Garden Supplies

Lawn Care Essentials

Lawn care essentials can be summed up under four main heads:

Fertilize - you must feed your lawn to keep it healthy.

Water - your lawn needs water to keep it green and lush.

Mow - correct mowing will keep your lawn looking neat and tidy.

Thatch removal - an annual treatment will ensure strong growing grass.

Fertilization is generally regarded as the single most important lawn procedure

to improve lawn quality and to maintain a green and healthy lawn. Most types of grass will benefit from four applications of fertilizer a year. Should you need more help don't be afraid to rent textbooks on the topic and consult them when starting your lawn to get the most from your endeavor. Apply the first treatment in early spring approximately one month before the grass starts its regrowth in your area. Subsequent treatments should follow at 60 day intervals throughout the season with the final application taking place in late fall. It has been found that the fall treatments are the most effective, so you should make sure that you complete these in preference to a single spring dressing. Take care to stick to the quantities recommended by the manufacturer since over-fertilizing can cause disease and other problems.

Watering. During hot, dry summer weather the lawn will require, on average, one inch of water a week. It is best to water thoroughly on a regular weekly basis rather than a little every other day. You should always water the lawn in the early morning so less water is lost by evaporation. Evening watering is not recommended since the grass will stay wet all through the night which increases the risk of mould or other diseases.

Mowing. A common mistake made by many gardeners is to cut the grass too short. To maintain a healthy lawn set the blade height at two inches and follow the one third rule. Aim to to cut the top third of the grass with each mowing. So wait until the grass is three inches high and then mow to remove one inch leaving grass blades of two inches over the lawn. There is no need to collect the grass in the mower bin each time you mow. Grass clippings left on the lawn will decompose rapidly and can provide up to 25% of the fertilizer requirement. If a herbicide has been used, do not add the clippings to your compost heap.

Thatch. Over time a layer of living and dead stems, leaves and roots of grass develops between the green grass and the soil surface. When this occurs the thatch needs to be removed and one method is to go over the lawn with a rake. Using a hand rake is hard work but a power rake can cause damage by removing a large quantity of turf as well as the thatch. The alternative is aeration using a machine that removes plugs of thatch and soil 2 to 3 inches long. This will provide better drainage and allow the grass to grow strongly again.

Follow these four routines and you will have a lawn of which you can be proud.

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