Basic Lawn Care and Maintenance Tips
Updated: Nov 27
Mowing your lawn is an essential part of lawn care and maintenance. It helps to keep your lawn looking manicured and healthy. Mowing your lawn regularly will also help to prevent weeds and other unwanted growth.
Mowing is a relatively simple task that can make all the difference in the appearance of your lawn. Let’s explore the basics of mowing and some tips for maintaining the perfect lawn:
Set the mower blade to the right height
Achieving and maintaining a picture-perfect lawn requires more than just regular mowing; you must use the right settings on your mower to get the job done correctly. Setting the blade to the correct height can make all the difference in caring for your lawn properly.
For optimal performance, it’s important to adjust your mower’s blade height based on turf type. The good news is, this isn't a difficult task. You'll just need to know what kind of grass is growing in your yard, so you can determine the proper setting.
The general rule of thumb is that a healthy lawn should be cut at about two and a half inches or less; however, some grass types naturally require higher or lower blade settings for best results. For Bermuda grass and St. Augustine, setting the blade between one and two inches generally works best; whereas Zoysia and centipede grasses tend to thrive when mowed between one and one-and-a-half inches tall. When in doubt, it’s always better to leave your lawn slightly taller than necessary – never cut more than one-third of its total height per mowing session – as this will create fewer problems with insects, irregular drying and disease development while helping retain weed resistance at the same time.
Remember: Properly following these tips can ensure that you have an attractive lawn with very little effort involved – but regardless of how often you mow or how short or long you set your blades, don’t forget about other important elements such as irrigation, fertilization and pest control as part of an overall maintenance plan for great lawn care success!
It is essential to avoid scalping your lawn while mowing. Scalping occurs when you cut the grass too short, mowing too much off the top of the grass blades and exposing thin bare dirt patches. This may appear aesthetically pleasing immediately after you cut, but it’s actually quite damaging for your lawn in the long run.
Without enough leaf blade surface area to capture sunlight and grow healthy leaves, your grass won't get the energy it needs for photosynthesis and will become weaker over time. This can leave your lawn prone to weed infestation, dry spells and other issues. To ensure that you avoid scalping, make sure to never mow more than one-third of any given blade of grass at once.
You also want be careful not to overmow as this can always cause weakened root systems which make it difficult for healthy growth in between mowings. Always make sure your blades are sharp before using them so that they don't rip or tear through the grass instead of cutting it cleanly. Different types of grasses require different mowing heights based on climate conditions and location – check with a local expert or research further online if you’re unsure what's best for your lawn specifically.
Change mowing patterns
When it comes to lawn mowing and maintenance, changing the pattern in which you mow is an important factor in keeping your lawn looking healthy and beautiful. By doing so, you are reducing the chances of compaction and restricting soil drainage. When choosing a mowing pattern, keep in mind that certain areas of your yard may require different patterns. For example, you can mow along walkways with a criss-cross, straight row or diagonal pattern while cutting hillsides across their steepness.
For flat lawns, the most efficient and healthiest way to mow is to use a back-and-forth "checkerboard" pattern. Start by mowing your entire yard horizontally from one side to the other making sure that each pass overlaps the preceding one slightly. Once this has been done, switch directions and begin mowing vertically from one side to another until all of the grass is cut short enough. This alternating pattern of horizontal to vertical passes in “checkerboard” fashion helps promote even distribution of cut grass clippings while providing improved air circulation within the turfgrass environment – an important factor for a healthy lawn!
Regular watering is an essential part of garden care and maintenance. Water your lawn when the grass is dry and in the morning time. Planning your watering is essential; having a weekly schedule is the best practice.
It is also important to make sure that you don't water your lawn too much, as this can lead to over-saturation and can damage your garden. Watering deeply and infrequently will promote stronger roots and a lusher lawn.
Water deeply and infrequently
Watering deeply and infrequently ensures your grass will grow healthy and strong. When you water, aim to moisten the soil at least 6 inches below the surface. This is especially important during hot, dry weather when frequent and shallow watering only encourages shallow root growth that can lead to a weak lawn. If you are able to do so, try to gather rainfall data and adjust your watering times accordingly. Utilizing a rain sensor on your sprinkler system can help you increase efficiency.
Additionally, late evening or early morning is the best time to water your lawn since less evaporation occurs during these hours; however, avoid watering if there is any chance of drought or if it was recently raining in order to conserve resources. When deciding how much water you need for your landscape needs, consider factors such as type of soil, sun exposure, type of grass and climate when determining how long each area should be watered as well as how often each should be done.
Finally, remember that lawns respond differently when it comes to overwatering – warm-season turfgrasses can tolerate more frequent drenchings than cool-weather grasses such as fescue or bluegrass –so it’s best to always consult a specialist before adjusting watering times for optimal results with minimal wasted water usage!
