Tips For A Healthy Lawn

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Watering Recommendations Water Early! Watering early in the morning means less water is lost to evaporation. Avoid watering at night as the lawn remains wet for a long period of time which can increase the incidence of fungal disease.

Water 2.5 cm (1 inch) per week including rainfall. A lot of people overwater, experts agree that you only need 2.5 cm of water including rainfall to maintain a healthy vibrant lawn. Watch the weather and use a rain gauge or cup to measure how much water your lawn has received. Free rain gauges are available from most municipalities.

Water less frequently and for longer periods of time. This will reduce the risk of lawn disease, encourage deeper lawn roots and reduce the ideal growing conditions for most weeds. Try to water twice a week using a sprinkler that allows the lawn to slowly soak up the water.

Don't forget to water garden plants and new trees as well. Hand watering works best for gardens and planters while new trees need the equivalent of two buckets of water each week. Applying mulch to gardens is an excellent way to stop the soil from drying out between waterings as it helps avoid evaporation.

If you have an inground sprinkler make sure it is set to water just before dawn and don't have it come on every day, only once or twice a week. Also make sure the heads are aimed correctly to avoid wasting water on driveways or the road. Fertilizing Recommendations Apply a spring fertizer before the first mowing to promote a healthy green lawn that will ward off weeds naturally and with proper watering throughout the summer will continue to stay green and healthy throughout the summer months. Most lawns need either two (spring and fall) or three (spring, summer and fall) applications of fertilizer per year to stay vibrant and healthy.

Avoiding Thatch Build-up Over time your soil can become compacted, contributing to a buildup of thatch which interferes with your lawns ability to absorb water and reduces the effectiveness of fertilizer. Some of the ways to reduce thatch are, core aerating and de-thatching. The core aeration should be done once a year and reduces thatch and soil compaction by removing small plugs from the lawn which in turn allow water, nutrients and air to access the grass roots. De thatching is done as part of a spring clean up and allows for a healthy green lawn which will ward off insects and weeds naturally.

Seeding Apply grass seed in either the spring or fall by itself or with a top dressing soil to help thicken the lawn. A thick and healthy lawn reduces the natural hiding places for insects and fungi and prevents weed seeds from reaching the soil. Use a good quality grass seed that is a proper mix for the conditions of your lawn, either sun, shade or mixed.

Mowing Weekly mowing is essential as by mowing regularly less of the grass blades are removed each cut so as not to shock the lawn. Also raise the cutting height as the temperature rises to avoid the lawn drying out. Sharpen blades regularly, bag the clippings during times of heavy growth and mulch otherwise to avoid thatch buildup. By doing this the lawn will be thick and healthy.

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