What is the most grown crop in the U.S.? Most people might assume that the answer to this question is corn or soy. Actually, though, the most grown crop is likely thriving in your backyard right this instant. It is estimated that 63,000 square miles of the United States are taken up by lawns, which is an area about the size of Texas.
When you own a home and have a yard, it’s easy to put a lot of time and energy into achieving the perfect, lush green lawn.
However, when it comes to lawn care, it’s essential to work smarter and not harder. Otherwise, you can end up pouring a lot of your excess time and money into maintaining your yard.
Are you wondering what you need to do to grow a gorgeous lawn? Let’s take a look at what you need to know.
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Basic Tools Required For a Lush Green Lawn
There are a number of basic tools you will need in order to keep your lawn healthy and looking amazing. You might find that you already have many of these tools, while the rest can easily be acquired from your local hardware store.
You will need a garden hose that is long enough to water your lawn. However, there is such a thing as watering too much. How much you need to water your lawn will depend on the climate you live in, the particularities of your property, and the type of grass you are growing.
Some people might choose to get sprinklers for their lawn so that watering can happen consistently. Later in the article, we’ll talk about watering your lawn and how much (or how little) you should undergo this task.
Garden Cart or Wheelbarrow
It is incredibly useful to have a wheelbarrow or a garden cart for moving around all kinds of tools and products. Things like fertilizer, seeds, soil, and tools can be moved around your lawn with ease with the help of this equipment. You also might choose to store your garden tools here for easy access every time you go to care for your lawn.
These are basically heavy-duty scissors. Perfect for snipping the heads off of troublesome weeds or trimming along garden beds, you’ll find it helpful to have shears in your arsenal.
This hand tool has a pointed blade and makes it easy to dig small holes and break up soil. You can use trowels for planting seedlings, digging up weeds, and filling small holes.
A lawn rake is an essential tool when it comes to dealing with leaves in the fall, tidying up the yard, and removing grass clipping. Metal prongs on a rake make for a tool that will last a lot longer than those with plastic prongs.
Of course, you will also want a lawnmower to keep your grass at a healthy length. You can also use a scythe for this purpose if you’re feeling old-school, but the standard is to have a lawnmower.
Weedwhackers are essential for dealing with the spots where lawnmowers can’t go. You’ll find that this is one of the most useful tools you have for keeping your lawn looking professional, beautiful, and well-kept.
Taking care of your lawn can be a big job. If you want to make sure that your lawn is always looking its best, let Lush Green care for your lawn.
Many gardeners don’t think about testing their soil when it comes to keeping their lawn healthy. It is often recommended by experts to test the pH level of your soil at least once every three years. This way, you can know if there’s anything you should do to give your lawn a healthier foundation in order to grow a lush, green lawn.
Soil tests should be done early in the spring. This will determine whether your soil is too alkaline or acidic for optimal grass growth. If your soil is missing elements like magnesium, sulfur, or calcium, it can impact the health of your lawn.
You can usually find soil testing kits at hardware stores. These include charts to help you understand what the results mean. You will want to take a sample when the soil is dry and follow the directions carefully.
Soil composition can vary, even within your own yard. For this reason, you’ll want to take samples from a number of different locations.
Watering Your Lawn
For your grass to be as green as possible, water is essential. You’ll want to use proper watering techniques to make sure that your lawn isn’t getting too much or too little water.
Best Time to Water
It’s best to water your lawn in the early hours of the day. Usually, this will be between 6 and 10 am. This is the best time to water because the wind is minimal and the air is cooler.
Since the temperature is cooler in the morning, it means that water doesn’t evaporate as quickly. If you water in the heat of the day, much of the water you are trying to give your grass will end up evaporating into the air with the heat of the sun.
How Often You Should Water
There are a number of factors that impact how often you should water your lawn. These include the type of grass, the type of soil, the amount of rainfall, the average temperature, and the climate. It is typically best to avoid watering every day even though it can be hard to resist the urge.
When your lawn is healthy, it has deep roots that can seek water from lower down in the soil. If you are giving your grass water every day, it has no incentive to develop these deep roots that contribute to its health and strength.
