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The home lawn is one of those things that can go in almost any direction. For some people, it’s an intense affair, full of passion and excitement. For others, it’s almost adversarial, with the homeowner and the grass both battling to exert their will on the other. And for some, it’s a love-hate relationship, dysfunctional in its highs and lows.
For those who truly love their lawns, it’s like any relationship. It takes cultivation and care to keep everyone happy. Years of happy togetherness are possible when everything is managed wisely.
Achieving that bliss is possible only when good management is present. Let’s look at the steps you need to take to develop a great lawn that will make you happy for years to come.
Starting off Right
Some of us buy homes with a lawn already in place, but for many others, seeding must be done. Existing lawns may also need to be replanted periodically, so for both situations, let’s look at the process.
The first step is to choose the right seed from https://www.naturesseed.com/grass-seed. That’s the only way to get a good selection of quality grasses that you can compare to your particular situation. Match the species to your use, your weather, and your budget, and you’ll do well.
Next, you’ll want to test the soil, properly till it, seed the lawn, and apply mulch. Water the lawn as needed until it establishes itself, and then mow it as soon as any of it is tall enough to require cutting.
Because any neighborhood kid can fire up a mower and cut grass, we oversimplify it. The fact is that there are right ways and wrong ways to mow, and the wrong ones can cause many problems. Many homeowners love to cut unique patterns in their lawn, but mowing is more than just aesthetic.
Mowing at the right height is essential. You never want to cut grass too short; to do so cuts off the vital lower portion of the stem, which manufactures the food required to regrow the rest of the plant. Short mowing also eliminates the shading effect of the grass, allowing the soil to dry more quickly and permitting weeds to get a dose of needed sunlight.
When you first tested your soil, you probably noticed a need for some fertilizer and maybe some lime. It’s important to remember that this step is not the end of the fertilizing needs of your yard, though.
Annual nitrogen applications can build a healthier, greener lawn, but only if you use the right quantities and apply them at the right time. Spring fertilization will create a flush of green growth, but it will all be above ground, with no corresponding strengthening of roots and, consequently, lower drought tolerance. Applying fertilizer in the fall will build stronger overall grass that will be better prepared for the following summer.
You should also follow your soil test’s nitrogen recommendations closely. Excess nitrogen can cause diseases in the grass and create runoff that pollutes streams and rivers.
When you love your lawn, it shows. You’ll have a beautiful, weed-free environment for your family to enjoy. It will enhance your property value and create a space for recreation and socializing that will be so comfortable that you’ll wish you could take it inside. A good program of establishing and maintaining your grass will make this lawn-term relationship work.