Helpful Tips for Lawn Care Novices

Not every lawn care enthusiast has an intrinsic knack for grass maintenance. More often than not, lawn care proficiency is learned and cultivated over a period of years. Even the most dedicated lawn care aficionados have experienced their fair share of trial and error. As such, if this is your first time maintaining a lawn, it’s important to avoid getting discouraged over minor setbacks and be open to learning new skills. Lawn care novices looking to set the stage for lasting success should put the following pointers to good use.

Mow Regularly

When it comes to proper lawn maintenance, it’s hard to overstate the importance of mowing. For starters, regularly mowing your lawn gives your grass a tidy, uniform appearance and helps accentuate the beauty of your home. However, in addition to its aesthetic benefits, mowing also plays a large role in maintaining the health of your lawn. When your grass is at its ideal length, it’s better equipped to soak in moisture, sunlight and assorted nutrients. As such, it’s important to avoid cutting your grass too short. While it’s easy to see why many people opt for the shortest possible length, this generally leaves grass vulnerable and unable to properly absorb essential nutrients. For best results, cut off no more than one third of the grass’s overall height. Although this means having to mow a little more often, it can also be a boon to your lawn’s overall health. Mowing schedules vary depending on region and grass types, but during prime growth seasons, most lawns will need to be mowed every five to seven days.  

Fertilize as Needed

Fertilization is among the most effective ways to provide a lawn with year-round nourishment. The type of fertilizer your lawn needs and the frequency with which fertilization should take place largely depend on the type of grass you have. For example, while some types of grass only require fertilization once a year, others need to be fertilized two or three times annually. More often than not, fertilization should occur in the lead-up to the season in which your grass experiences the most growth. For example, if your grass does most of its growing throughout the winter months, you’ll need to fertilize in the fall. To learn more about the fertilization needs of your particular type of grass, consult a home and garden expert, local landscaping company or your favorite search engine. Additionally, if fertilization seems too arduous of a chore for you to undertake alone, enlist the aid of a local lawn service.  

Avoid Overwatering  

Most types of grass require some degree of regular watering. However, unbeknownst to many lawn care enthusiasts, grass often receives far more water than it needs to thrive. In addition to being wasteful, consistently overwatering your lawn stands to make your grass more dependent on large amounts of water. As such, it’s recommended that you familiarize yourself with just how much water your specific type of grass requires.

Many lawns benefit more from infrequent deep waterings than frequent small waterings. The former is more conducive to resilient roots and enhanced moisture retention. Watering early in the morning – specifically, between the hours of 3:00 and 6:00 AM – can also prove beneficial to your grass. Because evaporation is likely to be minimal during this period, your lawn will receive maximum nourishment.  

Aerate Your Soil

Soil quality plays a crucial role in determining the overall health of your lawn. As such, it’s recommended that you aerate your soil at least once a year. Over time, soil has a tendency to become hard and compact, which can adversely impact new growth. Aeration serves to loosen soil and reduce the buildup of thatch, thereby making growth conditions ideal. Aeration is best carried out when soil is moist, as moistness makes it easier for aerators to penetrate. This is why many homeowners opt to aerate in the spring or fall.

Although experienced lawn care enthusiasts often make yard maintenance look easy, maintaining a healthy, well-kept lawn takes a fair amount of practice. Unless you possess a natural gift for lawn care, you’re likely to contend with a number of minor setbacks while honing your craft. When tackling lawn maintenance for the first time, it’s important to avoid flying blind. Arming yourself with the right tips can make your yard care journey considerably less perilous and pave the way for long-term lawn health.