or early spring. Whereas, the warm-seasoned grass seeds are better to sown in summer and spring.
If your main concern is to fill the barren patches, sow the seeds only there and water them. However, if you want to enhance grass thickness and density, overseed the lawn by spreading grass seeds all across the area, evenly.
To avoid uneven density, use a grass spreader – preferably a broadcast spreader. It will ensure that all the areas of your lawn will get an equal amount of seeds. Also, it will spread the seeds in the same direction so the resulting grass will spruce up in the same pattern.
Step 6: Water, mow and fertilise
Just as we need enough water and nutrients supplement to grow healthy and strong, your grass also needs an adequate supply of water and nutrients. Right after overseeding your lawn, you need to keep about ½ inches of soil damp 24/7 so the tiny seedlings could come out of the soil easily.
However, when the grass will spruce up to 2-3 inches, you can get back to your previous watering routine – watering the grass twice or thrice a week. According to our experts, the best time to water the grass and other plants is early morning and evening, before sunset since that’s the time when the temperature is moderate or relatively cooler and there’s very little chance of evaporation.
While mowing the grass, remember that you shouldn’t chop the grass too much. Don’t forget that a healthy lawn has thicker and denser grass blades that can resist weed invasion and pest attacks. So, try to keep the grass as big as possible, but don’t exceed the ideal mowing limit, as mentioned before.
Lastly, fertilise the soil and turfgrass properly. Right after reseeding, you could apply a nitrogenous fertiliser to facilitate faster root and shoot growth. However, after that, you can get phosphate or potassium fertiliser to get greener, thicker, and more durable grass.
Also, we’d suggest you get a slow-release fertiliser which could keep on feeding your lawn for more extended periods without burning the delicate roots. To control the pest and weed invasion and feed the plants simultaneously, you can give a try to exclusive feed and weed fertilisers.