At some point in time, almost all homeowners find themselves either needing to plant a lawn or patch the existing one they have.
There are a few simple steps to take in order to ensure success, so stick around and you’ll be able to find every trick or tip you need in order to plant, grow and maintain and great looking lawn.
Plant & Grow
First of all, you’ll want to pick the right seeds for your garden, considering the amount of shade, foot fall the lawn will have and how much water there is available.
No matter if you’re planting from seed, or sod, you’re going to go pretty much through the same process of preparing the soil.
Here’s how the process of planting, re-planting or re-seeding goes, starting from laying turf and finishing with adding some organic matter and enough water for it to germinate and of course, to grow.
You’ll begin the planting process by getting all the weeds under control and clearing out the area as best you can. The next thing you should do is till the soil and rake it in, giving your garden a nice smooth surface to plant the seeds on.
Once you’ve evened out the soil, you can go ahead and firm it up a bit, using a roller, or simply by stepping on it.
Once this step is complete, you’re ready to plant the seeds. Make sure to add some organic matter and water it consistently for at least 3-4 weeks to allow the seeds to grow, or the sod to root and take hold into the soil below.
Sod or turf is grass and the part of the soil beneath it held together by its roots or another piece of thin material. In British English, such material is more usually known as turf, and the word “sod” is limited mainly to agricultural senses.
Pro Tip: The best period to plant grass seeds is when the temperatures are around 15-25 °C, rather than in the heat of summer, when the weather is hot and dry outside, because those conditions will only make the seed struggle to germinate.
Spring and autumn, on the other hand, are perfect for planting both grass seeds or sod, so keep that in mind when you decide to plant or re-plant your lawn.
Lawn Care Equipment
Maintaining a beautiful lawn shouldn’t be a complicated and difficult process, and it certainly isn’t, once you get lawn care equipment that’s suitable for your needs.
You don’t have to buy the most expensive pieces of equipment available on the market, you just need to be smart about your choices and do some research before you settle on a piece of equipment.
Whichever brand or name you choose to go with, it should be of a decent quality and it should suit your needs perfectly. A good mower, trimmer or edger should last you many years if you maintain them properly.
These are some of the basic, and most commonly used lawn care tools and equipment to consider investing in:
There’s a vast array of different lawn mowers on the market. They sometimes even come with some useful features and attachments that make your job an even easier one.
If you’re not sure which mower would suit your needs best, and aren’t sure which one to buy, you can have a look at this mowers buying guide that features the best available mowers on the market right now, so that you can be sure to buy a powerful lawn mower that will stand the test of time.
Trimmer, edger, blower, rake
String trimmers are handheld devices that are used to cut or trim the grass around buildings, flower beds, fences, trees and other areas that are not accessible by the lawn mower.
Edgers are similar to trimmers, except with metal blades instead of a string. They are used for the same exact purpose as the string trimmers and are not considered as essential lawn care equipment, although they are quite practical and can be perfect for cutting around beds and walkways.
They’re a nice-to-have if you are a little more particular about getting a certain finish to your lawn.
Blowers are used to blow debris, leaves or grass clippings away from patios or walkways. There are convenient but not at all essential.
Although called blowers, they are also often able to suck up leaves into a collection bag. This GTech leaf blower is a good example.
Rakes on the other hand are quite an essential tool, especially if you want to do everything by hand, without using expensive machines. They are the environmentally-friendly option and are an easy and inexpensive way to get rid of leaves, grass-clippings or debris from your lawn.
Aerator and Lawn Spiker
These two tools keep your lawn healthy and aeriated by poking holes in the soil or by removing cores. These tools help your lawn breathe and they also help increase water absorption, while also reducing soil compaction.
Unlike your lawn-mower, your trimmer, or rake, these tools are only used once every few months at most, and however useful, they aren’t something every homeowner has in their shed.
De-thatchers can be bought and installed as attachments to riding mowers, although the same results can be achieved using a rake.
De-thatching is basically removing thatch and dead grass from the lawn so it can breathe better, and water can penetrate it much easier.
Feeding and Fertilizer
To properly feed your lawn, you’ll first need to know the right time to do it, and get the right tools and materials for the type of soil and grass you have.
The first thing you’ll need to do is get everything ready. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Rake and garden fork (to help your lawn breathe and get more water absorption)
- Watering can or hose
When to Feed Your Lawn
Although some believe that feeding your lawn once a year is enough to make a difference and improve its condition, you can achieve a much greener and healthier lawn by feeding it 4 times a year. This will make your grass look really green and beautiful.
Here are the 4 most suitable periods to feed your lawn:
- Early Spring
- Late Spring
- Summer (6 to 8 weeks after the late spring feeding)
- Autumn (right before winter hits)
How to Feed Your Lawn
We all want to have a green and beautiful lawn, and the best way we know how to achieve that is by feeding the lawn.
Feeding the lawn helps you keep it strong, weed-free and insect-free. The healthier your lawn is the better chance it has at battling weeds and insects.
By adopting this simple feeding regimen, you’ll always have gloriously green grass, and you won’t have to worry about weeds, dry patches and insects ever again.
The one thing you need to remember is that there are a lot of different types of fertilizers that are used for different reasons, although if you’re not really sure about the type of lawn you have you can always go with an all-in-one fertilizer.
There are two common types of fertilizer that you’ll have to choose from, and those are granular and liquid fertilizer. If you’re like most homeowners, you’ve probably faced the same dilemma as everyone else, which is whether to go with the liquid or the granular kind.
