Have you ever driven by a home with an incredible looking lawn and thought, “Who has the time to make their yard look like that?” We all know what it’s like to dream of the perfect lawn, to make plans for giving it the attention it needs, and to have life happen and change those plans. The good news is that there are practical solutions that can help you create a head-turning yard this summer, and you can do them even with a busy schedule.
An overgrown lawn is a quick way to make your property appear abandoned, so it’s important to keep it in shape. But you also want to avoid over-mowing it. It’s better to plan your mowing around how your grass is growing rather than worry about sticking to a strict schedule. In other words, the length of the grass matters more than how often you mow. Depending on your geographical location and how much rain you’re getting, this can change by the week. Sometimes you may need to mow weekly and sometimes it may be every two weeks.
When you over-mow, it keeps your grass from properly growing and reaching its lush, green potential. A good indicator that your grass isn’t growing is if it pales or turns yellow. If you see that, you should let it grow a little before you cut it again. Also, it’s common lawn advice to never cut more than one-third off the length of your blades. Even if it’s severely overgrown, it’s better to first cut one-third off your grass and to gradually make it lower.
Adding mulch to your lawn is a cost-effective and attractive way to shade roots, conserve moisture, stop weeds, and enhance plants. There are various types of mulch, so it’s important to consider your needs and the pros and cons of each type (i.e. some mulch works better for gardens, some is toxic to dogs, etc.). It’s also important to apply the right amount, which is generally an inch or two in planting beds and around trees and shrubs. If you lay more than that, it can invite and harbor pests.
Fertilizing is another great way to help your grass grow green and healthy because it adds nutrients that make the grass stronger and more resistant to pests and weeds. How often you should fertilize depends on your climate and grass type. In general, there is cool-season (Northern U.S.), warm-season (Southern U.S.), and transitional grass (such as North Carolina or Southern California). It’s important to identify your grass type so that you can properly care for it. For instance, cool-season grass typically remains green year-round when in the right environment, and it’s recommended to feed it twice in the fall and once in the spring. Warm-season grass can be expected go brown during the winter, and it’s best to feed it once in early spring, once in late spring, and again in late summer.
Remove and Control Weeds
In most cases, making your grass thick and healthy will help prevent and control weed growth. Additionally, adding mulch and planting new flowers and vegetables in a diamond pattern can crowd out existing weeds. For minimal weeds throughout your yard, it may be easiest to remove them by hand, as long you remove the entire root system so that they don’t grow back. If the weed growth is more severe, you may want to consider herbicides. Use organic herbicides if you can. Apply chemical herbicides only as a last resort, as using them improperly or in large amounts can harm pets, pollute groundwater, and affect plant growth.
Your lawn is something that you, your family, and your friends should be able to enjoy. And the last thing you need is for its maintenance to add even more stress to your already busy life. Make mowing correctly, adding mulch, fertilizing periodically, and controlling weeds priorities on your checklist to maintain your landscaping without feeling overwhelmed. You can start creating that head-turning yard today without compromising the other parts of your life.
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