Expert Tips for Maintaining a Lush and Healthy Lawn

A great lawn just makes you feel good. When the sun is shining and everyone is out and about, the last thing you want is to be the only house on the block with a dilapidated, sickly-looking patch of weeds just aching for nutrients and attention. Lawn maintenance is an art, and Shepherd’s Hardware is here to help you perfect it with expert, non-eco-focused tips and advice.

Understanding Your Lawn’s Needs

Not all grass is made the same. In order to get the right lawn care advice, you first need to understand your grass’s needs and how to meet them.

Identifying Your Grass Type

Canadian grass can vary depending on a number of factors. The biggest difference is whether your grass is a cool-season or warm-season variety, which will determine how well it grows in different climates. Other indicators like texture, growth pattern, and knowledge of local varieties can be helpful in figuring out what type(s) you have.

Soil Testing & Improvement

You can’t have a healthy lawn without healthy soil. By doing a simple pH test you can get a better idea of where the soil is at and what it needs to thrive. Several tried and true conventional products are available to help balance your soil’s nutrition, address deficiencies, and set it up for a successful year and years to come.

Lawn Care Essentials

Let’s look at the daily/weekly care practices that form the foundation of expert lawn maintenance. We’ll focus on the two things we do most for our lawns, mowing and watering.

Mowing Practices for Optimal Growth

The number of times you cut your grass will change depending on the season. Peak growing seasons (spring/early summer) might have you mowing once a week or more; the cooler months (late summer/fall) could slow things down to every two weeks or on an as-needed basis. 

In addition to ensuring you are mowing the correct number of times, you want to make sure you are cutting off the correct amount of grass, too. Follow the “one third” rule: 

One-Third Rule

Never remove more than ⅓ of the grass’s blade height in a single mowing session. Cutting off any more can stress the lawn and hamper its ability to photosynthesize and grow. Following this rule encourages a healthy root system to establish thick and luscious grass. 

Watering Techniques

Proper watering helps the grass to build deep, strong, and robust root systems. Instead of doing light waterings daily, aim to do deeper waterings more infrequently (1-3 times a week). Cumulatively, the goal should be a saturation depth of 1”-1-½” per week, whether that’s done naturally through rainfall, artificially through irrigation, or a combination of both.

Tips for Watering

  • Avoid watering at night (sitting moisture promotes pathogen growth)
  • Don’t water during the hottest part of the day (it will just evaporate)
  • Water in the early morning hours between 6AM-10AM for best results

Feeding Your Lawn

The right combination of nutrients is going to make a huge difference in the durability of your lawn and the effectiveness of your lawn maintenance.

Choosing the Right Fertilizer

Lawn fertilizers are composed mainly of three nutrients; Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), and Potassium (K). Together, these are often referred to as the NPK ratio

Fertilizer Schedule

Follow this simple fertilizer schedule to keep your lawn maintenance in check all-year-round. Refer to the NPK ratio under each period as a guide for the right type of blend you should be looking for.

  • Early Spring: Apply nitrogen-rich fertilizer to prep for the growing season.
    • NPK: 20-10-10
  • Late Spring: Use a balanced fertilizer for sustained growth and root development.
    • NPK: 10-10-10
  • Summer: A slow-release fertilizer will help nourish the grass during hotter months.
    • NPK: 15-0-15
  • Early Fall: Apply potassium-rich fertilizer to strengthen the grass for winter.
    • NPK: 10–20-10
  • Late Fall: Utilize a winterizing fertilizer to promote root growth and nutrient storage.
    • NPK: 5-10-5

Dealing with Common Lawn Problems

When left unchecked, it’s easy for a lawn to get out of control. The following advice to help manage it properly will be some of the best healthy lawn tips we can give you!

Managing Weeds Effectively

Weeds can be removed manually by hand or with the use of products, like herbicides. Keeping a close eye on your lawn and taking care of weeds as soon as they pop up is your best bet to keep them from spreading and taking over the area.

Disease & Pest Control

Common lawn diseases like powdery mildew and dollar spot often accompany pest infestations such as chinch bugs and armyworms. Staying vigilant and addressing any signs of lawn affliction promptly is one of the most important parts of lawn maintenance.

Health & Prevention

Regular watering, proper fertilization, and regular inspections are all key to preventing these problems, and keeping your lawn healthy long-term.

Advanced Lawn Care Techniques

In closing, let’s look at some advanced approaches to lawn maintenance to help bring your grass back from the grave and to another level entirely.

Aeration & Overseeding

Aeration, which involves perforating the soil to allow for more air, water, and nutrients to permeate through it, can and should be done if your lawn is starting to look a little tired and worn. Also, overseeding an existing lawn that has developed some sparse patches can help rejuvenate it and fill in the gaps for a more full and bountiful appearance.

Seasonal Lawn Care Tips

Each season brings with it its own set of challenges and opportunities for lawn care. Whether it's cleaning up debris in the spring, mowing regularly in the summer, or preparing it for long-term health over the winter—there’s always something that can be done to optimize the health and look of your lawn.

Conclusion

The importance of regular lawn care maintenance cannot be overstated. When was the last time someone had a great looking lawn by accident? The answer is never. Be proactive in your approach and get your grass the nutrients, water, and attention it deserves. You can start transforming it today.

Shepherd’s Hardware has all the tools, products, and expert advice to make your lawn truly stand out in 2024. Come on in for a visit and see how we can help. We’ll see you soon!

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