Water in the early morning
Watering your lawn in the early morning is the most effective way to keep it looking green and healthy. The early morning hours are cooler and more humid, allowing water to be absorbed more quickly by the roots of your grass.
You should also get into the habit of watering your lawn consistently. This means watering it around the same time, same amount and on a regular basis. Keeping your lawn’s hydration at an optimal level is key to preventing drought stress which can lead to yellow patches, brown spots or wilted areas.
While a good soaking only takes a few minutes, avoid over-watering because too much water can encourage fungal growth and weed seeds in soil that’s been saturated for days or weeks on end. For best results, use an automatic sprinkler system or soaker hose if you have one at hand.
Check for signs of overwatering
To ensure grass health, it is important to be strategic in watering your lawn. Overwatering a lawn can lead to shallow roots, disease and even turf death. To avoid this fate, it's important that you check for signs of overwatering.
Signs of overwatering may include:
Yellow patches on the grass.
Water pooling on the surface of the grass after rain or irrigation.
Dry spots in shaded areas.
Visible pests like chinch bugs on the bare patches.
Fungus growing in circular patterns on affected patches.
If any of these signs are present, reduce water intake directly into your lawn and mulch areas instead to help reduce water loss through evaporation. Keep an eye out for common overwatering issues as part of regular overall lawn maintenance.
Fertilizing your lawn is one of the basic lawn care and maintenance tips that all homeowners should consider. Proper fertilization helps maintain the health of your lawn and promote overall growth. Fertilizers contain nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium that are essential for plant growth. Fertilization can also help control weeds and pests, as well as increase the resistance of your lawn to disease.
In this section, we will explore the different methods of fertilizing, the best types of fertilizer to use, and tips on how to achieve the best results:
Different methods of fertilizing
The best types of fertilizer to use
Tips on how to achieve the best results
Choose the right fertilizer for your lawn
For a lush, green lawn, fertilizing is an important part of lawn care. Different types of grass require different amounts of fertilizer and using the wrong type can lead to a patchy, unhealthy lawn. It is important to assess your soil quality and current grass types before choosing the right fertilizer for your lawn.
There are three main types of fertilizers: Organic, Synthetic, and Water Soluble. Let's take a look at each one in more detail:
Organic Fertilizers: Organic fertilizers are made from plant or animal products such as bone meal, seaweed extract, fish emulsion and composted manure. They provide essential nutrients for healthy growth while improving the soil’s structure and help retain moisture in the soil. Organic fertilizers provide a slow release of nutrients over several weeks so you won’t need to apply more often than every four to six weeks.
Synthetic Fertilizers: Synthetic fertilizers are made up of primary (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium), secondary (calcium, magnesium and sulfur) and micronutrients (iron, copper, zinc) added as needed for deficiency correction or special requirements for turf mixtures or varieties that have certain needs that only certain formulas can meet. What makes them stand out from organic fertilizers is their immediate release of nutrients into the soil which can help with fast-growing crops or when trying to improve poor soils quickly. The process is known as nutrient burn which can be extremely damaging if too much nitrogen is applied at once so it's very important to read instructions carefully when applying synthetic fertilizers.
Water Soluble Fertilizer: Water soluble fertilizer should be applied at least once every two weeks during early spring when grass begins its rapid growth cycle, this type of fertilizer also provides quick greening effect making it a good choice if you're preparing your lawn for an event such as a wedding or graduation party. This type of fertilizer should be applied with a watering system - either by hand-held hoses equipped with adjustable nozzles or with sprinkler systems set on specific timers - so they do not cause burn damage by excessive saturation into the roots of your plants.
By correctly assessing your needs in relation to soil health and turf type you can choose between organic and synthetic fertilizer options available in both granular form controlled rate spreaders as well as liquid formulations that are easy to mix up prior application around trees & shrubs beds acting like “liquid nutrition” ensuring its correct absorption into plants tissues for proper growth & nutritional balance keeping them healthy looking all year round!
Apply fertilizer at the right time of year
The optimal time for fertilizing your grass depends on the type of grass you are growing. Generally, cool-season grasses should be fertilized at least twice a year, once in late fall and once more in the spring. Warm-season grasses should be fertilized three times a year in mid to late spring, early summer, and if necessary in early autumn (e.g. after a dry spell or pest issue).
In addition to being aware of the timing of fertilizer application, it is important to understand which type of fertilizer is best for your region. Cold areas require additional phosphorus while warm climates will benefit from nitrogen rich soils. For other areas, high amounts of potassium might be best as it helps plants build strong stems and root systems without becoming overly woody. Look out for “complete” or “balanced” fertilizers – these typically contain equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium – that can help you get the right mix for your grass type as well as season requirements quickly and easily.
