It is of course important to mow your lawn regularly but that alone does not give an attractive lawn. On the other hand, you don’t need to use tons of herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers each and every year to have a great looking lawn. Here is a short lawn care overview, covering the basics.
Lawn care gets a lot easier if have a grass that suits your local climate. You have a lot of different types on the market to choose from. And just to complicate things, you also have blends and bags with grass seeds can be labeled straight, mixtures and blends. Straights contain only one variety of grass. Blends include several varieties of the same grass. Be careful with mixtures, they contain up to four different grass types. Some mixtures only include one good grass, mixed together with a number of inferior grass types.
Lawn grass is divided into two main groups, cool-season grass and warm-season grass. Cool-season grass goes dormant in winter and survives cold winters. If it gets too hot in summer, cool-season grass may go dormant. Warm season grass has trouble surviving cold winters but has no problems with hot summers. You need to be wise in selecting the best mower as you do with other home tools.
Mowing the lawn does not only make your lawn look good but it also keeps the grass healthy. Properly mowed grass will grow thicker. Mowing can also reduce weeds. You need to know the preferred height of your grass. Never cut more than a third of the height of the grass, if you cut more you may stress the grass. It is also important to keep the blades of the mower sharp. In order to get a clean cut, never mow the grass if it is wet.
By using a mulching mower you can convert the grass clippings into organic fertilizer. Note that it is important that the clippings are chopped into small pieces rather than left untouched on the lawn. The small pieces will break down much faster than larger pieces of grass clippings.
Watering is very important for a healthy lawn. Always try to water your lawn in the early morning before the heat sets in. Apply the water slowly so it does not run off your lawn or create puddles on the lawn. Also apply enough water so the top ten inches of the soil becomes moist. A good oscillating sprinkler is generally the best solution for watering your lawn.
Often grass will grow fairly well without fertilizer. But adding fertilizer which is rich in nitrogen is recommended. In colder climates, autumn is generally the best time for applying fertilizer. In warmer climates, late spring is the best time for feeding your lawn.
A little bit of thatch is seldom a problem but if the thatch layer is thicker than half an inch, you should consider dethatching the lawn. If you think that your lawn suffers from soil compaction, try aeration. Note that it is very unlikely that you need to aerate your lawn more than once a year.