For many homeowners and avid gardeners, a perfectly green lawn is the ultimate summer statement. But getting there can be a time-consuming and difficult goal. If being the proud owner of an enviably green lawn is your dream, the goal shouldn’t be absolute perfection, but you can work toward a greener and more uniform lawn. Here are five ways to get there.
1. Water, Water Everywhere
During hot and dry weather, it’s important to keep your lawn hydrated. That doesn’t mean wastefully drenching your lawn in water unnecessarily, though. Here are a few ways to do it:
- Learn how to effectively water your lawn and only water when absolutely necessary. Most lawns can withstand periods of drought without long-term, permanent damage. This will save water and money on your water bills!
- Keep the height of your lawn cut a little higher than usual so only the tips of the grass are cut.
- Keep grass clippings on the lawn to reduce water evaporation from the sod.
2. Consider Your Location
Make sure you choose the type of grass that’s best suited for your particular conditions. There are a variety of grass types for different climates, soils, shade conditions, and purposes. Know what your lawn will be used for and choose the right type of grass: is it a formal or ornamental lawn, will be used for play or heavy traffic, do you want to minimize weeds, or do you want it to thrive in a low-water environment?
3. Mow the Right Way
Properly and consistently mowing your lawn is pivotal to maintaining a healthy, green lawn all season long. Starting around the beginning of May, grass will start to grow like crazy in most parts of the country. To keep your lawn in tip-top shape, it’s important to have a regular mowing routine and stick to it as much as possible. About once a week is usually the right mowing frequency for most lawns in the late spring and summer. You can lessen the frequency in fall and winter, usually about every 10 days to two weeks.
Before you mow, ensure all debris is clear from the lawn, and gently rake the lawn to lift and straighten up the grass blades. Aim to do a gentle mow early in the mowing season, so you remove only the tips of the grass. In the summer, you should aim to remove about one-third of the growth in each mow.
4. Aerate and Feed Your Lawn
In the spring and fall, it’s helpful to rake the build-up of dead grass. It’s also recommended to aerate the lawn using a special aerating tool that can push down into the lawn about three inches deep. These tasks will help get air into the soil to improve drainage and minimize the risk of fungal disease affecting your lawn.
After aerating your lawn, you may want to rake compost and grass seed into the grass as a supplement. You can also feed your grass, just make sure it’s a food made for fall feeding.
5. Fake it Until You Make it
When in doubt, consider installing artificial grass. There are a lot of benefits to an artificial lawn: low maintenance, consistent appearance, no mowing, no weeds, great for pets. The downside is the cost of installation, and the undeniable allure of a real lawn. As far as environmental concerns go, it’s a toss-up: some people say an artificial lawn eliminates the need for fertilizers and helps cut down on precious water usage, especially in arid climates. Others say real plants are better for the environment, soil, and drainage concerns. There’s no right or wrong option here, so just determine if an artificial lawn is right for you and embrace whatever choice you make!
Getting the green lawn of your dreams can bring a real sense of pride and accomplishment. Just like the rest of your home. Protect the systems and appliances in and around your house with an American Home Shield home service plan. Just like the right combination of elements that result in a green lawn, there’s a plan that’s just right for you and your budget.
DIY tips are for informational purposes only. Please be sure to take the appropriate safety precautions and ensure your project complies with any applicable federal, state, or local laws and regulations.