Having the greenest grass on the block isn’t just great for your home’s curb appeal. Green spaces relieve stress and anxiety. What could be better for your mental health than having a lush, green lawn that you can see and enjoy every day? You can cultivate a healthy, green lawn by following these 5 steps.
Watering your grass for a few minutes throughout the week isn’t good for it. It allows your grass to develop shallow roots. This makes the grass less resistant to drought and increases the risk of a thatch problem. To make your lawn thrive, water it deeply instead. Lawn experts recommend 1 inch of water, once per week. Though your lawn may need a little more or less depending on the grass species and soil type. According to the Lawn Institute, you should let the lawn entirely dry out before watering it. If you notice that your grass looks grey-blue, that’s a sign that it’s ready to be watered. Another sign is if a footprint is visible in your lawn for longer than a few minutes. Well-watered grass will bounce back quickly after you step on it. Dry grass won’t. A footprint can be visible in dry grass for thirty minutes or longer.
You don’t have to buy fertilizers to nurture your lawn. Instead, you can practice grasscycling or composting to help your lawn get the nutrients it needs.
Grasscycling is when you leave cut grass in your lawn so that it can act as a natural fertilizer. When you leave grass clippings in your lawn, instead of raking them up, they quickly decompose. In the process, they return nutrients to the soil and help the grass retain water. Grasscycling also improves soil texture.
Composing grass clipping and kitchen waste is another way to naturally fertilize your lawn. There are many benefits of adding compost to your lawn: stimulating root growth, reducing soil-borne plant diseases and pests, balancing soil’s pH and improving water drainage. The Compost Guide has a helpful list of Compost Tips if you’re interested in composting but don’t know how to start.
“What’s the best height for grass?” That’s the most common question that lawn care experts are asked. The precise answer depends on the type of grass that you have. Each species of grass has different needs. You can check out this Guide to Grass Cutting Height to find out the best length for your lawn. A good rule of thumb is that grass should be around 2 ½ inches high. You shouldn’t cut your lawn until it’s at least 3 inches high. The primary purpose of cutting grass is to stimulate it so that it grows full and healthy. If you cut it down too much, it will stress the grass.
Thatch is a lawn care term for shallow grassroots and dead grass in the top layer of soil. If your lawn has a thick layer of thatch (1/2-inch-thick or greater), it can harm the health of your lawn.
The thatch will block water, nutrients, and air from circulating. If your lawn has patches of dead grass, thatch is most likely the culprit. A severe thatch issue can lead to pest problems or diseases too. The best way to get rid of thatch is with a steel-tine rake. You should vigorously rake your lawn, section by section. (It’s best to rake your lawn in sections to avoid damaging your lawn).
You can prevent thatch by raking your lawn once a year (the best time is in the fall).
Walking, running and even moving your lawn compress the soil underneath. When it’s packed down, there isn’t enough space for water, air, and nutrients to circulate. Compacted soil can even prevent earthworms from moving through the soil and keeping it healthy. All the fertilizer you can add won’t improve your grass if the soil can’t absorb nutrients from it. That’s why lawn care experts recommend aerating your lawn once a year.
Lawn aeration is the process of punching holes, around 3 inches deep, into the soil. There are many different types of affordable aeration tools available from spiked shoes to handheld aerators. You can also rent a large aerating machine to make it easier. Using an aeration tool once a year to create space for air and nutrients to circulate is the last step to a lush lawn.
Let us know in the comments if these tips help you cultivate a lush lawn!