What helps the most is to review all the differences between liquid and granular fertilizer so that you can choose the right one for your lawn.
Once you’ve chosen the right type of feed for your lawn it’s time to get your spreader and get to work. Remember to properly set the delivery rate on your spreader according to the instructions on the packet.
Feed the lawn evenly, going backwards and forwards in a parallel motion so that you can cover your whole lawn.
To keep your lawn looking fresh and green year round, follow these tips for green grass, and you can be sure that your lawn will be the best looking one on the block.
Organic Vs. Non Organic Lawn Care
There are many of you who are strong supporters of organic fertilizing, and a lot of you who advocate for chemical feed. However, some are still stuck in the middle trying to decide which one offers more advantages and is better for their lawn.
There are many factors to consider when choosing the right fertilizer, including cost, soil type, availability of products, environmental effects and many more.
If you too are on the fence you should check out this detailed list of all the advantages and disadvantages of organic vs. non organic fertilizer.
How to Control Weeds Organically
Another important part of maintaining a beautiful lawn is knowing how to properly control weeds and stop them from spreading and taking over your lawn.
There’s a lot of weedkiller information out there, and many different types of chemicals and products that are specifically designed to kill unwanted weeds, but if you decide to go the natural, organic way, there are a few tested natural recipes that work pretty well when it comes to getting rid of weeds.
This way you won’t have to worry about using harsh chemicals that can travel through the soil to other plants and stay in the soil for almost a year.
These chemicals can be harmful to your health and your family’s health, so if you’re prepared to give up the convenience of ready to go, fast-acting weed-killers then you should try out some of these amazing recipes for homemade solutions.
Here are a few of the most popular, homemade recipes that are guaranteed to work on your lawn:
Another way to prevent weeds from spreading is by keeping your soil’s pH levels balanced and by not mowing your grass too low.
Cutting and Maintaining
Many homeowners see mowing the lawn as a boring and time-consuming chore, but if you really think about it, mowing the lawn and taking care of it is actually an opportunity to make your property stand out.
If you’re not really sure what you’ll need to focus on when cutting the lawn, here’s a short but very detailed guide that will help you out through the whole process:
If you want to achieve a perfectly striped and beautiful lawn, then you’ll need to learn how to get lines in the lawn. Here are a few easy steps to achieve that:
- Use a rear roller mower (can be done with other types of mowers as well)
- Cut your lawn regularly
- Mow in parallel lines
- Work at right angles to your previous cut
- Cut little and often (twice a week during summer)
Maintaining the lawn is as important as cutting it regularly. You need to water your lawn frequently, remove and control moss and weeds, as well as control any common pests from ruining and drying up your perfectly green lawn.
In the process of maintaining your lawn, you’ll be faced with many common grass and soil diseases that you’ll need to be prepared for. Here’s what you’ll need to know.
Common Grass and Soil Diseases
There are a few very common lawn and soil diseases that affect almost all homeowners. Some can have occasional outbreaks, while others can affect your lawn year-round.
Here are some of the most common types of diseases and a few ways to repair those patchy areas and burnt grass that will be affected the most.
The top 5 most common diseases include:
- Powdery Mildew
- Brown Patch
- Red Thread
- Fairy Ring
- Snow Mold
However common these diseases might be, the fortunate thing is that there are ways and practices that you can use to treat them and keep them from spreading.
Here are some of those ways to treat common lawn diseases.
Grass Types/Artificial Grass vs Real Grass
Artificial grass has become increasingly popular over the years with a reputation for being eco-friendly, since it needs no mowing, no watering and no feeding as well. On the plus side, artificial grass has really improved over the years that it can even pass off as real grass sometimes.
On the other hand, what most of us want from a lawn is that velvety green look, the smell of freshly cut grass and its natural and calming green colours.
The only problem is that lawns come at a huge cost to our environment. It’s estimated that one-third of all residential water is used on watering lawns, which is a big problem, especially in dry climates.
Not only do we use up a lot of clean water in the process, but we also pollute our environment with all the power tools we use to maintain our lawns, especially if those are gas or electric-powered tools.
Furthermore, the fertilizers that some people use on their grass have harsh chemicals in them that pollute the soil and the surrounding plants.
There are many reasons to opt for artificial lawn if you consider all the factors.
On the other hand, as Sally Dominguez, an environmental crusader, says:
A lawn is a beautiful, emotional thing, like a pool, and it has an emotional value. It makes a garden look beautiful and serene.
She wouldn’t give up her lawn for anything in the world, so for those who share her views she recommends using rainwater, shower or laundry water (known as grey water) instead of switching to artificial grass.
That way you can still be happy with your green and healthy lawn, and you won’t be negatively affecting the environment by using clean, drinkable water for it.
Other ways to help our environment include using natural fertilizes and natural weedkiller so that you won’t pollute the soil with dangerous chemicals.
Types of Real Grass
For those of you who’ve decided to go with real grass for your garden, here are some of the most common types of real grass that you can choose from.
- Tall fescue
- Dwarf tall fescue
- Double-dwarf fescue
- Hybrid bermuda
- Kentucky bluegrass
- Perennial ryegrass
- Zoysia grass
- Seashore paspalum
- Creeping red fescue
Check out this detailed lawn grass comparison chart to find out which grass type is perfect for your garden!
Hopefully that has helped inspire you to plant, grow and maintain your lawn. With the right routine, it doesn’t have to take hours each week to develop a beautiful looking lawn.
In the beginning there might be jobs which seem daunting or difficult, but once completed a couple of times it will become very easy to do regularly.