When applying fertilizer to your lawn, make sure to spread evenly and not in clumps or strips; this will ensure that every part of your yard gets enough nutrients during the growth season while minimizing waste runoff during periods of heavy rain or watering. Finally, use a slow-release fertilizer whenever possible; this helps reduce potential water contamination while providing steady nourishment over an extended period!
Avoid over-fertilizing your grass, because too much fertilizer can damage your lawn and pollute local waterways. Even if the label on a fertilizer product states that the amount of nitrogen per 1000 square feet is what the soil needs, that could still be too much. Take into account whether it's been raining so that fertilizers don't get washed off or into storm drains or water bodies. Too much fertilizer can cause poor root growth, uneven flowering and thick growth – all signs of over-fertilization.
Additionally, try to avoid chemical fertilizers because they contain fewer beneficial elements than natural ones, and may damage delicate sandy soils. When applying chemical fertilizers, it is important to follow manufacturer recommendations precisely – too little won't do any good but too much can cause excessive top-growth and weaken a plant’s root system. Timing is also important; apply chemical fertilizers in early morning to reduce losses from volatilization and leaching.
Besides careful application of phosphorus (unless you have tested for lack of phosphorous) and limited nitrogen use, regularly compost in fall or spring with garden waste such as grass clippings, leaves – or use an organic mulch like composted manure to promote strong root growth without over-fertilizing your lawn.
Weeds are a common problem in outdoor spaces and lawns. Keeping them under control is essential to having a healthy, beautiful landscape that can be enjoyed for years to come. There are several methods for weed control that you can use in your lawn care and maintenance.
In this blog post, we will be discussing some of the most effective ways to control weeds in your lawn:
Identify and remove weeds
Weeds are pesky plants that grow where they’re not wanted, crowding out desirable lawn grasses and competing for resources like water, nutrients and sunlight. While the best way to manage weeds is to prevent them from taking root in the first place, correctly identifying the weeds you have and removing them can help keep your lawn looking lush and healthy all year long.
The first step in weed control is identification. Something you thought was a volunteer dandelion might actually be cinquefoil, so take a close look at any unwanted plants before trying to get rid of them. Once identified, you can decide on the appropriate method of removal. Pre-emergent herbicides are products with chemicals that stop weed seeds from germinating; post-emergent herbicides stop existing weeds from growing by killing them off at their roots.
For larger areas infested with pesky weeds or for more aggressive control methods such as tilling or spot-spraying, it’s best to contact your local Gerzeny Landscape Services office for assistance from certified professionals familiar with your local climate and soils who will be able to recommend the safest and most effective products available in your area.
Many types of common lawn weeds can also be hand pulled or dug up if they haven’t spread too heavily throughout your landscape – just make sure you remove as much as possible or they will just come back again! You can also use sharp tools like hoes to cut off their stems above the soil surface; repeated shallow cultivation (tilling) will weaken weed roots while strengthening grass over time; and smothering with plastic covers or landscape fabric can reduce weeds while allowing sunlight through for healthier turf growth.
Whatever method you choose when managing weeds, be sure to wear protective eyewear, gloves and clothing when utilizing chemicals in order to protect yourself from chemical burn and irritation.
Use pre-emergent herbicides
Pre-emergent herbicides have become an integral part of keeping weeds from taking over your lawn. These herbicides are typically applied before weed and grass seeds begin to germinate or just after germination. Pre-emergent herbicides kill young weeds before they are able to develop into mature plants and form mature root systems.
Pre-emergence herbicides target specific seed types so that it won’t damage your current grass or impact desirable plants in beds and borders. It is important to use pre-emergent herbicides at the right time of year, when weeds are most likely to germinate based on your area’s climate, as well as choose a herbicide that is specifically formulated for your type of grass and particular type of weed. Many pre-emergent products must be watered in deeply after application to ensure they reach the root system.
Speak with a qualified Lawn Care specialist to develop an effective weed control strategy for your property.
Use post-emergent herbicides
Post-emergent herbicides are chemical agents that can be used to treat weeds that have already sprouted and are growing in your lawn. When the weed is tall enough it sprouts its seed head and will eventually drop seeds, making the problem worse. Post-emergent herbicides should be used as soon as possible once a weed has emerged.
These herbicides come in a variety of products that are either liquid or granular applications, which are generally sprayed or spread over the lawn using a motorized spreader. Depending on the product, post-emergent treatments may target only specific types of weeds, or may treat for all broadleaf weeds like dandelion, clover, chickweed and oxalis. For example, 2,4-D is a popular post-emerging herbicide that targets broadleaf weeds while leaving grasses mostly unaffected. However, before applying any product to your property it’s important to read the label carefully and follow all instructions for safety and application methods.
