Lawn Care Basics

July 1, 2016
backyard landscape

REGULAR LAWN CARE

Mow weekly or bi-weekly, depending on the grass type and climate.  It promotes dense turf, suppresses weeds and is great for children.  Remove no more than 1/3 of the leaf at each mowing.

Water lawns heavily.  Allow the soil surface to dry between waterings; this reduces weed seed germination and discourages disease.  Remember, tall grass blocks sprinklers.  Watering is site specific so consider soil type before committing to a watering program.

Fertilize on a schedule.  We recommend every three months with synthetic fertilizers and twice a year with organics, depending on the products.  Consider slow release fertilizer – a little more expensive, but they save time and energy. Always read labels and follow directions.  Too much fertilizer will damage lawns and the environment.

ANNUAL LAWN RENOVATIONS

Over time lawns develop a thatch layer of leaves and stems that prevents water and fertilizer getting into the soil/root zone of the grass.  This spongy layer often remains wet and promotes disease.  A lawn renovation uses heavy equipment to cut back grasses and restore optimal health to a lawn.

What do we use?  A dethatcher (a.k.a.vertical cutter or verticutter) is a piece of equipment with vertical blades that cut up thatch and pull it out of the ground.  An aerator punches small holes in the soil to allow oxygen, air, fertilizer, water and nutrients to reach the root level of grass.  And a lot of hard work and sweat.

Good landscapers will also include in renovations:

  • Leveling depressions and uneven spots in lawns with beach sand or basaltic termite sand.
  • Fertilizing and bringing in a fine compost mix to help lawns recover faster.
  • Flagging sprinklers before starting the renovation and checking system when project is complete.

Lawns should recover from a renovation in about 6 – 8 weeks.  Mowing regularly will reduce how often lawns need to be renovated.  Homeowners aim to schedule lawn renovations every two to three years.

WARNING! Lawn renovations creates a lot of dust and debris.  Don’t forget to close your windows.