Maintaining a lush and lovely lawn may take a little physical effort, but is really simpler than it seems.
Keep grass mowed at 3 to 3 1/2 inches. The blades of the plant must be long enough to gather sufficient sunlight to they produce the sugars the plant needs to survive and thrive. The plant will reproduce, and fill in where older plants are dying, for a denser lawn. Lawns mowed any shorter will remain stunted, and the fill-in chances are slim. With the grass barely hanging on, the weeds will go full speed ahead. If your lawn grows too high, cut only 1/3 of the total height at a time; then return to the 3 to 1/2 inch height.
Do not mow the lawn when it’s wet to avoid damage to the plants. The soft soil creates a high level of soil compaction limiting the penetration of water, nutrients and air to the roots.
Keep your mower well maintained, but that is the topic for another time.
While it takes an inch of water per week to keep your lawn lush and growing, if you wish to save water during the hot summer months, apply a half inch every two weeks to keep the crowns of the plants alive. The grass may go dormant and turn brown, but when cooler weather returns, a good watering or two will bring back the green.
Be sure to allow turf to dry completely between waterings to oxygenate the root system. Start just before dawn, when it’s cooler and the wind is calmer. More moisture will be absorbed into the ground and not evaporated by the sun. Also, early watering will prevent many fungal problems and possible root rot that can occur if watering in the late afternoon or early evening.
Start in the spring by spreading a pre-emergent. Choose a pre-emergent product that will last the entire growing season. This will prevent germination of weed seeds blowing into your lawn.
A pre-emergent will not tackle the weeds already growing but spot spraying will. Spot spraying is a hand squeeze-trigger unit or a pump pressure sprayer, used to address only the weed and not the entire lawn. Don’t saturate the weed, just wet the weed leaves. Add Spreader-Sticker to the herbicide. Always read product directions before beginning.
These are the lawn basics that should give you turf that will be the envy of your neighbourhood.