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5 Keys to a Beautful Lawn

Everyone dreams of having that perfect lawn: thick, lush and green, much like a layer of premium carpet you’d buy from your local home improvement store. 
However, while achieving the picture perfect lawn is certainly an attainable goal and is well within your reach, it does require understanding some basic, fundamental principles.

It does take much more than just the occasional watering and trim job.  It takes an understanding of what type of grass you have, understanding the proper watering amounts,
knowing how much and how often to cut, and what additional nutrients your lawn might need throughout the year to help it achieve and maintain its thick, lush appearance.

What follows are the 5 critical elements required to help you achieve that picture perfect lawn of your dreams.  While it won’t be an overnight process, it is one that’s certainly within the realm of possibility. 
Follow these 5 steps by yourself or let Maedgen's Lawn Carehelp and you’ll soon be enjoying the beauty that a properly cared for lawn can provide.

1.  Proper Watering of Your Lawn

This is the most important aspect of caring for your lawn.  While you can get away with missing an occasional mowing or skipping a fertilizer application, if the weather is hot and you let your lawn get dry, the consequences could be
difficult to reverse. First, your lawn looks horrible, weeds start taking over, and if you really blow it, your lawn dies.  Yikes.

The amount and frequency of water you apply to your lawn will vary depending on soil, weather conditions, type of grass, and so on.

Here are a few watering tips that will help your lawn shine like the star it’s destined to be:

Water to the proper depth.  When you water, the moisture should penetrate to about 6-8 inches deep.  Watering less deeply results in a shallow-rooted lawn and as a result, it can dry out very quickly when conditions dry out.
On the other hand, watering deeper than the 6-8 inches is wasteful because most grasses don’t grow any deeper than that. You can check how deeply the water penetrates by probing the ground with a stiff rod. 
The rod will move easily through the wet soil and then become more difficult to push when it reaches dry soil.  You could also purchase a probe that will remove a small soil sample, allowing you to see just how wet the soil is.
  • Allow the lawn to partially dry out between waterings.  Doing this creates a good moisture-air relationship that’s essential for healthy roots.  Your lawn will let you know when it’s getting dry and needs water:
    take a walk across your lawn and look back to see if you see your footprints.  If you do, the grass is dry and it’s time to water again.  If you don’t, it’s a good sign that it still has plenty of moisture.
  • Water in intervals.  If your lawn can’t absorb the water fast enough, you’ll see the excess water running off into who knows where.  This is just wasteful and unnecessary.  To avoid this, water in short intervals of
    10 to 15 minutes, then turn the water off to allow it to soak in, then turn your sprinkler back on for another 10 to 15 minutes.  Repeat this procedure until the water is able to seep down to the 6-8 inches discussed earlier.
  • Water in the mornings.  Early morning waterings are the very best for a number of reasons.  First, weather is usually cool and calm and humidity is high which means the water evaporates less. 
    Second, morning watering gives the lawn an opportunity to dry off before evening.  Wet grass at night is a lawn diseases dream!  The vicious little lawn pests thrive on a wet
    lawn at night so avoid this by watering early enough in the day to allow it to dry before nightfall.
  • In midsummer, most lawns need between 1-2 inches of water a week.  You can apply the entire amount once a week, but you’re better off if you space that out over several waterings during the week. 
    The type of soil and grass you have will help determine at what interval you want to space out your watering during the week.
  • Keep an eye on your lawn and make appropriate adjustments.  This is probably the most important step to proper watering.  Keeping an eye on what’s going on will help you stay on top of the game and
    ensure your lawn receives the proper amount of water it requires to achieve the look you desire.

Proper Nutrition

Proper fertilization is one of the most important ingredients for building a thick, healthy, and beautiful lawn.  Just as your body needs certain vitamins and minerals to remain healthy and strong, your lawn has nutritional needs that will
help it fight off disease, pests, and resist the harsh elements that so often wreak havoc on it throughout the year. Fertilizing your lawn also helps keep it growing vigorously and it helps to maintain that deep green color you desire. 

So what nutrients does your lawn need in order to stay healthy and strong?  Like other plants, grass requires 16 nutrients for healthy growth.  Some, like carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen come naturally thanks to Mother Nature.
The others are present either in the soil already or in fertilizers you apply.

Of all the nutrients your lawn needs, nitrogen is the most important for sustaining healthy growth because it keep grass green and vigorous.  If your lawn doesn’t get enough nitrogen it turns pale and yellow, grows slowly, and starts to thin out. 
However, applying too much nitrogen can burn the lawn like a blowtorch, cause excess growth that invites disease and insects, or runoff that pollutes the groundwater. 

