Ultimate Tips to ‘Lawn Care’ for New Homeowners!
Congratulations for your new home! Hope, it becomes a very special place where all your dreams come true.
Now that you own a home, it has become essential to settle your home and ensure that everything is in synchronization, in continuation and in harmony with each other. In practicality, ensuring all these inside the home is fairly easy, but it becomes equally challenging when it comes to your lawn or garden. It takes a lot behind ensuring proper lawn care and maintenance. That’s why they say: ‘Beautiful lawns don’t just happen.’ (Scotts Company, 2000) Birkenholtz, Trevor. “Lawns and Toxins: An Ecology of the City.” Cities, 2001. Maintaining a lawn comprises of activities that includes everything from – taking care of the grass, to keeping the weeds away. The only way to a lush, green lawn is through regular lawn maintenance. Although most lawns have a small patch of grass, it is actually one of the most difficult landscape features to grow and maintain.
Guide on Lawn Care for New Homeowners
01. Buy a Lawn Mower
Proper tools are critical for maintaining a beautiful lawn. You cannot just own a beautiful lawn and not have a lawn mower. This would be an impractical decision. Thus, a lawn mower is essential. A mower is probably one of the most expensive garden tools you will ever own, so buy the best you can afford and take good care of it. Obviously, the choice of the lawn mower would depend on the size of your garden. The larger your lawn, the larger the mower you will need. In case you have an urban home with quite a small yard, you can purchase a manual push reel mower. On the other hand, if the lawn is large, you might have to consider a gas-powered push from behind mower. In case of very large yards, you can opt for riding mowers which are quick enough.
02. Mowing the Lawn
Mowing the lawn may seem like a very easy task but it is actually not. Proper mowing techniques will keep your lawn healthy and vibrant, which in turn will keep away larger problems and pests. You have to keep a few important facts in your mind while deciding to mow your lawn.
First and foremost, figure out what is the ideal time in which you would be mowing your lawn again. Ideally, it should be 5-7 days depending on how much rain and sun your lawn receives.
Secondly, deciding the length of grass that you intend to keep. Ideally, it should be 2 to 4-inch-high or, anything less than that can cause weeds to grow.
03. Lawn Watering
An important task in lawn maintenance that is next to mowing is, watering. Generally speaking, the average lawn needs water every alternate or third day. But this entirely depends on the varying seasons and climatic zone to which it falls. For instance, rainy days are days your lawn receives water naturally, but hotter and windier days will mean your lawn might need extra water. If your lawn faces extreme sunshine, then ensure that your grass is watered regularly. Otherwise, it would give a burnt look to the grass which is not very pleasing to the eyes. You have to ensure the daily watering of the lawn in the morning as a first step. The best time to water is just before dawn in the morning. The amount of water will depend on the type of the soil on which the grass is grown and grass species. In case you find the entire task very taxing and tedious, you can get a sprinkler installed and leave the work to them.
04. Trimming the Hedges
Once in a year essentially, you might have to trim the bushes and hedges in your garden. Trimming not only improves the appearance of your lawn but also its health. It reduces need for water and lessens your maintenance. You can invest some money in a hedge trimmer to accomplish this task appropriately. If you feel that this work is not worth your effort, you may even want to do away with these shrubs completely; however that would be completely your choice.
Another common practice that most home owners have to adopt is the process of aeration. By using this method, you give your lawn a chance to breathe once again. Most lawns will benefit from the regular effort of aerating. Generally, this practice needs to be adopted after summers are over and after a lot of trampling on the grass has been done. Using aeration, you can break up the thatch, increase the efficiency of the fertilizer, improve the moisture content and lead to stronger roots.
06. Use of Fertilizer
Fertilizers are never out of fashion for grass and plants! Whatever the season may be, the use of fertilizer always benefits the lawn. You will need to fertilize your lawn regularly, but the schedule will depend on your individual climate zone. Yet, once in a while use of the same is recommended. Find a fertilizer which is rich in nitrogen as that regains the nutrients lost by the grass over a period of time. Regular usage of the same would ensure that your landscape stays fresh and healthy all the time.
07. Removing the Weeds
Essentially weeds can stifle and restrain the growth of your other plants. Thus, it is very important that you curb their growth completely. There are mostly two types of weeds – annual and perennial. There are different methods of dealing with each of them. You can use mulch or salt water and essential oils to thwart their growth; but whichever method is used, it should be implemented on a regular basis.
08. Planting Grass
Every year in the spring, ensure that new grass is planted and that too with utmost care. Once the temperature starts rising, you can plant cool season grasses. You can also plant them in autumn and just refill the vacant spots in the spring season. In early autumn, the soil is still warm. This combination of warm soil, moderate day temperatures and cool evenings encourages fast germination and establishment of newly sown cool season grass. During the late spring when the temperature visibly rises, you can plant warm season grass.
09. Insect Control
A pest free lawn is a pleasant place for family and friends to gather and enjoy your outdoor spaces. Keep an eye out for these common turf nuisances and act promptly when they strike. There are many insects which can make home and garden possibly havoc. Fire ants are one such category of problematic insects. They usually appear in the spring season. Apart from grubs and mole, crickets also cause a lot of damage. Once the summer arrives, it becomes easy for you to keep them away. Just check with local stores near your home to know more about insecticides so as to deal with them.
10. Know the History of the Garden
It is certainly important to know if your home has had one or more owners in the past. In case ‘yes’, it becomes necessary for you to understand what kind of treatments did they provide. Was any fertilization or weed control trick used? Was the garden affected by grubs or any disease in the past? Is there any irrigation system in place or which watering method for the plant was used?
Collecting such information shall prove useful in the long run. Say for instance, the previous owner has recently got the fertilizer treatment done; obviously, you would not have to get the same done so soon. Similarly, if they have an irrigation system in place, you need not invest in the same.
To sum up, getting a perfect lawn is not very difficult. Ensuring proper lawn care and maintenance requires a lot of time and efforts. The problem lies in keeping it well maintained all throughout. Proper cultural practices involving selection of appropriate grass species and cultivars (Emmons, 2000), optimum mowing height and frequency (Lush and Rogers, 1992; Watschke and Schmidt, 1992), sufficient fertility (Turner et al., 1979), and annual cultivation (Murphy and Rieke, 1994) can improve the vigor, competitiveness, and persistence of grasses over other plants.
Using the above-mentioned tips, you can be the proud owners and keep the pride of your home look spick and span through the year. However, if you are unable to understand or handle any of these methods, you can always seek for professional assistance. Most of the tasks require a lot of hard work and expertise. If you are unable to handle them, an expert can always help you in resolving your problem and achieving desired results.