Caring for a lawn can be quite a daunting task, and it’s natural to feel a bit nervous when you start something new. However, when you’re new to something, don’t feel nervous or anxious. Keeping your property looking nice can be tricky. So here are some tricks and tips for lawn care for beginners:
Your lawn forms part of your home’s curb appeal. Many experts in lawn care will tell you that a great-looking lawn does not happen overnight. It takes care and effort to keep your grass green and healthy.
It is a fantastic feeling to be taking care of your first lawn. The sensation of stepping barefoot onto the lawn into which you invested so much of your time and effort is something you cannot describe. A well-maintained property will always give you a 100% return on your investment.
You must learn how to care for your lawn, and it could take a lot of patience, a positive mindset, and the willingness to learn.
Your vision of a thick and lush turf is well on its way to being a reality with these 11 lawn care tips for beginners.
1. Know your Soil and Grass Type
Let’s start with the type of soil in your yard. Improving it is often the most ignored step of caring for a lawn. Your soil’s quality is responsible for the growth of your grass and anything you plant in your yard.
Your lawn will need a lot of nourishment, so you need to pay special attention to your soil.
Aerate your lawn if you have compacted and hard soil to allow the soil to loosen and take in more water, oxygen, and nutrients. You can also prepare flower beds.
Know the name of the grass in your lawn so you can do some research. Knowing about your lawn’s soil and grass type will help you some a lot of problems you will encounter while caring for your lawn.
If you are planting new grass, be aware of the type of grass that will thrive in your particular area. St. Augustine grass thrives exceptionally well If you live in the South East. The Kentucky Blue Grass, on the other hand, is your best option if you are in the North West.
The grass you plant will refuse to grow healthy and lush if it is not suitable for your area’s climate.
2. Seeding and Overseeding
Did the previous owner of your property not take care of the grass? Are you going to start from scratch and plant grass on your lawn for the first time?
Planting grass seed is your best option if you are starting from scratch. Seeding is the best way to grow plenty and lush grass. Research on the best time of the year to seed the grass type you have chosen.
Planting grass at the right time (summer or fall) contributes a lot to their successful growth.
When moving into a property with an existing lawn, check and see if it needs an overhaul or a simple touch-up. If there is damaged grass, then you may have to do some overseeding.
The process of overseeding includes adding new grass over existing grass. This is great for treating thinning areas and brown grass. Planting fresh grass will help your lawn look healthy, thriving, and dense.
Adding new grass will also increase your grass’s ability to deal with any future damage brought about by drought or other issues. Successful overseeding can be ensured when done together with aeration.
If you need vitamins to grow strong and healthy, your grass needs fertilizer. Adding fertilizer will keep your grass healthy and robust all-year-round. Your grass and turf need fertilizer for their overall well-being.
Spring is always the best time to fertilize your lawn because it is always best to boost your lawn at a temperature of 550F. Add fertilizer after the four weeks of application and after every six weeks throughout the growing season.
You can use natural fertilizers as they work better than synthetic fertilizers. You can also use a drop spreader to fertilize your lawn because you can then use the weed and feed method to weeding and fertilizing your lawn in one pass.
Speaking as a Newbie, I find it’s best to go for the granular-type fertilizer. Choose a high in nutrients and follow the directions on the label on how to fertilize your lawn.
The quantity and frequency of your lawn need water, depending on your location and the season. Be conscious of this because too much water can cause as much damage as no water.
Water your lawn thoroughly and deeply to create healthy roots. Grass typically needs between 1-inch to 1-1/2-inch of water weekly. Water should also be able to penetrate 6 inches into the soil. You can achieve this goal by watering your lawn for 15 minutes per zone and for at least three times a week. Again. The quantity and frequency will depend on the time of the year and your location.
You can use a water sprinkler in your lawn, or if it rains, the 1 to 1.5- liter requirement of your lawn may have been provided by nature. Water deeply if you are using a water sprinkler. Doing this will allow water to reach down to the roots for better growth and prevent grass from drying.
As a beginner caretaker of your lawn, you need the discipline to master the art of watering your lawn before advancing into more advanced techniques of taking care of your property.
Morning or early morning is favored for lawn watering. Between 5 am and 10 am, before the temperature gets warm. It is a big mistake to water your grass at night. Watering your lawn in the morning will keep the grass moisturized the whole day because water will not evaporate from the grass.
Remember, you have to adjust your watering schedule by season. Add some 10 minutes of watering during the summer, so your grass gets as much water as it needs. Reduce your watering schedule by 10 minutes during spring because it usually rains during this season. The same holds during the fall and winter.
The screwdriver test can help you determine if you are correctly watering your lawn. If you can push a screwdriver 6 inches into the ground quickly, you are giving your grass enough water.
