Everyone who owns a home desires a healthy, green lawn, whether you enjoy outdoor barbecues with friends or frolicking in the sun with your kids. However, there are times when your lawn may not be thriving. Fortunately, there are a few simple strategies that you can follow to bring your lawn back to life.
Improve the Flow of Nutrients
Thick thatch will hold water and prevent your lawn from getting the oxygen that it needs. Use a de-thatching tool, such as a powered rake, to navigate the lawn as you would when you mow. Move up and down in parallel lines the length of the area.
Weeds will steal valuable nutrients away from the grass. In addition, excessive weed patches will block the sun and absorb moisture. This will leave your lawn dehydrated and weak. Get rid of weeds to provide your lawn with greater access to the nutrients it needs to flourish.
The application of a preemergent herbicide will keep weeds from coming back. It will not directly kill the weeds, but adding herbicides to your lawn at the start of the season will hinder their growth. It is important to note that herbicides should only be used on lawns that have been growing for more than a year. Also, you do not want to use herbicides on lawns that have been recently over-seeded.
An aerator is a great way to get the nutrients deeper into the soil. Using a handheld aerator or large aerator machine, follow the same path as you did when you de-thatched your lawn. This will poke tiny holes in the lawn, making it possible for vital nutrients to go deep.
Adjust the Chemistry of Your Lawn
Start by testing the pH of your lawn with a simple kit. Dig a small hole and fill it with distilled water. Then, dip the pH test strip into the water. After about one minute, you should have a reading. Ideally, you want a pH of 6.5.
If the soil is too acidic, you will need to add limestone. Both dolomitic and calcitic limestone will work for this job. After you water your lawn, spread the limestone and allow it to sink into the soil. Carefully follow the guidelines on the limestone to make certain you do not further damage your lawn.
If the soil is alkaline, you will need to add sulfur. Alkaline is slow-acting, so you should not pile it onto your lawn. A couple of pounds per 100 sq. ft. should be enough. However, you will need to check the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper amount.
Maintenance for a Healthy Lawn
The best way to keep your lawn thriving is with proper maintenance. Start by ensuring your lawn is getting enough water. About an inch of water every week is best. Over the years, you may notice your lawn becoming thinner. Add new life with fresh seeds. Scattering new seeds on an established lawn is known as over-seeding; this will fill in your lawn nicely to keep it looking lush.
Properly mowing your lawn will prevent the growth of weeds. Longer grass will keep the sun from getting to the weeds, so they will not be able to grow. Adjust the cutting height of your mower to a setting of two to three inches. Fill in any ruts in your lawn with a mixture of soil and sand. You will only need to add about half an inch at a time.