Five Steps to a Perfect Lawn
Like many of you I’m passionate about my lawn. It smells great after its cut, is pretty to look at, and feels awesome to walk across barefoot or to watch the kids play on it. The following are things I feel are important to building that great lush piece of paradise many of us strive for. Good luck - Mike Fournier
- Mow high and mow often – most homeowners mow their lawn when it is convenient for them and not necessarily when the lawn needs it. They usually mow once a week on the weekends. You should mow when your grass reaches a height that when you cut you are cutting no more then a third of the grass blade. Removing more then a third will stress the plant and make it more susceptible to disease. As far as height goes we recommend setting your mower to 3” – 3 ¾”. Leaving it this high enables the turf blades to shade themselves which in turn decreases the amount of water needed for a healthy lawn. It also makes it more difficult for weeds to take hold.
- Regulate your water intake – most people over water their lawns which can cause more damage then under watering. A lawn that is always saturated does not allow oxygen and other nutrients to get into the root zone, promotes weed growth, and encourages fungal infestation. Most turf grasses in the northeast require about 1” of water per week for healthy sustainability. Mother Nature provides on average about ¾” of which only 50% is classified as effective rainfall. Your automatic sprinkler system will make up that shortfall.
- Leave your grass clippings – do not pick them up. This not only saves time and energy but as the clippings decompose they add vital nutrients back to the soil. These clippings contain the same beneficial nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium nutrients as an expensive bag of fertilizer.
- Core aeration – Soil compaction and thatch buildup is something that occurs over time. The best way to combat this is with core aeration. This process uses a machine that creates small voids in your lawn that allows air, water, and nutrients a chance to penetrate into the root zone. This should be done once a year in the fall. (more or less is determined by soil conditions)
- Give your lawn a regular balanced diet – fertilizer and weed/pest control are a must. Weather you do it yourself or hire someone it needs to be done on a timely basis and you need all five applications. It is important that pre-emergent herbicides and grub control is applied at the right time for it to be effective. Don’t skip applications.