Post-emergence herbicides should generally only be applied when temperatures remain below 80 degrees for two consecutive days. Warm weather can cause rapid evaporation of the product from your lawn, so timing is critical to get good results when using post-emergent products on your property!
Aeration is an important part of lawn maintenance that can often be overlooked. Soil compaction, soil deficiencies, and lack of water can all contribute to less than ideal lawns. Aeration helps ensure that oxygen and other vital nutrients reach the roots and helps prevent problems such as weeds and fungus. It also helps strengthen the roots of the grass and helps it stand up against extreme temperatures.
Let's take a more in-depth look at aeration and its benefits in lawn care:
Aeration is the process of introducing oxygen or air into a liquid, usually for the purpose of achieving a better flavor. In wine, aerating serves two main functions: it allows the wine to oxidize and mature, and it exposes all of the intricate flavors and nuances in a bottle.
By increasing the surface area that is exposed to oxygen-rich air, flavors found in carbon dioxide dissolve into gas form more easily which further enhances aroma.
Aeration not only improves flavor but also aids in aging and can help young wines develop. If done properly, aeration also softens tannins which creates a balanced mouthfeel and can lessen sharpness for full-bodied wines. The act of swirling wine also helps to aerate it, allowing compounds found in oak such as vanillin to be released from wood tannins.
When it comes to whites or lighter reds like Pinot Noir or Sangiovese, limited aeration may be beneficial; if full-bodied wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon are aerated too much or too little their flavors will not be fully revealed. Wines with higher levels of tannin should be left for longer periods of time after aerating whereas light-bodied wines require less time until they reach their peak flavor profile. Ultimately it just takes experience and experimenting with different types of wines to discover an individual’s preference when it comes to proper aeration techniques and ideal timeframes for specific bottles.
How to aerate
Aeration is a vital part of every lawn’s maintenance needs. It improves drainage, reduces soil compaction and encourages stronger root development. It also helps your lawn to access essential nutrients, promotes healthier growth and protects against disease.
Aerating your lawn involves making small holes in the ground which allow air, water, and fertilizer to penetrate deeper into the soil and reach the grass roots. This can be achieved by using an aerator machine or by using the traditional coring method. An aerator machine has spikes on its wheels that puncture holes into the surface of the turf while 'core aerating' involves cutting out cores of soil from specific parts of the lawn and leaving them on top. Both methods are equally efficient and equally effective when used properly.
When aerating your lawn it is important to remember that not all areas of your yard require aeration with equal intensity - some places may suffer more soil compaction than others due to high traffic or other underlying factors. Therefore it is important to give careful consideration when deciding what areas require more attention than others during the aeration process. After all portions are complete, loosen up loosened soil around cores with a rake or broom before removing them from your lawn if you’re using core methods - this ensures that beneficial substances within can absorb efficiently in all directions around a single core area for better effect!
Tips for aerating
Aerating a lawn is an essential part of caring for and maintaining healthy grass. It increases oxygen and other important nutrients to the roots of the grass which helps it to grow strong. Here are some tips for aerating your lawn properly:
Water your lawn thoroughly before you start to aerate as wet soil makes it easier to pull out the plugs. Avoid aerating in excessively wet or dry soil, you want the ground to be damp and just slightly moist.
Manual methods of aeration are seldom effective, invest in a powered lawn Aerator, either rented or owned, that enables you to easily and quickly get into the sod and remove cores of soil from the level of your grass roots all the way down to a depth of 3-4 inches deep with minimal effort. Once you’ve completed running over your entire lawn decide if you need additional passes over any compacted areas in order to break up clumps of hard soil that may remain unfazed by your initial pass with the aerator.
Unless over-seeding is necessary, remove any loose clods on top of the grass as this won’t help hydrate or increase fertility in any way by allowing oxygen into the roots through a single passage made during core aeration doesn't allow for enough air exchange nor does it move organic material from between lower parts enabling better circulation throughout this concentrated area filled with fungal mycelia thus creating too much moisture accumulation within this space therefore isn’t ideal when making sure water can get adequately absorbed. Leave those on top if it’s an area where seed should fall or spread lightly as part of an overseeding process after core aeration has been done completely in order for root penetration & growth not disturbed by debris found above surface levels & seeds have time settle into lower depths where more moisture relishes thus allowing them flourish versus struggling through matted mulch within hours once placed initially.
Finally fertilize and water deeply as soon as possible after taking what will literally be just days since beginning process thus giving ample time frame recognize newly opened channels derived by coring while discontinuing expensive practice determining amount fill back once private homes already had these services done professionally according customers most often requesting such specific details when needing weed control many times intertwined aerial applications during same period further providing anti Greening benefits upon completion each one properly address both issues simultaneously no add-on cost noticing difference right away up keep naturally maintained turf throughout seasons!