Every neighborhood has one: the over-achiever. They spend hundreds decorating their house for Halloween, and come the holidays their home is the biggest, brightest (and sometimes loudest) on the street. Worse still, their lawn is so green it looks like it could have been transplanted straight from the Augusta National Golf Club.
While there isn’t a lot you can do about their decorating habits, there are ways you can change the look and feel of your yard. Take these tips to heart and watch as your grass grows as green as the envy of your neighbors.
1. Don’t Overestimate the Benefits of Weed Killers and Fertilizers
Applying the chemicals that will kill all the weeds and encourage the right grass to grow isn’t as easy as it seems. Before you just go out there and slap any old thing on your grass, do a little homework. Read product labels or consult an expert at your local garden center. Remember that you need to take soil conditions, grass type and the particular kinds of weeds that are growing in your yard into account. There are optimal times to apply these chemicals. Finally, don’t fall into the trap of believing that you can never overdo your chemical applications. They put product use instructions on those bottles for a reason.
2. Learn the Art of Mowing
While cutting your grass is necessary, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. Squelch your desire to cut the grass super short so as to extend the times between mowings. Doing so can burn out your grass. Instead, never mow more than one-third of your grass’s blade length. Chopping off more could stress your grass and keep it from growing laterally, i.e. more thickly. Also, be sure your mower blades are sharp. Dull blades that only chip your grass contribute to sickly leaves, which in turn can turn your grass from a gorgeous green to a bleh brown.
3. Water with Care
Just as with cutting your lawn, watering is an art. It’s more than turning your hose or sprinklers on when the mood hits. In fact, your best bet is to water your lawn deeply and less often, as opposed to sprinkling it lightly every day. With the more thorough method, you will be encouraging the grass to lay down deeper roots that extend to water supplies well below the surface of your yard. Sprinklings result in shallow roots and poorer soil quality. Do your watering early in the morning, making you’re finished by around 10:00 a.m. Consequently, the sun will have plenty of time to dry excess moisture. By contrast, if you water at night, extra dampness gets trapped in your lawn, providing an optimal environment for plant diseases.
4. Add a Little Breathing Room
Water isn’t the only thing your lawn needs if it is to become green and thick. Air and sunshine are just as important. Trim branches and shrubs that are keeping sunlight from hitting your lawn. For areas shaded by trees, water more frequently for shorter periods of time, since the roots of the grass will be shallower there.
If you put these lawn enrichment strategies into practice, you’re sure to see a marked improvement in the look of your property. Although the transformation will not be immediate, we’re certain that everyone on your block will soon notice that your lawn is changing from its former ugly duckling status into a swan.
Have any cool grass tips? Leave us a comment below.