Photo: valentinrussanov via gettyimages.com

There is nothing better than walking out your front door on a beautiful warm summer day and seeing a lush green lawn. And how do you ensure that you have the greenest lawn on the block? These tips from lawn care experts will make you the envy of all your neighbors. You may even be surprised by some of the little-known benefits of a beautiful lawn!

Watering

Water your lawn deeply instead of frequently. Deep watering once a week encourages deeper root growth for a stronger, healthier lawn. Water 4-6 inches below the surface. Test the amount of water on your lawn. If you can easily push a screwdriver into it, your yard has enough water. 

TruGreen experts say the color of your lawn indicates when it’s time to water. It’s definitely time when your green lawn starts to take on a dull gray or blue-green hue. Water your lawn in the morning for best results. 

Mowing

According to TruGreen, proper mowing ensures that your lawn is dense and weed-free. When lawn maintenance is done incorrectly, grass becomes thin, and weeds invade. Mow frequently enough that no more than one-third of the leaf blade is cut. For example, if your desired lawn height is 3 inches, mow when grass grows to 4-4 1/2 inches tall. 

Make sure your equipment is in tip-top shape. Use a sharp blade set at the highest setting. Don’t mow when the grass is wet. Then, alternate mowing patterns across your lawn.

Consider leaving the grass clippings on your lawn. Grass clippings will quickly decompose and return needed nutrients to the soil. The clippings act as a natural mulch, helping your grass retain water. Clippings also improve the texture of the soil, reducing the need for fertilizers. Plus, leaving the clippings saves you time.

Fertilizing

Lawn fertilizers are chemical substances that improve productivity, enhance water retention, and support healthy lawn growth. Fertilizing your lawn in the early summer can help to prepare it for hot summer days. Fertilizers for grass typically contain nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. Slow-release fertilizer is suitable for most grass types. Landscape experts recommend no more than one pound of nitrogen for every thousand square feet of lawn. Fertilize no more than twice per year.

Photo: RichLegg via gettyimages.com

Aerating

For really healthy, beautiful turf, aerate your lawn. Over time, people, kids, and pets compact the soil under your grass. Aeration is simply punching three-inch deep holes in your lawn. Aeration has multiple benefits, including better use of water and nutrients. You can aerate your lawn by using a handheld aerating tool or renting an aerating machine. You should aerate your lawn once annually.

Chemical-Free Lawns

Want a green lawn without the use of chemicals? Apply a thin layer of compost on top of your lawn in the spring and summer. Manually remove weeds as soon as you see them sprout. Add corn gluten meal to naturally kill weeds, which also act as a fertilizer. Make a designated spot for pets, as pet urine causes the grass to turn yellow over time. 

Dealing with Drought

Many areas are subject to drought conditions that can damage your well-kept lawn. Pay attention to the lack of rain for long periods. Signs of drought include wilted grass, darkened color grass, and footprints that remain visible after walking on the grass. 

Don’t over-fertilize the brown spots; this tends to worsen the conditions. Mow high. Taller grass shades the root systems and helps keep in moisture. Also, limit foot traffic when the grass is already struggling. 

Most grass species can withstand three to four weeks of dormancy without dying, so don’t despair. After the drought, aerate. Be careful not to overwater, fertilize carefully, and reseed dead or struggling sections of your lawn, if necessary. 

Surprise Benefits

A healthy green lawn has many benefits in addition to visual appeal. A healthy lawn can prevent erosion, improve flood control, reduce noise, and offer a wildlife habitat. Grass also removes carbon dioxide from the air and traps dust, keeping it out of the air and your lungs. This means easier breathing and cleaner cars, houses, and windows.

A healthy lawn is an essential part of urban and rural landscapes. Make your lawn as beautiful as you can. It’s good for everyone!