Some people think that lawn grass planted in the garden does not require special care. After all, no one mows the grass and waters the flowers which grow in the forest lawns, but still they grow well. However, the mixture of grass for the artificial home lawn is collected from crops that require attention. Therefore, it is necessary to take proper care for lawn grass! From this article you will find out how to care for the lawn properly during the year.
Care after the lawn has been planted
On the way to get the perfect lawn covering you will have to face a lot of problems, but the end result is certainly worth the effort. The majority of people stop to take care for the lawn immediately after the first mowing, when it seems that all the work is done, and now everything will go its course. Forgetting how important it is to treat the lawn carefully after sowing, carefree owners at the end of the season very often are left with nothing. And the worst thing is that they are ready to blame anyone, but not themselves. Let’s see what we need to do in order to avoid their fate?
Most beginners believe that you have to care for your grass from the moment of its germination. This is a mistake, because the seeds need care immediately after sowing. The first thing you should do is to provide a tight grip with the soil. This can be done with a roller or any other load that is able to tighten the loose soil. Carrying out this operation will help to get sprouts a few days earlier. This is very important if you have sown in the spring. At this time, every day is important for plants, because they need to strengthen and build a strong root system before the onset of settled summer heat.
Another common mistake is late first mowing. It should be carried out about a month after germination. Do not put it off until the grass begins to bush! This may not happen because the grass will grow in height. The task of the first mowing is actually to provoke active tillering. Yes, for young plants, this operation is very delicate, but if you do it in the evening, and then water the site, the damage will be minimized. In ten days you won’t recognize your lawn – it will look very fresh and firm.
Do not underestimate the importance of fertilizers in the process of vegetation of the lawn. With their help, your lawn will be able to reach the desired shape much faster. In addition, any operation carried out on the site, whether cutting, combing or rolling, harms the grass, so regular feeding is an integral part of the regeneration process. For feeding during the season, you can use both mineral and organic fertilizers. They are equally good and will give a visible effect in the near future.
Watering is also of great importance. The speed of seeds germination largely depends on the soil moisture. If you sow in dry soil, you may not have any sprouts at all. The same applies to young plants, which are very sensitive to changes in humidity at the beginning. With good drainage of the site, you will not have to worry about the soaking of separate areas, because the moisture will be absorbed evenly. Therefore, at first it is better to water a lot, especially if the weather is hot enough.
So, we have just reviewed the main activities that include lawn care after sowing. There is not so much hassle for the beautiful emerald grass, which looks extremely aesthetically pleasing.
Aeration of the lawn, when to perform and how often?
Aeration is required to create comfort for the roots. To conduct thatch, it is enough to make punctures in the layer of the sod so that the air freely reaches the roots. Ventilation of the underground part of the plants nourishes the roots with oxygen, does not stagnate water and air. Moderate circulation of air masses prevents the appearance of different kinds of fungal diseases and rot.
Aeration of the lawn is usually carried out during fall or spring, but in any case not in summer, when too high temperatures can cause drought. Before piercing the turf you should water the lawn abundantly for two days. Puncture depth should be from 8 to 10 cm.
Ordinary fork is traditional tool for aeration. If the lawn is small in area, it will be enough. When the area covered with grass takes up a lot of space, a special device – aerator is required. There are several types of aerators with different technical characteristics and purpose.
Along with aeration scarification is carried out. Its essence is to cut off unnecessary shoots and extra stems with a special machine equipped with a knife mechanism. A good time for this is the termination of spring and the beginning of autumn. After the scarification you should use a season appropriate fertilizer.
It is better to water the turf in the evening or early in the morning. During the day, especially if the sun is shining, the water evaporates faster and the plants do not have time to absorb moisture. During the night, moisture penetrates deeply into the soil, saturating the roots of plants.
Note: You should water the lawn grass not with a stream but dropping, not to damage the stems and not to blur the soil around the plantings.
How much water?
It depends on the soil, the time of the previous watering, the weather. It is difficult to determine the exact rate of irrigation. Irrigate the lawn profusely, but avoid the appearance of puddles. In order to understand whether there is enough moisture for the grass, you should check the soil at a depth of 100 mm. If it is dry you should increase the intensity of watering.
How to water the lawn properly?
This also depends on the characteristics of the soil and the weather. In hot weather, water the lawn twice a week, in cool weather – once every 10 days. Lawns on alumina or agril-sand ground are undemanding to the water. You should irrigate the grass as necessary because the land should have time to dry.
What to use for watering?
Be guided by the size of the site and the availability of equipment. Here are a few options:
- Watering with your own hands using a garden hose with a nozzle. When choosing a hose, pay attention to the number of layers. The more of layers there are, the longer the hose lifespan is. The upper layers are designed to protect from the sun, the medium ones are reinforcing, internal layers prevent the development of simple algae. In addition, the hose should be light.
- Automatic irrigation with irrigation systems (sprinklers). The tools are called sprinklers because they simulate raindrops, based on the work of irrigators and sprayers that disperse the water jet.
- There are unregulated circular ones. They are optimal for small lawns. Several sprinklers can be combined into a system and connected to a single source of water. You can also set the timer to turn on.
- Moving models revolve, irrigating the plots one by one.
- In-ground irrigation system is often hidden under the ground. Optimal for large areas, more than 6 acres. Sprinklers in such systems are above-ground or underground (drowned), which are put forward only at the time of irrigation. It is not easy to set underground irrigation systems with your own hands. Usually it is performed by specialists.
Fertilizing the lawn
You should fertilize the grass three times a year-in spring, summer and autumn. Timely feeding strengthens the grass and contributes to the destruction of pests.
Clearly adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations on the amount of fertilizer for lawn grass and the order of its application. If you overdo it with feeding, you can harm your lawn and simply burn the grass.
