Once you’ve created your ideal outdoor space, how are you to keep it looking its best? These 5 simple tips will encourage you to avoid having a dull, weed infested lawn by keeping a regular lawn maintenance routine. Many of these techniques are best applied on an autumn lawn and in the spring, allowing the grass the best chance to repair and grow throughout the Summer.
1. Remove Weeds, Thatch and Moss
These prevent growth by blocking air and nutrients from getting to the roots. The easiest option is to pull out the whole weed, roots included. This can be done by hand or by using a tool. However, if there is a large quantity, spraying the weeds directly with a low toxicity herbicide should manage them. Thatch is a layer of organic matter that can build up between the leaves and the soil, consisting of dead leaves, grass and root stems. The best way to remove thatch is with a process called scarification, which is raking and removing mulch from the lawn. Mosses thrive in areas that have excess moisture, shade and low-quality turf. If left untreated, moss will reduce the grasses ability to grow.
2. Improve Drainage
The two most common causes for water build-up include low water-absorption ability and landscaping. Lawns with poor drainage often become waterlogged for days. If drainage is not improved, this can lead to serious complications for the health of your lawn. Depending on the extent of the problem, aeration can improve the flow of water and air to reduce surface build up. The shape of your landscape should naturally drive water away from the house with a shallow, level slope. Pooling water can damage the grass and roots.
Over-seeding rejuvenates tired lawns by covering the entire space with large quantities of seed mixed with fertiliser. This fills in damaged and thinning areas while reducing the chance of weed and moss invasions. However, before the seeds can be applied, the lawn will need to be sacrificed or aerated, mowed and well watered.
The amount of mowing depends on the time of year and weather conditions in your area. To make sure your lawn stays healthy after a cut, it’s best to only remove one-third of the grass length. Avoid mowing when the soil or grass is wet as this can cause damage to the lawn and prevent healthy growth in the future.
5. Feeding and Watering
The choice of fertilizer will depend on the soil and the weather in your location. Generally, it is recommended to treat your lawn twice annually – once in the spring with a nitrogen-rich lawn feed, and once in the autumn with a fertiliser with high levels of phosphate and potash. Alongside feeding, watering is essential to all lawns. The amount and frequency of watering will again depend on the type of soil and weather conditions in your location, however, it’s best to water the lawn at the beginning of the day in cooler temperatures to get better results.
It’s no secret that if your home or company is not well-cared for, it is a direct reflection on you. Your friends may not mind, but in business, customers will just move on to the next place, likely one with a well-manicured lawn.
What is Landscape Maintenance?
Landscape maintenance (or landscaping) is the art of keeping the terrain healthy, clean, safe and attractive. Using their tools, supplies, knowledge and skills, a landscaper plans annual planting, periodic weeding and fertilizing, and other tasks, including:
Driveway and path maintenance
Decks and fencing
3 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Landscaping Contractor
Most businesses and homeowners want a landscape maintenance program that includes an initial clean up, and a weekly or bi-weekly landscaping contract that ties in end-of-the-year maintenance services. Before hiring a landscape contractor, here are three questions you should ask, and why you should ask them:
Question 1: Are you bonded and fully insured? Why Ask: Landscapers might be moving heavy plants and trees, as well as operating machinery on your property.
Question 2: How long have you been in business? Why Ask: A contractor with experience has the skills and manpower to handle your project.
Question 3: Can you provide me with a timetable? Why Ask: With a clear timetable for the completion of your lawn project, you aren’t waiting around with a half-finished front yard while work is being done at someone else’s home.
Landscape maintenance is more than just cutting the lawn. With a solid landscaping contractor who uses standard building practices and communicates construction details, your project will be great!
Despite their esteemed place as a gift for mom, dandelions are a weed. We’ve all seen their familiar yellow covering lawns when they’re left uncontrolled.
What is a Weed?
Generally, a “weed” has one or more of the following characteristics:
1. Little or no recognized value (medicinal, material, nutritional)
2. Rapid growth and/or ease of germination
3. Competitive with crops for space, light, water and nutrients
Why Weeds Are Bad?
Weeds compete with crops for space, nutrients, water and light, turning productive land into unusable scrub. In your home garden, Onions are one of the most vulnerable because they are slow to germinate and produce slender, upright stems.
Weeds can also be poisonous, stick you with thorns and burrs, and can host pests and diseases that can spread to crops or livestock.
How Can You Get Rid Of Weeds?
Weed control plans are typically divided into 4 methods of control:
Biological: This consists of biological control agents, like the use of grazing animals, and weed seed predators, such as ground beetles and small vertebrates.
Chemical: Selective herbicides target and kill weeds while leaving the desired crop relatively unharmed.
Cultural: Crop rotation is a way to avoid the use of herbicides, but gain the benefits by rotating in crops that kill weeds by choking them out.
Physical/mechanical: Remove weeds by pulling them out of the ground, making sure to include the roots that would allow them to resprout.
The definition of a weed depends on the context. To one person, a particular plant may represent a weed, but to other people, like the kid with a fistful of dandelions, it may be seen as a flower.
After you’ve sat back for a moment to admire the new sod you’ve installed, it’s time to make sure it survives and thrives.
Watering Your New Lawn is Key
Make sure you water really well after your sod is installed. The first watering should be about 45-60 minutes where you soak through the sod into the soil below. Water again later on for 15-20 minutes to maintain even moisture on your new lawn.
For the first two weeks of lawn care, water your sod lawn two times a day for about 15-20 minutes, making sure that water is being fully absorbed by the lawn. The soil should be soaked through and water should penetrate at least 6 inches into the soil to ensure deep rooting.
Watering is most effective if done during early morning hours when sunlight and heat cannot cause excessive evaporation. Our recommended times are 7:00 am and 1 pm.
After 2 weeks, stop watering for 1-2 days and let your soil dry out until you can walk on it without sinking. When your lawn becomes established, it requires approximately 1½ inches of water per week, and ½ inch every other day during the heat of the summer.
What About Mowing a New Sod Lawn?
Mow at the highest setting on your mower. Cutting grass to a tall height, around 8.9 to 10.2 cm (3 1⁄2 to 4 inches), is important for lawn health, especially during the summer heat. Taller grass shades the ground, which blocks weed sprouts and promotes beneficial microbes. Leaving the grass tall also allows your lawn to focus on root growth, which adds disease resistance. Leave the grass clippings on the lawn after mowing to return the nutrients to your lawn.
A beautiful lawn doesn’t require a flood of chemicals. Careful watering, mowing, and fertilization can keep your lawn healthy, along with annual dethatching and aerating. With the right approach, your lawn can be healthy enough to resist disease, weeds, and drought on its own.