Back in my thirties, between taking care of two children and teaching, so I could hardly make time for my garden.
Every time I saw a neighbor’s lawn, weeded and manicured to perfection, I’d feel a pang of envy. So, one day, I decided to finally do something about it.
Growing the ideal lawn is far from child’s play. Don’t let the catalogs fool you; a verdurous garden requires skills, patience, and the right attitude. A number of factors go into the process and it pays to be prepared for long hours outdoors, and of course, a few disappointments along the way. Perfection takes practice, isn’t it?
For many, this may sound like a distant dream; it did to me too. But it was the same neighbors I envied who helped me out. From selecting the right kind of grass to mowing and fertilizing, there wasn’t a moment when I found myself alone.
Their willingness to help is what gave me the idea for this article. After all, communities need not be restricted to neighborhoods. Hi! I’m Stacy, and I’m here to guide you to the garden of your dreams.
So, let’s get going, shall we?
How to Get a Green Lawn Without Weeds
Outlined below are the best suggestions I received from my neighbors. While most are quite easy to incorporate and follow, they do demand a certain degree of research, perseverance, and consistency. Take a look!
1. Choose the Right Kind of Grass
Each type of grass has a designated season and more importantly, a region. Before you begin, it’s crucial to find out which type grows best in your location.
Warmer varieties are found in the south in abundance, for instance, Bermuda grass, Bahia, and Zoysia grass. On the other hand, colder varieties like Kentucky bluegrass, fescue, and ryegrass thrive in the climatic conditions of the north. A useful method to confirm which type suits your region is to check with the local extension office. They usually have the information and are happy to share it.
2. Mow Well
Now that you’ve planted the right kind of grass, it is equally important to mow it regularly using the right technique. A mower with sharp blades works best as it cuts clean through the grass without shredding or tearing it. However, ultimately it is the grass type and height that determine which mower you should use.
There are a few conditions under which special care must be taken. If you mow when the soil is wet, chances of tearing up the grass are considerably high. Also, it’s important to vary the mowing pattern if one wants to avoid creating ruts in the ground. Here's an excellent collection of inexpensive lawn mowers you can use right now.
3. Proper Irrigation
This goes without saying but you’ll be surprised to know how often people ignore irrigation. One of the key factors that determine the health of a garden is the amount of water it receives.
This is especially relevant in times of hot weather as the grass requires more moisture in order to avoid droughts. During such periods, deep and frequent irrigation helps promote the growth of healthy roots that sustain the grass for longer.
4. Scout for Problems
For anybody who owns a lawn, it helps to remain proactive throughout the year and scout for problems. Plants are prone to a wide variety of issues including weeds, insects, bare spots, and other diseases.
If left unchecked, they can severely hamper the immunity of the soil and grass, and lead to rampant weed growth. A few tips to ensure this doesn’t happen are given below.
Keep a lookout for insects. Skunks are one of the most common species found in lawns and they dig up the soil, leaving it exposed to the elements. Also, a variety of birds like to feed on the turf while white grubs are also likely to be found throughout the year.
Tackle weeds as soon as you spot them. Weeds are as pesky as they’re resilient, and one leads to the growth of many. Weed-killers are highly effective in most cases but must be used in moderation to avoid overkill.
In case a bare spot appears, try to identify the cause at the earliest and promptly deal with it. Exposed soil is fertile ground for the growth of weeds and must be patched as soon as possible.
5. Dethatch and Aerate
If you want a lush lawn that is free of weeds, you must first get rid of the excessive build-up. This is why dethatching is important; it removes build-up on top of the grass, thus allowing air and water to percolate to the roots.
Thatch also provides shelter to pests that thrive on the grass and deplete it of nutrients. In this case, aeration can be of great help as it prevents soil compaction and boosts its quality.
6. Use Fertilizers
We all are aware of the benefits of a good fertilizer, but before you jump on the bandwagon, make sure that you’re using the right blend of nutrients. A soil test will put your doubts to rest in case they persist after the research.
Soil tests check for acidity, alkalinity, and pH levels, which further shed light on the amounts of iron, lime, and magnesium required. In addition to this, a well-tailored fertilizer program bears in mind that different varieties of grass must be fertilized at different times of the year.
7. Keep Off The Grass
Funnily enough, it holds true even today and your lawn will thank you for not trampling all over it. Stepping on germinating grass is a surefire way to hinder its growth; take it one step at a time while watering freshly sprung grass.
On attaining a height of 2 to 3 inches, the blades become strong enough to endure an empty garden roller. It is only when they’re 3 to 4 inches tall that they’re suitable for mowing.
To put it simply, a green lawn is a labor of love and patience. Most people own a backyard, but for yours to stand out, you should certainly follow the tips listed above.
It’s easy enough to lose yourself in catalogs of expensive and complicated machinery. But all it truly requires is your time, and that is far more difficult than shelling out a few extra dollars. Also, when it comes to tending to lawns, technique is crucial.
With that thought, I’ll leave you to your garden. Go ahead, and make it lush. Till next time!