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How To Care for a Low Maintenance Lawn

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How To Care for a Low Maintenance Lawn

An example of a low maintenance lawn.

photo © Kelly Burke
A beautiful lawn doesn't need to be a time consuming drain on your wallet. Spending just a little time and money can yield a lawn with acceptable looks and function. A low maintenance lawn won't have the perfect appearance of a highly manicured lawn, but what's lost in appearance is made up for in time and money saved.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: As little as possible.

Here's How:


  1. Understand and accept that it is alright for a lawn to have a few weeds, some bare or thin patches of turf and normal yellowing during times of drought.
  2. Mow at the highest level your particular species of grass will allow. Increased leaf blade will store more moisture reserves and provide a green appearance for a longer period of time during droughts. Weeds will naturally be choked out and grass seedlings will thrive in the shade of the longer turf.
  3. Fertilize once or twice a year using slow release fertilizer. Spring and fall is best. Using mulching blades will also help by returning nitrogen to the soil in the form of grass clippings.
  4. Use natural rainfall as your water source and supplement it with lawn sprinklers at your convenience. Be prepared for periods of dormancy (yellowing) during extended periods of drought. The grass is not dead, just dormant, it will recover as temperatures cool and rains return.
  5. Work on building healthy soil by topdressing with inexpensive or homemade compost.
  6. Control weeds as you see fit. Pick them out by hand or, if budget permits, spot spray with weed killer occasionally.

Tips:

  1. Mow once a week to maintain vigorous growth and encourage a thick, dense lawn.
  2. Use a lawn sprinkler to soak the lawn to prevent total dormancy during extended drought.
  3. Avoid heavy traffic on the lawn during times of stress like heat waves and droughts.
  4. By spot spraying weeds occasionally, a small amount of weed killer will last a long time.

What You Need

  • Reasonable expectations of what a low maintenance lawn will look like.
  • Patience, there will be ups and downs caring for a low maintenance lawn.
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