Grow, grow, grow! It seem’s taking care of your lawn is a never ending process from the beginning of Spring through Fall. Sometimes we start to veer off track with tending to our yard and giving it the TLC it needs to thrive. Maybe you’ve bought a new home that is overgrown with weeds or just desire a luscious and healthy green yard to spend your summer weekends enjoying. Where do you start?
First, you want to make sure that you have a sharp blade for your mower. If your blade is dull you will tear the grass more than creating a clean cut, causing damage. So make sure your blade is sharp. Ralph Helm Inc. offers sharpening and new blade sales!
Don’t neglect the deck. You will want to avoid placing your deck too low because cutting grass too short can cause scalping. This allows weeds to grow and spread with ease. You want to position your deck so you cut no more than one-third of the grass blade.
Once you’re ready to start mowing it is best to ditch the bag and let the grass clippings lay spread on the yard. If the grass clippings are longer than one-third of the blade, then bagging may be necessary. The grass clippings act as a natural fertilizer for your yard which means less work for you!
Mix it up a little, if you’re finding yourself taking the same path each time you mow, stop! Mowing in the same path consistently can cause ruts and compacted soil which leads to less healthy grass and increased weed infestation. It’s best to alternate paths each time you mow.
Summer get’s hot and dry, so plan on needing to water your grass. It is best to water when the sun is low. Instead of watering every other day for short intervals, spend less days watering and water longer. This helps saturate the lawn deep to the roots encouraging healthy growth. Yay, less work! When the first 3 inches of the soil start to feel dry, you will know it is time to water again.
Aerating. If you’re not familiar with it, you will be. Overtime soil becomes compact causing less air circulation and room for water absorption. You’ll want to make sure that you water a day or two before using an aerator. The aerator will pull small plugs of soil/grass from the yard allowing for better water and nutrient absorption. This alone will do wonders for your yard! Aerating is also a perfect time to over seed if you want to fill in bald spots or ensure thick growth!
Another way to improve circulation and nutrient absorption is to dethatch. When you dethatch you remove any debris that has built up between the soil and blades of grass. It’s basically like using a giant rake. Similar to aerating, it is best to do when your grass is doing most of it’s growing. Fall is typically a desirable time in the midwest.
All lawns will develop weeds, it’s inevitable. You can pull the weeds with your hands, but make sure to remove the base of the root entirely so the weed doesn’t grow back. If the yard is overgrown with weeds you can resort to a herbicide. There is a variety of specific herbicides for different types of weeds so make sure you do some research before just choosing any.
Lastly, if you are wanting that beautiful green yard, you will need to fertilize. It is best to fertilize starting at the beginning of the season mid-April then again 4 weeks later. Fertilizer can then be applied every 6-8 weeks through October. Make sure to read your fertilizer, some will want you to water before or after laying it. Don’t forget, the more you get your grass growing the more nutrients it is using up. Fertilize!