Mowing is critical in lawn care and should be given much focus. It’s more complicated than you realize to mow a lawn. Cutting grass too short may be the easiest and fastest thing to do, but it will not work in your lawn’s best interest.
Keep grass to 1/3 of its height to allow it to have enough nutrients still. This is the right height for grass to recover. Cutting ½ or more off their peak, they may not properly heal.
Mornings are the best time to mow your lawn. You can trim your lawn once a week, but cutting twice per week will be more advantageous to your lawn. You should do mowing only on dry grass.
Edge your lawn after mowing to boost its border.
As a beginner in lawn care, aerating the soil may be utterly alien to you. Aeration is a mechanical process of puncturing tiny holes (about 3 inches) in your yard to allow better water and air circulation. The process allows nutrients to penetrate deep into the roots of your lawn.
If you think you are doing everything for your lawn but still it is getting worst, aeration may be the missing link. Good water and air circulation in any living thing always make it grow better. Without proper air and water circulation, you will never achieve a beautiful and green lawn.
Aerate your lawn once a year. The best times for aeration are during Spring and Fall, so that your lawn has the time it needs to recover from the heat of Summer and to prepare for the cold winter stress. For best results, do the process every month.
7. Pest Control
Pests will and do cause severe damage to your lawn. They eat up the nutrients intended for your lawn. Therefore, whether you like it or not, insects and pests will be present on your lawn, getting up to all kinds of mischief – which you can’t see and don’t know about until after the event; which is why you must always be vigilant.
Not all insects are harmful to your yard. Many of them are beneficial to the growth of your grass. When dealing with insects in your yard, make sure to remove only the ones that can damage your lawn.
Insects that are beneficial to your lawn include ground beetles, praying mantis, ladybugs, and more. They can benefit not only your lawn but your garden, too. Insects harmful to your lawn include ants, as well as sucking and chewing insects.
Keep rabbits away from your lawn, too. They have such a massive appetite for grass.
It can be challenging to eliminate weeds in your lawn permanently. They are often all over your lawn because they are easily transferred from animals, birds, shoes, and even your clothes.
Weeds always come in groups. They are never alone. When you notice weeds in the topsoil, for sure, there are other weeds underneath waiting to sprout out. Thus, when pulling weeds, make sure not to disturb them too much because it will make the other weeds sprout quickly,
If you have a large lawn area with minimal grass, chances are weeds have taken over your lawn. Fight weeds with a non-selective weed killer. Be careful when spraying because this weed killer can also kill other plants.
If there are not many weeds in your lawn, you can spot-treat (only in areas with weeds) it with a selective herbicide.
Mulching can also encourage weed-eating insects to do their thing.
Lawn mulching enhances the content and texture of the soil. It reduces thatch and diseases and, therefore, creates a healthier and greener lawn.
Mulching is the process of recycling grass clippings. Grass clippings are cut and re-cut to produce mulch. Mulch works to protect the soil’s moisture, preventing unruly weeds’ growth and maintaining an even temperature.
For best results, mulch your lawn during the spring and summer. Cut the grass and leave the mulch on the lawn.
10. Repairing Brown Patches
Brown patches in lawns usually appear in the southeast during summer because of the humid and hot temperature. It is a common grass disease present in cool-season grasses such as bluegrass, fescue, and ryegrass.
This disease creates fungal threads and moves to be more prominent and more significant to the extent of creating irregular patterns in your lawn. To repair brown patches, water the grounds in the morning to moisturize them for the day. Mow it to a high height (about 4 inches). Mowing will cut the affected areas of the grass.
Pet urine is acidic and can cause brown patches in your lawn. Train your pet to relieve itself in only one spot on the lawn. After it relieves itself, pour water on the spot to dilute the urine. This will prevent brown patches from forming in your lawn.
It is a tedious chore to gather cut grass after mowing your lawn. It will not be such if you know about grass-cycling. Grass-cycling is best done after mowing and edging your lawn. Instead of bagging the grass and discarding it in the trash, you can use it as free and extra nutrients for your lawn.
Grass-cycling is the process of recycling grass after mowing. The process entails leaving the cut grass on the lawn. You may find it not too pleasing to the eye but allowing cut grass to stay on the lawn helps grass reabsorb water, regain nutrients, and improve fertilization.
Grass-cycling can also improve the soil’s condition in your lawn; thus, it can reduce watering and fertilizing. Grass contains much Nitrogen; therefore, recycled grass can function as a fertilizing supplement and can supply about 20% of your lawn’s annual nitrogen requirement.
You do not have to do everything on this list to keep your lawn in top shape. However, it is beneficial that you know the elements that can ensure you have a healthy, lush, and green lawn.
Remember, as a beginner in lawn care; you need to have the patience to do what is right for your lawn and the willingness to learn how to take care of your lawn correctly. These 11 lawn care tips for beginners will be a tremendous help!
Edited by Patricia Godwin