The Goal? Greener Grass!
Most people enjoy having a lush, green lawn. If we just leave it to nature and don’t take extra care in July and August, the result is usually a yellow, dried- up lawn. Below, we have compiled a summary of things that homeowners can do to liven up their lawns this summer.
The reason that your lawn looks great in the spring is because it has just come out of being dormant for months and is ready to grow. We usually receive “April showers” in the spring and the temperatures is also a bit cooler. Combine this with lots of sunshine that hasn’t been seen in months, and voila- green grass.
Ultimately, watering is the easiest thing that you can do to have a healthy looking lawn. Ideally, you should water your lawn first thing in the morning, but more importantly, watering on a consistent schedule is what’s key. Just like your dog or your cat appreciates getting fed at the same time ever day, so does your grass. How long should you water for? The ideal answer isn’t that simple. You should water until moisture penetrates around 6 inches below the surface. How can you do this? Water for roughly a half hour and then stick a shovel in a spot that has been well watered and see if it has reached 6 inches below the surface. If it hasn’t, water longer, and if you see moisture much further down, you can water for less time. If you have a small yard, a sprinkler will be sufficient. However, if you have a large property or little spare time, then an timed sprinkler system might be the way to go.
Fertilizing is another way to get a green lawn. Applying fertilizer provides grass with the nutrients that it’s missing. Like a person with a diet that may be missing crucial vitamins and minerals, grass also needs a variety of nutrients to be healthy. Depending on the nutrients that your particular soil needs and provides your grass with, there may be deficiencies, such as phosphorus or nitrogen, that a fertilizer can correct. You can buy a soil test kit to figure out what nutrients you can replenish.
A side note…fertilizer isn’t always the answer. There are times when NOT to apply it, and if applications are not done properly, results can be disastrous to your lawn.
Another way to help create a greener lawn is to aerate at least once in the spring and once in the fall. This method of pulling out tufts of grass and soil, ensures that your lawn isn’t too compact and can receive the oxygen and hydration that it needs to grow healthfully. And health equals green.
If you cut your own grass, make sure you don’t cut it on a very low setting as this can scalp or burn the lawn. Cutting it too short also limits the grass’ ability to fight pests, including invading weeds. Mark Schmidt, principal scientist at John Deere says, “Taller grass holds more moisture and stays greener than short grass. Plus, it shades the soil, helping to keep the roots wet”. It’s also important that the blades on your lawnmower are regularly sharpened or replaced, as cutting with a dull blade can cause grass to lose crucial moisture. If you have a company looking after your lawn care, they should already be doing these things to take care of your property.