Are you a complete beginner to lawn care? Then you shouldn’t go through any struggles with what you are about to do. You just need to consider it as a great learning experience. In this article, we will share some lawn maintenance tips that beginners need to keep in mind. Then you can go ahead and take good care of your lawn.
Identifying the problems in your lawn
You’ll need to be able to spot concerns, such as those brought on by bad weather, a lot of traffic, pets, bugs, and illnesses, as part of your lawn care apprenticeship. It is a kind of on-the-job training. You won’t know everything when you start an apprenticeship, regardless of the kind.
Stick to a lawn care schedule
Keep an annual lawn care routine as you progress toward being an experienced lawncare homeowner. Keep a journal and pen in your shed or garage. It will serve as a location for notes as well as aid in helping you recall what you’ve previously accomplished. Note down any illnesses, bugs, or other issues you’ve come across or dealt with, along with the circumstances. Next year, it will be something to keep an eye out for.
In areas where fertilization is regulated by law, a fertilization timetable can be very crucial. It would be awful to miss an application by only a few weeks! For dates of fertilizer blackouts, see municipal regulations.
Get a soil test done
You can produce healthy soil by using the abundance of valuable information that a soil test will provide you. You’re not required to do it yourself. Store-bought soil test kits aren’t particularly accurate. therefore, I don’t advise using them. Instead, inquire about the soil testing services offered by your local university extension department. You will be guided through the sample collection procedure.
Among other helpful information, the soil analysis will show the soil’s composition, if your lawn needs more or less nitrogen, and whether additional amendments are required.
Taking the right watering measures during average and drought conditions
Watering your grass occasionally and thoroughly will help it. Lawns can be harmed by frequent, light irrigation because it promotes shallow root development. Every week, a lawn needs roughly one inch of water. To make up the difference, monitor the amount of rain that has fallen and irrigate accordingly.
Measure the amount of water you are using if irrigation is more important to you than rain. When you water your grass, put it in a tuna can or any comparable flat container. You’ve watered until there is one inch of water in the container. Keep track of the duration. In this manner, you will be able to water without measuring the following time.
The top 4 to 6 inches of soil should always be wet. A 6-inch screwdriver can be used to measure the moisture depth. When you push it into dry earth, you’ll encounter resistance. Before irrigating, use this approach to ascertain how much water, if any, your grass need. Check to see how deep the water has gotten after irrigating. To check whether the grass is being watered equally, try trying in a few different places.
It matters what time of day you water your grass. Early in the morning, water lawns to let the grass dry. A lengthy period of wetness makes grass more prone to illness. When watering during the middle of the day in the heat and light, more water will also evaporate.
Drought and prolonged heat waves can lead lawns to go dormant, requiring less water and slowing development. For 3–4 weeks without water, lawns can endure dormancy brought on by a drought.
If your lawn has entered a drought-induced dormancy, you have a decision to make, and once you make it, you must follow it. During dry spells, you have two options: either you can continue watering your grass up to an inch each week or you can maintain it alive but not actively growing. Personally, I think it’s best to maintain the grass alive. It requires less water, and when the weather is good, the grass will once again become green.
Only water the dormant grass every 3 to 4 weeks at a rate of 1/2 to 1 inch if you decide to keep it that way. Your grass will be able to withstand the heat with this. Consistency is key! Your grass experiences more stress from a sporadic watering regimen. Simply keeping it alive is your main concern here.
Keep up a watering regimen of 1 inch once a week or up to 1 inch twice a week if you decide you’d prefer to keep your grass lush and green. Again, you must maintain consistency to prevent more stress on your grass.
Mow often and mow high
Mowing height has a direct effect on the health of the lawn. Generally speaking, the height of the grass indicates the depth of the roots: higher grass, deeper roots. The health of the grass increases with increased mowing.
Here in Wisconsin, the drought conditions are already here. I see lawns that have been fried by being cut too short. In times of summer drought, it’s crucial to mow at the maximum suggested height. Drought resistance is improved in grass with longer leaves and deeper root systems. It hinders the growth of weed seeds and helps protect soil from drying out.
You must first identify the kind of grass on your yard in order to establish the appropriate mowing height. The ideal height differs for each type. When you mow, never take more than one-third of a blade of grass at a time. To cut the grass to the appropriate height, you can need to mow it numerous times over the course of several days if it is quite long. Every time you mow, switch up the direction to help avoid ruts. Leave the lawn with the grass clippings. It will provide you with free fertilizer.
Taking control over weed
Hand pulling weeds is the finest method of weed management in the summer. I like this approach more since it uses less chemicals on my grass. Or you can decide to use a post-emergent herbicide (the weed is already growing) to spot treat weeds.
You will need to wait until the autumn to spray a post-emergent herbicide or use a weed and feed product if removing or spot treatment won’t get rid of all the weeds on your grass. Here are further details on how to use weed and feed products.
Pre-emergent herbicides, which help stop weed seeds from germinating, should be used in the autumn if you live in an area where winter weeds infest your grass. (Make sure it’s in your calendar so you don’t forget.)
Properly fertilizing the lawn
An established lawn needs fertilizer while the grass is actively developing. Around July 4, prepare to fertilize with Milorganite. Use our “holiday schedule,” which outlines the ideal times to Milorganite-fertilize both warm-season and cool-season grasses. You won’t be able to fertilize if your grass is a warm-season kind until Labor Day.
Milorganite is a nitrogen fertilizer that comes with a slow-release rate. For eight to ten weeks, it supplies your grass with nutrients at a pace it can use. It has iron in it, which keeps the grass green. Although watering is not required in Milorganite, it will guarantee that the fertilizer is in touch with the soil and quicken the fertilization process.
To assist reduce nutrient runoff, which can be harmful to streams and aquatic life, use Milorganite at the recommended amount. By favoring blade development over root growth, too much nitrogen can also harm lawns. To help reduce runoff, always keep a 10-foot buffer. This will be the no-fertilize zone and it will be nearby to any body of water.
It’s a good idea to calibrate your spreader before using Milorganite or any other lawn product to make sure you’re really using the quantity of product you think you are. For some of the most popular spreaders, we have included spreader settings. If your spreader’s manufacturer isn’t mentioned, you can calibrate any spreader in a matter of simple steps.
Seeding and repairing bare spots
Repairing dry places, overseeding your lawn, or sowing a new grass from seed should not be done in the summer. Late summer or early autumn is the ideal time to plant seeds. Wait till the temperature cools down in the early October if the weather is still quite hot in late summer. Later in the year, add seeding to your calendar.
Beginners don’t need to be intimidated by lawn maintenance. No matter what the chore, consistency and sticking to a plan are two of the most crucial components of keeping a healthy lawn.