6 Keys to a Beautiful Lawn
6 Keys to a Beautiful Lawn
All life functions of your lawn revolve around the availability of water. During times of drought, when water is unavailable, healthy lawns go dormant. Unhealthy lawns, with insect or mowing problems, could die during periods of drought and leave voids for weeds to emerge. Adequate water is the single most important key to a healthy lawn. Invest in a quality ¾ inch hose and sprinkler.
Mowing your lawn with dull blades injures the grass plant causing plant death when coupled with insect invasion or drought stress. Sharpen your blades every month for best results and every other month for adequate results. Mow your lawn every 4-5 days at a 3 inch height. Don’t be the cause of your lawns demise, sharpen your blades today.
Grass plants require nutrients to grow, thrive and recover from unfavorable conditions. Proper application and timing is critical in this process. Apply a quality slow release fertilizer with crabgrass preventer in the spring to start the season off right and prevent harmful weeds from emerging. Apply another quality slow release fertilizer in early June.This application will help the plant survive the summer heat and recover from drought conditions that usually occur. Fall is the absolute best time to apply fertilizer to your lawn and landscape. A 50/50 mix of slow and quick release fertilizer is best in early September. Finish the year off with a quick release fertilizer in late October to prepare the plant for winter by storing needed food in its roots.
Slow release fertilizers early in the year feed evenly and reduce the amount of clippings produced by the plant. Quick release fertilizers in late October are immediately available to the plant while root production is high and upward growth is low.
Finally Iron is the key ingredient in producing a deep green lawn. Use a chelated or sulfate iron source for best results on home lawns in Northern Indiana. Other sources of iron do not make themselves available for plant uptake in soils with pH of 7.0 or higher.
- Insect Control
Proper insect control is critical prior to summer heat stress and drought. Insects lay eggs when moisture is readily available in late spring. Your goal is to apply a quality insecticide just after the eggs hatch and before the insects become too large to control. The larger insect feed on the roots and leaves of the grass plants causing stress to the plant. Lawns can recover from 1 stress event, but struggle to recover from multiple stress events occurring at the same time. Insect feeding usually coincides with drought conditions during the summer months. Multiple stresses to your lawn, occurring at the same time, usually result in plant death.Always hire a licensed pesticide applicator to properly apply any chemicals or fertilizers to your lawn. Apply a quality broad spectrum insecticide in May to prevent insect stress on grass plants.
Even the best lawn benefits from overseeding in early September. New varieties of turf grass are being produced with darker green color, better heat tolerance, reduced water needs and many other exciting advances. Overseed to take advantage of these improved traits. You may also need to overseed due to insect damage, heat or drought damage or simply turf death due to unknown causes. Overseed September 1st at 3 pounds viable seed per thousand square feet for best results. Avoid using a bagger or lawn sweeper for 4 weeks during seed germination.
- Weed control
In most cases weeds are more problematic for homeowners than they are for your lawn. In severe cases weed infestation will reduce the density and overall health of the lawn, but for the most part they simply look bad. Blanket applications of an herbicide or weed and feed are not necessary in most cases. The unnecessary and improper application of chemicals could also be harmful to the environment and neighboring landscape plants. A much better practice is spot treating the lawn weeds as needed throughout the season. If you are following the above steps your lawn should be relatively weed free already. Spray the random weed that may break through and protect the environment for future generations. Always hire a licensed pesticide applicator to apply any chemicals or fertilizers to your lawn or landscape.
Follow these 6 steps and enjoy a healthy green lawn your neighbors will envy.