October 19th, 2012
Keeping a lawn lean and green isn’t always easy, but it doesn’t have to take a lot of time either. Consistent care year round will yield lush results (unless it’s covered by snow) So we’ve rounded up some resources to help you help your yard look its best.
eHow’s guide to a healthy lawn focused on simple steps. They recommended weed and feeds. You may want to review organic alternatives to weed killers. In addition, no weed killer is perfect, and the best way to get rid of weeds is by pulling them out by the roots as soon as you can.
• Rake the entire lawn in the spring with a metal rake to remove any remaining leaves and get rid of built-up thatch. Follow up the raking session with a fertilizer and weed-killer combo — a product typically referred to as “weed and feed.”
• Spread a mixture of fertilized starter soil and grass seed to patch any area of the lawn that has been damaged. Mow the lawn short around the patch so the grass seedlings can grow. If the lawn is thin, broadcast a light layer of grass seed over the entire area. Whenever you plant grass seed, water the area lightly twice a day for a couple of weeks.
• Water the lawn in the early morning every other day or as needed based on the weather in your region.
• Mow the lawn for the first time of the year in the spring. Wait until the grass grows longer that normal to begin — about 4.5 inches. The longer grass chokes out weeds.
• Mow the lawn weekly and keep it at around 3.5 inches tall. Mowing the lawn much shorter than this, as many people do, damages it.
• Fertilize throughout the summer using a product formulated for grass. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely. Too much fertilizer kills grass. Be alert for weeds and apply a weed killer if necessary.
• Continue to mow and water as necessary into the fall as needed. The cooler weather soon stops the grass from growing.
• Aerate in the fall. In particular, use an aerator on those areas of your lawn that have poor growth or poor water drainage, although the entire lawn benefits from aeration.
• Apply a winterizing fertilizer in the fall to keep the grass fed during the slow, no-growth months of winter. This also helps the grass build a deeper root system. Apply grass seed to any problem areas or broadcast a light layer of seed throughout the lawn.
HGTV’s guide to Fall Lawn Care details what we need to do right now:
So it looks like between now and first frost, you should keep your lawn free of leaves, aerate, and fertilize to give it the health it needs to survive over the winter.
Want more details on how to handle your lawn? Guides to common problems? HGTV’s got a great resource page.
Remember, consistent care is key to a healthy lawn all year. What will you be doing this weekend for your lawn?