How Much You Should Water
The amount of rainfall, the type of grass, and other factors influence how much you should water. The general rule of thumb is that your lawn thrives off of one to two inches of water every week. It is best to water for a longer period of time once or twice a week rather than watering in short time periods every day, as doing the former will help encourage the growth of deep roots.
How Long You Should Water For
There is an easy way to measure the perfect amount of time to water for. You can place plastic containers with straight sides around your lawn with measurements on the side. Then, either using your hose or your sprinklers, monitor how long it takes to reach the desired amount of water in one session.
Using a Timer
Some people choose to use a timer for their sprinklers. You can program these to indicate when you want watering to start, how long the water should be on for, and how often watering should occur.
Proper Lawn Mowing Techniques
You want to ideally mow your lawn when the grass is dry. This is because grass blades that are dry will cut neater and won’t clump on your mower wheels and shoes. For this reason, it isn’t always ideal to have a perfectly consistent mowing schedule because sometimes the grass will be wet when you’ve blocked out time to mow the lawn.
How often you mow will depend on the time of year. During the spring, you might find that twice a week is best. Later in the summer, you might only mow your lawn once every two weeks.
Your climate will be a major factor in how often you need to mow your lawn. It is typically best to keep your lawn around three or four inches long. You’ll want to make sure you don’t let your grass get much taller than 5 inches before you mow, as your lawn growth can stall, and weed growth can be encouraged when you cut too much height off the grass at once.
How to Get a Green, Lush Lawn: Aeration
If your lawn is brown and patchy, it might be because moisture, nutrients, and oxygen aren’t able to reach the roots of the grass due to thatching. Thatching is the name for the layer of built-up grass under the surface of your lawn. Aeration can help to deal with this problem.
Aeration is basically poking holes in your yard to break the thatch and reduce soil compaction. This helps to encourage the roots of your grass to grow deeper and stronger.
You can use a plug aerator or a spike aerator on a moist lawn in order to poke holes in the surface of your yard. Soil plugs can be raked out once they’ve dried out or broken up with a lawnmower.
If you are looking around for advice to grow a lush, green lawn, you’ve likely come across talk of fertilization. One of the easiest and best ways to add nutrients to your lawn is to leave the grass clippings on your lawn after mowing. However, this only works if you’ve only cut one or two inches.
Grass clippings can add organic materials and nitrogen back into the soil and they break down quite quickly. You can learn more about other types of lawn fertilizers here.
The type of grass you are growing impacts the best time to fertilize. If you are growing warm-season grass, you will want to fertilize while the grass is growing and avoid fertilizing too early in the spring, as this will encourage the growth of weeds. If you are growing a cool-season lawn, you will want to do your fertilizing in the fall in order to build healthy roots.
How to Seed Bare Spots
If there are bare spots in your lawn, you’ll want to reseed before weeds can be established. First, break up the soil a bit with a rake and then sprinkle topsoil or compost before planting the grass seeds by hand. You can then tamp own the seeds with your shoe to make sure they are making good contact with the soil before watering the area.
Raking Your Lawn
While a great way to add nutrients to your grass is to leave grass clippings after mowing, too many grass clippings can smother your lawn. This is also the case when it comes to fallen leaves in the fall. If you leave leaves on your lawn for too long, it can promote snow mold diseases in the winter or suffocate your grass.
Weeds are best dealt with as soon as possible. Pull weeds out after briefly watering, as this makes it easier to remove them efficiently. When you are pulling weeds, you want to make sure you are pulling out the entire root system as they will otherwise just grow back if you fail to do this.
Growing a Lush Green Lawn Is Within Your Reach
Increasingly, people are questioning the amount of time and energy they put into keeping their lawn gorgeous. This has opened the doors to a number of viable alternatives, such as using ornamental grasses, moss, clover, and other cover crops. However, there just isn’t anything quite like a beautifully and perfectly mowed, green lawn.
When you want your grass to thrive, the best thing is to encourage its healthiest growth. Rather than obsessively over-mowing or overwatering, learning how to create a yard of strong, hearty grass can go a long way.
Did you find this article about growing a lush, green lawn helpful? If so, be sure to check out the rest of our blog for more informative and interesting articles!