Many homeowners strive for the perfect lawn, but it takes a lot more than just mowing and trimming. Proper lawn care requires a dedicated effort that includes proper lawn installation, fertilization, pest control, and irrigation.
If you’ve just bought or built a new home that needs a lawn, there are several ways to get that grass growing. Of course, you can go the cheapest route and spread some grass seed around, fertilize and water it and hope for the best. The safest and most cost-efficient way to go, though, is to get some professional help.
A professional landscape company (such as Manning Tree and Landscape), will generally recommend one of two methods for achieving a healthy, green, lush lawn right from the start – hydroseeding or sod. Hydroseeding is an ideal way to go for most homeowners (unless you’re in a real hurry) because a professional hydroseed formula contains everything you need to get started properly: high quality seed, fertilizer, water and something called hydromulch — a wood and paper mulch that helps hold in moisture and get your lawn established more quickly.
Give your lawn a good drink.
Once your lawn is installed, it’s important to water thoroughly for at least the first month. It’s critical to NOT let your lawn dry out! Grass is a living plant that requires the same essentials as other plants – food and water. Most lawn failures can be traced directly to inadequate watering. Lack of water causes far more seeding failures than any other problem.
Don’t forget to feed it.
A professional landscaping company will typically apply a high-quality fertilizer with the seed when they install a lawn. The initial application provides sufficient nutrients to the young grass plants to ensure a strong and healthy start. However, an application of starter fertilizer is also recommended four weeks after your lawn is installed to ensure continued dense, vigorous, and lush growth.
Give it a regular haircut.
As soon as the grass blades are three and a half inches high it’s time to mow. Although it might seem natural to cut your lawn as short as possible, experts recommend letting it grow longer and mowing it more frequently. This prevents your grass from burning, slows water evaporation, and helps shade out weeds.
Always keep your mower blade sharp to prevent tearing and shredding grass tips which will cause them to brown and dull the color of your lawn as well as damage the grass itself.
Keep out the bad stuff.
Weeds come from seeds lying dormant in the soil or carried and dropped onto your lawn by the wind or birds. Thick, lush grass that is properly maintained (remember what we said about cutting?) simply provides too much competition and shade for weeds to gain a foothold in your lawn. If weeds do start to establish themselves, hold off on the chemical herbicides (weed killers) until your lawn is fully established, which is usually around the fourth mowing.
If you practice these lawn care fundamentals, you’ll be well on your way to creating a little lawn envy in your neighbors. If lawn care and maintenance takes up too much of your time or is too much effort, don’t worry. Just contact the lawn care professionals at Manning Tree and Landscape and we’ll take care of the rest.