When choosing the fertilizer for the lawn, consider the seasonality. Spring and summer fertilizers contain a lot of nitrogen needed for the active growth of grass. In the autumn feeding includes more phosphorus and potassium, which strengthen the roots and increase resistance to cold.
How to fertilize the lawn?
Do it after the mowing and before watering. It is better to make feeding through a special sieve or using a spreader.
There is an opinion that mowed grass is also a good fertilizer for the lawn. This is a misconception. Mowed grass is useful as a protective layer for turf in the hot period. With the onset of cold weather, it will not protect from frost, so you should cover the lawn with a film.
Lawn leveling and seeding, mowing
In course of time, the grass grows old and loses its density. If “bald spots” appeared on your lawn you should fix it. In order to make the lawn look well-groomed, you should timely oversow areas with bald spots. It is better to do it in cloudy or rainy weather. Before levelling or sowing, brush the grass with a rake to remove dead plants. To sow properly, cut the bald spots, loosen the soil, sprinkle fertilizer and sow the seeds.
The first lawn mowing is to be carried out when the grass is 8 – 10 cm height The Height of the grass after the first cutting should be at least 5 – 6 cm. In a couple of weeks you can again cut the grass to the height of 3 – 4 cm depending on the purpose of the lawn. Subsequent mowing is carried out at intervals of 1 every two weeks. Depending on climatic conditions, you can do it even more often.
The main purpose of mowing the lawn is to make it aesthetically attractive. Cutting grass is carried out throughout the entire cycle of grass growth, that is, from spring to autumn.
A few tips will help you to make the process most effective:
- Too often or too short cutting may cause the weakening of the sprouts as they begin to experience a shortage of nutrients and moisture.
- Before cutting you should straighten the grass (with rake, for example), and immediately remove it after cutting, so as not to disrupt the process of aeration.
- You should not mow the wet lawn mowing because the grass sticks to the details of the lawn mower. It is better to choose a dry, sunny day for this process. It is especially dangerous to use electrical equipment on a rainy day.
- Read the instructions supplied with the lawn mower, it will tell you how to cut the grass and clean the machine. The mowing is performed in different directions in order to make the lawn homogeneous.
Mulching is the distribution of a special fertile mixture on the surface of the meadow to improve soil imperfections, improve root nutrition, reduce evaporation of moisture from the soil.
Mulching is performed using different mixtures, depending on the type of soil. Often the composition of mixtures includes sand, peat and fertile soil mixed in different proportions, sometimes with the addition of leaf humus.
- mulching prevents moisture from evaporating from the soil;
- protects roots from freezing in winter cold;
- regulates the level of acidity of the soil;
- enriches the soil with useful substances and does not allow them to wash out or evaporate from the soil;
- broadleaf weeds grow worse through the mulch.
Usually the lawn us mulched once a year, in early autumn, after mowing it and clearing of felt.
It is also important to perform earth mulching once every five years in spring or autumn. Sprinkling the soil with rotted organic fertilizers, you will improve the tillering of herbs and turf will become thicker. Use the organic mixture optimally, in a ratio of 7-10 kg per 1m2 of land.
Treatment of lawn
In wet and warm weather on the lawn can occur fungal diseases such as Fusarium and various types of mold. Moreover, lawn grass can be affected by powdery mildew. When detecting lesions, it is necessary to make a three-time spraying with systemic fungicides.
Preventive measures for lawn care
Every doctor will tell you that it is much easier to maintain health than to get rid of advanced sores. This applies not only to people but also to plants. If the disease goes into an advanced stage, the only way to save the grass is cutting pieces of the affected turf and complete replacement of the soil in this place. Meanwhile, most diseases can be prevented by proper care.
Main activities that keep the turf healthy:
- Elimination of excess moisture and water stagnation
- Timely cleaning of felt
- Competent fertilizing
Care for a lawn in spring
The lawn grass care in the spring begins with the first thaw. After the winter the meadow is filled with wet, weak and could be easily damaged. In March, try not to walk on it, to prevent the appearance of potholes or pits from the tracks. This is especially dangerous for young lawns.
When the top layer of soil dries out, perform the scratching (scarification), and then remove the formed felt with fan or regular rake. If you find foci of grass disease, cut off all the plants in the affected area at the lowest possible level using the lawn mower. Dig it, loosen the soil with a rake and only after 10 days sow new seeds.
Care for a lawn in summer
The main answer to the question: “How to care for the lawn in the summer?” – is timely watering and regular cut. Perhaps, in mid-summer the lawn will need feeding. If you notice that the grass began to turn yellow use the spring fertilizer. By July-August, the top layer of soil is compacted little by little, so you should perform aeration and mulching to improve air exchange.
Care for a lawn in autumn
Lawn care in September is not much different from the August care. Mow and water as needed. If after the summer heat bald spots appeared on the grass, seed again these areas. Feeding the lawn in autumn is carried out in October, using special autumn fertilizers. Do not use the spring ones with a lot of nitrogen, which the grass does not need with the onset of cold weather.
Lawn preparation for winter
When dry days, aerate of the lawn to remove rain moisture in the deeper layers of the soil. If you do not, then with the advent of frost your lawn will be covered with ice crust.
The last lawn mowing in autumn is held in late October-November. It is perfect if the height of the grass stems is 60-80 mm. before wintering. Regularly clean the grass from fallen leaves, branches, dry stems, so they do not interfere with ventilation.
Beautiful and well-groomed lawn is an integral part of landscape design. The lush green grass guarantees a rich background for any landscape. But the most decorative effect can be achieved if the right lawn care will become a habit throughout the season. It is very important to learn how to treat the grass properly, to use only fertilizing products of good quality. Following our recommendation you will make the lawn maintenance easy and pleasant.