A healthy lawn depends on smart lawn care practices. Beginning as soon as the weather starts to get warm and continuing throughout the year, these techniques will give you the lush, beautiful grass and rich soil you’re looking for.
Treat Grass with Care
Dry weather, overuse and pest attacks can leave grass looking dull and brown. If your lawn needs reseeding for any of these reasons, research grass types to find one suitable for your area of Florida and the soil composition. Warm-season grasses are best for seeding in early summer. Sow seeds in moist ground, water well and avoid walking over the planted area until the grass is established. Remove weeds from the rest of the lawn by hand or with a weed removal tool to promote grass growth, and invest in sprinkler repair if your watering system needs a tune-up.
Practice Mindful Mowing
Giving your lawn a “buzz cut” undermines the formation of strong roots. Avoid mowing shorter than three inches, and never chop off more than one-third of grass height at a time. Mowing less with greater frequency promotes deep root systems and healthy grass. Taller grass also overshadows weeds and prevents them from gaining ground.
Before you begin mowing for the season, check the sharpness of the mower blades. You want to slice the grass instead of tearing it. Dull blades damage grass, making it more vulnerable to attack and leaving your lawn looking shaggy.
Water the Right Way
Your goal when watering should be to soak the lawn, not give it a quick drink. Make sure your grass gets the moisture it needs by:
• Providing one inch of water per 12 inches of soil
• Waiting until the top one or two inches dry out before watering again
• Watering in early morning to minimize evaporation
Install an irrigation system or call a sprinkler repair service if necessary so that your lawn receives regular watering. Remember that a good soaking rain has the same effect, so your grass won’t need much extra water during wet seasons.
Supplement the Soil
Planting, mowing and watering your lawn properly should yield good results. However, if you aren’t getting the lawn you want, the soil may need a little help. Soil pH should be between 6.5 and 7.0, and this can be confirmed with home or professional testing. Should it be too acidic, add lime. Use sulfur to balance excessively alkaline soil. A quarter-inch to half-inch layer of organic matter such as compost or topsoil applied in the spring adds essential nutrients for grass and other plants.
Soil becomes compacted over the course of the year, so plan to aerate once in either spring or fall. Both manual and motorized aerators take small plugs out of the soil to loosen it up and promote healthy grass growth.
Maintaining a good lawn care routine keeps grass strong and minimizes weeds to create an eye-catching outdoor area. Make proper care a priority, and you’ll have a lawn you can enjoy season after season.