A lush, green lawn can easily make a house look appealing, but getting that lawn takes some effort. Fortunately, this is one of the times when working smarter will lead to much better results than working harder. There are a few strategies that every aspiring gardener can employ to make sure that they have the best lawn on the block without putting in too many hours of effort.
Test the Soil
Everyone knows that plants need nutrients to survive, but it isn’t as easy as giving them a regular dose of fertilizer. Soil composition can vary significantly from one area to the next, which means every lawn will have a different blend of nutrients. Since different fertilizers will also contain different nutrient mixes, it’s important to match each lawn with the right fertilizer to get the best results.
It’s possible to figure out the pairing through trial and error, but there’s an easier way. A soil test will give you a list of the nutrients and environmental factors that are at work in your area, and that will give you the information that you need to get the right fertilizer. The tests are usually cheap if you get them through an extension program, and those programs can often provide guidance to help you use the information properly.
Let it Grow
The average person cuts their grass as short as they can so that they can mow as rarely as possible. That does save effort, but it isn’t good for the lawn. Tall grass is better at competing against weeds than short grass, and it usually has a better chance of surviving damage from pests. Instead of occasionally cutting the lawn until it is very short, give it regular trims that allow it to stay long. This does take more work, but the healthier grass is worth the effort.
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Leave the Trimmings
Putting lawn trimmings in a bag and throwing them away is a terrible waste. Disposing of the trimmings removes all of the nutrients inside them from your lawn’s ecosystem, but if you leave them on the ground, they will eventually return nutrients to the soil. While this method can’t replace fertilizer entirely, it can greatly reduce the amount that you need to use.
Pull Up Weeds Fast
Weeding is another area where putting in a little extra effort will get better results. When removing weeds, be sure to pull up the entire plant, including the roots. If the roots stay in the ground, the weed will simply grow back, so putting in a little work to get it right the first time will spare you from another round of weeding. Herbicides are an option if pulling the weeds up by hand is too inconvenient, although they need to be used in moderation to avoid causing excess damage to the lawn. Stick to pulling the weeds whenever it is possible.
Similarly, make a point of getting rid of weeds as soon as they appear. The longer they stay in the lawn, the more likely they are to spread their seeds and the harder they are to remove.
Not all watering plans are created equal. Most grass will adapt to its environment, so frequent, light watering will lead to shallow roots. In contrast, water that can soak into the ground will lead to deep roots. Grass benefits from those deep roots, so always error on the side of giving the plants more water less often. The precise amount of water that the grass needs will vary significantly depending on the local climate, so you should make a point of checking with local gardening groups to find out how much your lawn needs.
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