In recent years, lawn services have gained favor because of two great benefits: first, hiring a lawn service gives you more free time when time is at a premium, and, second, with all of the things that can impact your lawn, a service is often your best bet to make it more enjoyable. Practicality also figures into the decision process. Many people travel for work and pleasure or have other obligations that make timely lawn care activity difficult, if not impossible. As with many things in life — timing is everything. If you think the time has arrived for you to enjoy your summer and your lawn simultaneously, you may want to follow these six key lawn care areas that all contribute to a beautiful healthy lawn – key lawn care that a professional can do for you!
One of the keys to lawn vitality is soil condition. Grass thrives in well-drained, slightly acidic soil. Testing your soil will tell you if you need to increase the acidic level by adding sulfur, or make it more neutral with lime. The goal is to make sure your soil registers at a pH level of 6.5 – 7.0.
Thatch is a brown, spongy, organic layer of both living and dead grass roots and stems accumulating above the soil surface. The thatch layer should be no more than one half inch thick. As the thatch layer thickens, it becomes the main rooting medium for the grass. Fertilizers and pesticides applied to a lawn with more thatch work less effectively. Also, grass clippings do not contribute to thatch accumulation and should be returned to the lawn during mowing to recycle the nutrients they contain.
The single most important thing you can do for your lawn is to provide it proper nutrition.
Regular feeding builds thick, green turf that looks beautiful, healthy and is better able to withstand heat stress, takes less water to maintain, and fights off pests and other diseases.
Nitrogen is the most important nutrient for lawn color and growth. However, you do not want to over fertilize. This can lead to thatch buildup and increased mowing needs. Avoid under fertilizing since this can contribute to unhealthy lawns leading to weed control, disease, and lawn insect issues.
Aeration removes plugs of thatch and soil 2–3 inches long and deposits them on the lawn. The cores can either be disposed of or left on the turf. Aerating your lawn helps to improve the root area by relieving soil compaction while controlling thatch accumulation. Additionally, aeration improves water and air movement into the soil benefiting the rooting process and overall lawn health. You can aerate your lawn in the spring or fall when grass is actively growing.
#5 WEED & INSECT CONTROL
It can be beneficial to apply a pre-emergent herbicide to control crab grass in the early spring and other herbicides to control broadleaf weeds (dandelions, thistle) in late spring. Spring dandelion control is not as effective as fall control, but may help combat widespread dandelion problems. Grub control can be most effective July through September when the young grubs are feeding on grass roots.
Mowing should begin when the grass height reaches three inches. If you mow your lawn to less than 2 inches, your lawn can result in decreased drought and heat tolerance and higher incidence of insects, diseases and weeds. The lawn should be mowed often enough so that no more than 1/3 of the grass height is removed at any mowing. Grass clippings can be left on the lawn. They decompose quickly and provide a source of recycled nutrients and organic matter for the lawn.
Of course, you can do all these key actions to create a great lawn yourself. More and more, however, people are hiring lawn care professionals who know the best methods to make your lawn look smashing!