How’s your lawn doing? if you’re still dealing with a brown, unhealthy looking yard, here are some tips for making it the greenest on the block.
1. Aerate, aerate, aerate. One of the keys to having a lovely green lawn is aeration. The soil under your grass becomes compacted over time and this greatly affects how much air, water, and nutrients can reach the roots. Aeration punches holes into the ground and alleviates this issue. There are a variety of aeration tools available. Lawns should be aerated once or twice a year.
2. Water your lawn well. That doesn’t mean watering often – what you really need to do is water more deeply and less often than most people do. This helps the roots of your grass grow much deeper into the soil (which is not only good for it, but also helps sustain your grass during a drought or really hot weather). According to experts, you should water your grass once a week (twice if it’s really hot) and give it 1 inch of water. To figure out how much that is, simply place several shallow containers around your lawn and water until most of them have 1 inch of water in them. Once you know how long that takes, you’ll know how long to have them going from then on. The best time to water your lawn is in the early morning.
3. Cut your grass to the correct height. Did you know different breeds of grass require different heights? Here’s a chart that will help you figure out how high to set your mower for your particular lawn. And it’s worth knowing that the way reel mowers cut the grass is actually healthier than a rotary mower. The other benefit of using a reel mower is that it makes it easier to reuse the grass clippings created by mowing. Why would you want to do that? Leaving the grass clippings on your yard add nutrients as they decompose, serves as mulch and retains water, improves the texture of the soil, and decreases the need for fertilizer. By the way, don’t forget to keep the blades on your mower nice and sharp so they don’t tear the grass.
4. Water your lawn with compost tea. Fill a container with water and let it sit 24 hours to allow the chlorine to dissipate. Fill a burlap bag with compost and place in the water. A compost mixture shown to give good results and help produce green lawns contains hay, weeds, coffee grounds, and other herbaceous materials. You want a ratio of about 1 part compost to 5 parts water. Let this “steep” for about a week, giving it a stir now and then. Spray over your lawn 1-2 times a month during the growing season. It’s best applied in the early morning or at dusk. Be sure to thoroughly soak your lawn with the compost tea.
5. Dethatch your lawn. Thatch is formed between the blades of grass and the soil. If it gets too thick (more than 1/2 inch), it will interfere with allowing water and nutrients to reach the soil properly. Rake your lawn periodically to help break up the thatch.