After every winter, millions of Americans open the doors to their homes and find a yard decimated by snow and cold. Even if you live in a temperate climate, lack of sunlight wreaks havoc on your once beautiful front yard. Whether you move into a new home and need to start a lawn or have to rejuvenate a plot of land you have owned for decades, we offer five expert tips for starting a lawn.
Soil Needs Nutrients
Before you prepare your lawn for grass growth, you must test the soil to determine acidity or alkalinity. Acidic soil requires crushed lime and alkaline soil needs the addition of organic material to bring the lawn to a more neutral chemical status. Depending on the grass seed that you plan to insert into the ground, you need to apply a fertilizer that contains the proper levels of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus. The time of year that you apply fertilizer depends on your region’s growing season.
Hydrate the Soil
Soil that supports the growth of turf grass requires at least one inch of water per week. Although spring rains typically provide enough water for turf grass growth, you should monitor soil conditions to ensure grass seedlings receive enough moisture. If you have to water the soil, make sure to water the lawn evenly and in more that one session to prevent water from running off the surface of your lawn. Time activated sprinklers ensure your lawn receives an even distribution of water, at the right times during the day.
Sharpen Your Mower Blades
You’ve treated the soil and watered the lawn properly. Now, grass begins to sprout from the ground. You break out the mower for the first grass trim of the year, without sharpening your mower blades.
You might as well have forgotten to treat and water the soil.
Dull lawnmower blades cause irreparable damage to grass, especially grass that sprouts from newly planted seedlings. Make sure you sharpen mower blades at the start of the growing season and throughout the rest of the grass growing year.
Just Like a Barber
Many homeowners treat their lawns like the scalp of their heads. Although the bald look is in for men, it’s not in for the appearance of your lawn. Abide by the request of barber customers that request, “Take a little off the top.” Cutting grass too short eliminates much of the energy production of the top part of the grass.
Raking Isn’t Just for Leaves
Raking conjures up images of large, colorful leaf piles during autumn. Yet, raking has even more importance during the grass-growing season. Raking removes obstacles such as pine cones and tree branches, but the more important reason for raking involves removing dead grass that blocks sunlight. You also detect solid objects such as rocks that cause lawnmower blade damage.