How to Have a Great Lawn – Guide for Lawn CareHow to Have a Great Lawn
When it comes to taking care of your lawn, all you need is a little knowledge and a little elbow grease. A lot of people wonder how to have a great lawn. The key to taking care of your lawn is to prevent problems and cure them as they spring up along the way.
Fixing Problems in the Lawn
You can make your lawn look more beautiful with just a few hours of work. Begin by raking up leaves and cleaning up the debris from around the lawn. If there are high or low spots in the yard, make sure to level them to create a flat surface. This is how to have a great lawn with a more lush and uniform appearance. Also, use a good grade of topsoil to fill any holes. You’ll want your grass to have the best medium possible in which to grow.
Bumps can prevent you from having a perfect lawn. If you have bumps in your lawn, cut an X in the rise and peel back the sod. Use a garden trowel to scoop out enough soil to level the area. This will create a flat surface for the sod.
After you are done flattening the area, put the sod back into place. Tap it down firmly to help the roots reconnect with the new dirt surface, and then give the area a good soak to promote root growth. You’ll also want to focus on fixing bare spots in your lawn. Add grass seed to these areas.
When you are choosing grass seed at the home and garden store, make sure that you pick a grass that is tolerant of your area’s weather. Ask advice from the salesperson about the seed, and see if they have any extra tips on how to have a great lawn in your particular area.
Basic Lawn Care
Watering is one of the most important processes in maintaining a good lawn. If you’ve been wondering how to have a great lawn, you need to start with a proper watering schedule. If you are planting new grass, you’ll need to keep the new planting moist.
After the new roots have taken hold and the grass has reached a height of 3 inches, water it deeply once a week. A healthy lawn needs about an inch of water per week. When you water, remember to consider recent rainfalls and compensate accordingly.
Lawn fertilizer is one of the keys to how to have a great lawn. Lawn fertilizer helps make the soil nutrient-rich and promotes healthy growth for your lush green grass. Most lawns grow poorly because of deficiencies in the soil. Fertilizers compensate for this. Before you buy a fertilizer, you should conduct a PH test on your soil as soon as possible. You can buy a soil test kit at your local home and garden store.
Follow the directions on the package. This will give you a guideline for your fertilizer needs. Match your fertilizer choice to the nutrient deficiencies in your lawn. Ask for help from a salesperson at the home and garden store if need be. Many regional areas have similar PH problems on every lawn, so they have probably experienced your situation before. Before you apply your fertilizer, measure it carefully, and follow all directions on the bag or box. After you apply your fertilizer you’ll need to water it within the following few days.
Lawn Watering Problems
Watering your lawn is one of the most important ways to make sure that the grass is receiving nutrients and staying healthy throughout the year. Bad watering practices can cause problems to occur with the lawn that you are trying to get to remain healthy.
There are certain ways not to water in order to prevent some of the problems with your lawn. By paying attention to watering practices and staying consistent throughout the season, your lawn will look healthier and greener from the nutrients you are giving it through the water.
Drained Food Reserves from Dormant Grass
This may occur because of inconsistent watering. It is important to decide if you are going to water throughout the entire season, or allow your lawn to stay dormant through the spring and summer.
If your grass is dormant and brown, then you decide to water it for a while, then allow it to go back to the brown dormant mode, it will drain the food reserves that are in the plant, causing the grass to die instead of just to be in a dormant or hibernation mode.
Smaller Roots and a Color that does Not Stay Green
This is a result of not knowing when to water lawns. At the beginning of the season, you shouldn’t water your lawn right away, but allow a few days for the grass to get used to the warmer weather.
The grass will actually go through a period of drought stress. However, the reaction to this by the grass is that it allows for the grass to increase rooting. The grass will also turn greener in color as a result. If your water right away, the grass will be over-watered, which will cause problems for the rest of the season with nutrients and the color of the grass.
Soil washing away, causing the grass to turn brown because of a lack of nutrients. This is a result of watering your lawn too much. If you water too much, it will cause the soil to wash away the nutrients that the lawn needs.
When you water, it’s important to water for a longer period of time, but not every day. This allows the water to be soaked into the soil, and be given to the grass over a longer period of time. Through this, the grass will be able to soak in more nutrients that are in the soil as well as in the water.
