Maintaining a Healthy Lawn

Maintaining a Healthy Lawn

Maintaining a Healthy Lawn

Many homeowners are concerned about the environment and are looking for ways to maintain their yard without having to use harmful chemicals. One area that gets a lot of attention is the lawn. With an organic lawn care approach, gardeners are finding they can have a thick, lush, and green lawn that’s safe for wildlife, pets, and people too. The keys to success include: growing the right grass variety for your area, aerating, dethatching, feeding your lawn properly, and mowing your lawn at the right height. Here’s what to do to transition into growing a healthier lawn:

Use the Right Grass—Grow grass varieties adapted to your climate. In the North, choose cool season grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, and perennial ryegrass. In the South, use warm season grasses such as, Bermuda grass, St. Augustine grass, and zoysia grass. Choose the right variety for full or part sun locations in your yard. For example, Kentucky bluegrass grows best in full sun, while tall fescue can tolerate some shade.

Treat the Soil Right—If your soil is rich in organic matter and nutrients, then your lawn grass will grow stronger. A lawn growing on healthy soil will have fewer insects and diseases and be able to withstand drought better.  Take good care of your soil by building it up with yearly applications of compost. A ¼-inch thick layer raked into the lawn grass each fall will help feed the grass roots.  By using a heavy-duty wheelbarrow or a towable trailer like the Lifetime Products Yard Cart, you can easily move compost around the lawn.

Aerate the lawn annually.  Aeration creates holes in the sod where air, water and nutrients can more easily reach the roots. Compacted lawn grass soils can be opened up by aeration to become more productive and less weedy. Dethatch your lawn in spring removing any dead layers of grass clippings. While a thin layer of dead grass is fine for the lawn, if the layer gets too thick it prevents water and nutrients from getting into the soil.

Finally, feed your lawn with a 3-1-2 organic fertilizer. This ratio is ideal for lawns. It balances feeding grass shoots and the roots. An organic fertilizer is best because it releases nutrients slowly over time. Summer is a good time to fertilize warm season grasses, while fall is best for cool season grasses.

Mow High—Mow your lawn higher than normal to encourage a thick carpet of grass. Mowing high keeps the grass lush and prevents weed seeds from germinating. Use a mulching mower to cut the grass. Mulching mowers chop up the grass clippings into tiny segments that decompose quickly. Grass clippings feed the lawn and can help decrease the amount of extra fertilizer you need to apply.

By following these guidelines for proper mowing and care of your lawn, over time you’ll find that your lawn looks healthier without the need to resort to regular applications of chemicals.

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