Grasses need the nutrients for proper growth during seasons of active growth and they generally grow best when they receive an even supply.  Fertilize when the grass is dormant and your wasting time and money. 
Space the applications too far apart and the growth rate will be sporadic and inconsistent, neither of which lends to a healthy lawn.

While the actual times you should apply fertilizer will depend on the type of grass you have, for maximum effectiveness you want to fertilize your lawn about once every six to eight weeks during periods of active growth. 
Just break up the yearly nutrient requirements into the appropriate number of applications and you should be well on your way to achieving the look you desire for your lawn.

Finally, while it is possible to purchase bags of ready made fertilizer that generally contain most of the nutrients your lawn might need, the only way to ensure your lawn receives the proper amount of nutrition it requires is to have a
professional help you determine how much and how often to fertilize.  We’d love to help you determine what exactly your lawn needs and help ensure it receives these nutrients at the proper intervals as well.

  • Mow Your Lawn to the Proper Height

Grass, like most plants, branch out and become denser if you clip off the growing points or the tips the stems where new leaves develop.  That simple response to getting cut is what turns thousands of individual grass
plants into the tightly woven turf or lawn that you desire. 

If you didn’t mow at all, your lawn will end up looking more like a prairie than a lawn because you’d have a surface composed of mounding or spongy grasses, separated by open spaces or weeds. 
However, when you mow, each grass plant spreads out, fights for every available space, and eventually creates a dense, tightly intertwined turf.  That’s what we’re after.

Even though mowing is what turns your grass into a lawn, the mere act of mowing doesn’t guarantee the beautiful look you’re after.  In order to achieve a lush, thick turf you’ll need to pay careful attention to the height at which you cut your grass. 
Because cutting your lawn is very stressful for the grass, you want to be sure not to cut off too much of the top which is what makes food for the roots.  Cut off too much and your lawn will suffer severe consequences.

According to turf-industry research, the height of the grass relates directly to the depth of the roots.  If you cut the grass to low for your grass type, the roots will also be too shallow which can result in a lawn that dries out quickly. 
Short-cut lawns are harder to care for and less likely to stay healthy because it exposes weeds to enough light to give them a foothold.

On the other hand, if you cut your grass too high your lawn will thin out and you’ll end up with more of a prairie than a lawn.  Additionally, mowing some warm season grasses too high can easily result in excessive thatch,
which is a spongy mess that interferes with everything from fertilizing to watering. 

When you finally do cut excessively tall grass, your grass can get sunburned.  Sunburned grass!?!?  That’s right.  You see, when grass gets really tall, the lower parts are shaded.  When do finally cut the grass, the shaded
part of the blade isn’t used to the sun and as a result gets burned.  Definitely not good.

Here at {LCOName}, we follow the 1/3 rule.  What this means is that for a healthy, thriving lawn, we never cut away more than 1/3 of the grass blade in any one mowing.  If the grass should happen to get ahead of us due to wet weather,
we will always move up the cutting height of our mower to the highest setting possible.  Over the next few visits we’ll gradually lower the height until we reach the proper cutting height that ensures maximum health and vitality for your lawn.

  • Mow Your Lawn At the Proper Frequency

Part of making sure you cut your grass to the proper height and as equally important is making sure you mow your grass at the proper frequency.  Again, if you mow your grass either too low or too high it leaves it open to being too dry,
vulnerable to invading weeds or turf disease, or other deadly problems that can wreak havoc on your beautiful lawn. 

The question you’re probably asking is, “Knowing what I know now about the importance of proper cutting height and frequency, how often should I mow?” 
Well, believe it or not, the answer is: it depends on how quickly your grass grows.  Shocker, huh? 

Actually, it’s really not all that surprising if you consider the rate at which your grass grows is affected by:

    • How much you fertilize:  The more fertilizer you apply, in the proper amounts, the faster your lawn grows and the more frequently you’ll need to mow.
The time of year:  Cool-season grasses grow fastest during the cool months of spring and fall.  Warm-season grasses grow faster during the hot summer months. 
During those periods, you’ll have to mow more often depending again, on the type of grass you have.
    • How you water:  Obviously, if you stop watering or at least cut back, the grass will grow slower which means you won’t need to mow as frequently.  More water generally means more mowing.

Again, here at {LCOName} we mow at a frequency that’s best for your lawn.  While we generally prefer to mow on a weekly basis during the peak growing seasons, we will adjust our schedule based on the need
of your lawn so that your lawn maintains the perfect height to ensure proper root structure, moisture distribution, on disease control.

  • Guard Against Nasty Lawn Invaders

Even though you may follow perfectly all the advice and direction you’ve read so far, that in no way guarantees a problem free lawn.  Giving your lawn the proper nutrition, correct amounts of water, and mowing at the proper
height and frequency will all go a long way towards creating the beautiful lush turf you desire, but many times it’s not enough. 

