A healthy, green front lawn is the sign of a house that’s well-cared for but how do you get that stunning look in the first place and, once you have that covered, how do you keep the lawn looking great? It’s not that difficult if you follow a few simple rules.
Don’t cut the grass too short.
Taller grass is healthier because it keeps the soil cooler and moist longer and it also encourages the proliferation of soil microbes which are important because they convert nutrients into a form that plants can use. You should adjust your cutting heights to the time of year and also to the climate. Use a 1- ½” blade for cool-climate grasses for the first moving of the year just to remove dead grass and to allow more sunlight to reach the plants.
Know when to fertilize.
It’s not good for your lawn to fertilize the grass repeatedly. It encourages rapid grass growth and makes the plants more vulnerable to disease and insects. Fertilize once a year, in october if you’re in northern latitudes and in november if you’re in mid latitudes. You’ll be building the roots in the fall when the air is cold and the grass blades slow and stop growing and you’ll have a healthy, green lawn next spring.
Know when to water the grass.
It’s better to water your lawn infrequently but to give it a few good soaks than to supply light sprinkles regularly. You want to encourage the roots to grow deep and if the soil is dry below the roots they won’t go down. Also, the deeper moisture will make its way upward as the soil dries, keeping the grass green and healthy.
Aerate your lawn.
The grass needs oxygen, water and nutrients to stay healthy so you need to aerate the lawn. Remove small plugs of soil to allow water and fertilizers to penetrate deeper and easier. This also reduces soil compaction and opens space for roots to grow.
Don’t use pesticides, insecticides or fungicides.
All of these kill the living things that naturally aerate the soil and keep it richer. Plus, if you keep your lawn healthy, the grass will be tougher and less likely to succumb to disease and insect damage anyway so you won’t even need those products.