Browning and Dehydration
This is a result of watering in the middle of the day. This will cause the grass to not receive the right nutrients and can cause browning and dehydration. By watering in the middle of the day, the water is absorbed and evaporated by the sun instead of the soil, not allowing the grass to get the nutrients that it needs through the water. It then dries out the soil, causing the grass to not have the proper amount of nutrients available.
Brown Spots and Over-Watered Grass
This can easily occur if there is inconsistency in watering the entire lawn. It’s important to make sure that the lawn all receives the same amount of water. If some places receive too much water, and others don’t receive enough, it will cause the grass to wilt and die.
If you are on a slope, then it is important to watch for runoff that may occur when watering your plants. If you think this may be happening, go to the lower places on the slope and make sure that the water has soaked in, or water it again to make sure it is ok. If your lawn doesn’t all receive an even amount of water, some places will be over-hydrated, while other places will not be receiving the right amount of nutrients that are needed.
Bad watering techniques may cause your grass to not grow roots properly, to wilt, to brown when it is not needed, and not receive the proper nutrients. By not watering right, your lawn will not be able to grow right. It’s important to make sure you have a system that will benefit the lawn throughout the season by knowing what your grass will need in relation to better watering practices.
Every green thumb has his or her own recipe for garden tonics, bug sprays, and slug deterrents. Homemade lawn fertilizer is no exception and there are literally dozens of variations on combinations of ingredients in old fashioned gardening books, on the Internet, or handed down from generation to generation.
For some, the tried and true mixture has never let them down so they wouldn’t dream of using a commercial brand for maintaining proper lawn nutrient levels. For others, keeping costs to a minimum is the prime motivator and for the environmentally conscious, natural or organic tonics is the answer. Whichever homemade lawn fertilizer you settle on for your grass, you’ll keep that recipe somewhere safe so you can refer to it whenever necessary. And now, for a novel and handy use for that precious commodity – beer!
Beer Lovers’ Fertilizer
Ok, who wants to waste a perfectly good can of beer? Not many, surely, but did you know that your lawn can benefit from beer just like you can – although in perhaps a slightly different way! It gives new meaning to “give your lawn a drink”, doesn’t it? Well, homemade lawn fertilizer may not be your preferred use for a can of beer but if it works for your grass, you’ll be converted.
- – Mix together 1 can of beer, 1 cup of ammonia, 1 cup of ordinary liquid dish soap, 1 cup of liquid lawn fertilizer (nothing too fancy), and 1 cup of molasses.
Fill your hose-end sprayer with the liquid and spray evenly to your entire lawn early in the morning. Every 3 to 4 weeks is advised.
Just so you know, the beer helps to promote microbial action, the ammonia breaks down into nitrates that feed the lawn and the soap helps to spread the solution more widely across the lawn.
Heavy-Duty Lawn Guzzler
This homemade lawn fertilizer recipe is so-called because it calls for regular beer and soda, not the light or diet varieties. Heaven forbid you should skimp on your lawn’s tastes!
- Mix together 1 can of full-strength beer, 1 can of regular soda, a ½ cup of mouthwash (yes, you read correctly), a ½ cup of liquid ammonia, and a ½ cup of liquid soap.
Even if your grass doesn’t grow – and it will – it will at least be minty fresh! The alcohol contained in the mouthwash acts as a deterrent to insects (picture drunken dragonflies).
Salty Beer Fertilizer
Sounds gross, yes, but we’re talking homemade lawn fertilizer here, not beer into which a handful of salted peanuts has fallen. You definitely shouldn’t taste test this one, nor any of the others for that matter.
- Make a solution of 2 cups of water, 1 cup of beer, 1 cup of Epsom salts and 1 cup of ammonia.
The Epsom salts will aerate the ground and help it to “breathe” so that it won’t become compacted. This allows for optimal absorption of nutrients.
These homemade lawn fertilizer recipes are good for about 400 to 600 square feet of lawn. Always cover your mouth when using ammonia, as the fumes can be dangerous.
The other advantage of having your mouth covered is that you won’t be tempted to try the beer and you’ll be able to focus on the task at hand! There’s plenty of time for beer o’clock after the job is done and you can stand back, can in hand, and admire your efforts.
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Table of Contents
- 1 How to Have a Great Lawn – Guide for Lawn Care
- 2 Lawn Watering Problems