In order to give your lawn the best chance possible for developing into the carpet of green you’re hoping to achieve, you need prepare against and be on guard for those nasty little invaders that are looking to move in on your turf. 
These invaders include the many varieties of lawn weeds as well as the various types of harmful insects that find your lawn to be the ideal home. 

While a completely weed-free lawn is impractical, if not impossible, a beautiful lawn that includes a few weeds is both practical and possible.  That being said however, you certainly don’t want to let them get out of control and over run all your hard work. 

There are several things you can do to reduce the quantity and appearance of weeds in your lawn:

Eliminate the weeds before you plant.  If you’re planting a new lawn, you have a perfect opportunity to eliminate the majority of pesky weeds before you start.
  • Beat out the weeds.  What this means is that you help your grass win the competition over the weeds.  You do this by your lawn the best possible chance to win the battle by doing all the things we’ve already discussed. 
    Watering in the proper amounts, cutting at the right height and proper frequency, fertilizing your lawn properly, and also performing other maintenance such as aerating.
Pull the weeds by hand.  Even though this may sound a bit comical, it really can do quite a bit to help reduce the amount of weeds in your lawn.  This is especially helpful if you have a younger lawn that hasn’t matured yet.
  • Use herbicides.  Although they are countless varieties and kinds of herbicides available at your local garden or hardware store, this really should be the last resort.  While using a herbicide may kill the weeds in your lawn, if the
    soil or water or nutrient conditions that are promoting the growth of the weeds aren’t remedied, it will only provide a temporary fix.  It’s easy to become dependent on annual applications of herbicides and never really fix the problem. 
    That’s why it’s so important to maintain a careful balance of the previous 4 ingredients discussed previously.

Now, while there are a good many nasty critters whose primary objective is to destroy the lawn you’ve worked so hard to develop and maintain, it’s important to keep in mind that not all of these critters are out to do damage. 
There are a good many insects that actually provide a great deal of benefit to your lawn and help promote the lush, healthy turf that you’re trying to achieve.

When it comes to guarding against those nasty insects that are looking to destroy all your hard work and effort, there are several things you can do to protect your lawn:

Alter the way you care for your lawn.  As has been said numerous times already, a healthy lawn has fewer problems.  If you examine the amount of water, the frequency and height of mowings, and also the amount of fertilizer you’re applying,
you might find that you’re missing the boat on of those steps. As a result, your lawn won’t be as healthy as it possibly could be which is an invitation for the nasty critters to move in. 
Alter your lawn care practices and you’ll find your problems are diminished.

Better yet, let Maedgen's Lawn Care handle all of your lawn care needs and eliminate any worry about whether or not your doing things in their proper balance. 
We have the knowledge and experience necessary to create a healthy environment in which your lawn is sure to prosper.

Plant resistant lawn grasses.  If a particular insect continually gives you problems, you might have the wrong kind of grass.  You may find that there’s a type of grass that’s better suited for our climate and more resistant to those pesky bugs.

We’d be happy to help you determine whether or not you have the right type of grass.  Call us today to schedule a time when we can come out to take a look at your lawn for free.

  • Use botanical insecticides.  These are insecticides that are derived from plants.  They break down quickly and are relatively nontoxic to mammals, but can be particularly useful against these insects infesting your lawn.
  • Use traditional insecticides. While very effective at ridding your lawn of these nasty critters, these should be your last resort.  Using these chemicals can have a negative impact on your lawn, killing beneficial organisms,
    as well as the environment around the effected area. 

You should always consult a professional before resorting to these traditional insecticides because of the potential damage that can be done to the surrounding environment.

A beautiful, thick, lush lawn requires lots of care and attention.

Even though attaining the beautiful lawn you’ve dreamed of having is well within your reach, it will take a considerable amount of time and effort.  It requires constant care and attention to ensure it reaches its maximum potential.

While helping your lawn reach its full potential does require a considerable amount of time and effort, that doesn’t mean you need to commit all your free time to making this dream a reality.  Here at {LCOName},
we specialize in helping you give your lawn all the care and attention it requires in order to create the thick, lush carpet you’re after. 

Instead of spending your weeknights or weekends sweating away your precious time out making sure your lawn is receiving the proper nutrients and is being cut at the right height and frequency, you could have us take over these all important tasks.

We work with you to create a program and schedule that works for not only your lawn, but for your budget as well.  We pride ourselves on helping you create the picture perfect lawn and will work with you to ensure that happens.

In addition to giving you the thick, lush, green lawn you’re dreaming of, we’ll also give you back your free time, giving you the opportunity to spend that time with friends or family doing the things you would rather be doing.

Call us today to schedule your FREE lawn care estimate and let us begin the process of nurturing the lawn of your dreams!