by Catalogs.com Info Guru Oliver Vandervoort
Whether talking about getting your yard ready for the summer or trying to make sure it stays alive during the winter, there are a number of different steps to take in order to make sure you can be proud all year round.
In many ways our yard is a bit like a young child. It has to be cared for and fussed over more often than we would ever have realized when we first decided to take care of it in the first place. That fact is made even more complicated by the fact that there are ways to go about caring for it and things you desperately want to avoid. Knowing the difference between the two isn’t always that simple. Luckily for you, we’ve brought you the top ten expert tips for your yard.
10. Test Your Soil
Before you start buying any fancy fertilizers or plants and grass seed for your lawn, you are going to want to test the level of nutrients that are in the soil such as Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. If you just end up guessing or ignoring these levels completely you might be left spending a great deal of money on things you either don’t need or that end up harming your lawn in the long run. You can send your soil samples to a number of Cooperative Extensions across the US and these places will tell you levels of various nutrients rather quickly.
9. Use Organic Fertilizer
If it turns out that your soil isn’t getting as many nutrients as it needs to be truly healthy and strong then you can certainly go the fertilizer route. If you do go this route, you are going to want to make sure and go with organic fertilizer instead of the heavy duty chemical stuff so many stores sell. Organics are simply easier on your lawn and on the environment around it. This is especially important if you or your neighbors have pets that spend time in the yard.
8. Use Compost
Perhaps you don’t think you can afford to continuously spread organic fertilizer on your month after month and year after year. The good news is you can actually make your own organic fertilizer by getting a composter and developing your own compost. This is basically the process of simply throwing a ton of old vegetables, fruits and grass clippings into the tub and waiting for it to decompose. Once it has done this, the nutrients that vegetation provides will serve as a fertilizer for your lawn.
7. Water Once A Week And Water Deep
The key to keeping a healthy lawn is to make sure you are not watering more than once a week, but also making sure you are watering “deep.” This means you want to make sure that when you are watering, you are soaking the lawn. Get yourself a good hose and hose hanger that you’re comfortable using so this doesn’t become too much of a chore.
When you are mowing your lawn, you never want to cut the grass more than one third of the length of its length before you start mowing. This means you should mow regularly as well but only do so if rain is in the short term forecast. You also want to keep your lawn mower blades sharp so you know the mower is cutting instead of yanking.
5. Aerate In the Fall
At least once a year you want to get a core aerator and cut “cores” out of your soil. While you lawn will look chopped up for a while, it will also allow your lawn to breath and get more air, water and fertilizer. The best time to do this is in the beginning of the fall.
4. Weeding, Not Pesticides
While you might be tempted to use pesticides and weed killer on your lawn, it is always going to be better to do your weeding the old fashioned way. Hand tools and a pair of good work gloves are going to keep your lawn and the animals around it healthier.
3. Grass Seed
When you get bare spots in your grass, you should pull your grass seed from its dark storage spot, spread it, cover it with compost and water it. This will allow the seed to take hold before weeds do.
Add some clover to your lawn and watch the rest of your lawn become quite a bit healthier. The blend with grass quite well, bring more nutrients and choke off encroaching weeds.
1. Something Besides Grass
Consider using something other than grass on your lawn. Flowers are going to look almost as nice as a nice green lawn and many times will be easier to care for and will actually look better.