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Lawn Maintenance Routines

Keep a beautiful lawn with these annual chores

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Lawn Maintenance Routines
photo © Kelly Burke

Lawn maintenance is a key factor in a healthy, beautiful lawn. Simply put, a lawn cannot really survive on it's own. The more highly manicured lawns require more maintenance but even the simplest lawn needs some attention once in a while. Unless you are the type who absolutely eschews lawn care of any kind, you should consider doing at least a little lawn maintenance.

Mowing - This may seem obvious but the number one problem I see with unhealthy lawns is improper mowing. Usually lawns are mowed much too short, leaving very little grass blade and sometimes damaging the crown of the plant. Lawns that are cut too low are always in recovery mode, this invites weed infestations and can be a vector for diseases and pests. Avoid the misguided wisdom of mowing too low and give yourself a lush, green lawn mowed to at least 3 inches, more if desired. Read more...

Fertilizing - Plant health depends on soil fertility to supply it with nutrients. A soil test and examination of your soil profile will lead the way to discovering what fertilizer is right for your lawn. A lawn left unfed will be susceptible to a whole host of weeds, diseases and other pests, while a healthy lawn will be more able to withstand the stresses of summer. Be sure to fertilize at the right time and with the right product to avoid costly mistakes that don't mesh with the natural cycle of the lawn's growth. Read more...

Watering - Depending on your location, the availability of water may be a deciding factor whether to even have a lawn. In other areas, there is enough rainfall to maintain a decent lawn for most of the year. Higher manicured lawns rely on sprinklers to make up any deficits in rainfall, but if sprinklers are not used, the rainwater deficit may result in temporary dormancy which will end once the rains return. Read more...

Aerating - Often overlooked, aerating is one of the nicest things you can do for your lawn. Poking holes and pulling plugs to relieve compaction and let the air, water and nutrients move better through the soil profile is a task that is well worth the expense. It makes no sense to water and fertilize the lawn if the ground is so compacted that it cannot  let anything pass through the soil. Making aeration a priority will undoubtedly save money in the long run and result in a healthier, more beautiful lawn. Read more...

De-thatching - If a thatch layer becomes thicker than about a half inch, the lawn may need to be de-thatched. De-thatching is similar to aerating, kind of an aerating-lite, scratching and breaking-up the thatch layer allowing for better plant growth and improved water and nutrient uptake. While it will not provide the same benefits as aerating, it is cheaper and easier to do a lawn than aerating. Read more...

Overseeding - Another integral component to maintaining a healthy lawn is to continually overseed so there is always new grass growing in the lawn. While the existing grass may be thriving, it continues to get older and although there is always new growth, it may not be enough to keep up with the aging grass. Overseeding annually with help keep the grass young and thriving. It is also an opportunity to introduce new grass cultivars into the lawn, some of which may be drought or disease resistant and better able to handle stresses. Read more...

It may seem like a lot of work, and to be frank, it is. However, a lawn can be maintained with a modicum of effort and still look great. Lawn service companies are readily available to do all or some of these lawn maintenance routines and a decent company should always provide their services a la carte in addition to package deals.

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