As with any partnership, marital or otherwise, one person often has strengths the other person lacks and vice versa. In my case, the lawn isn’t my thing but it is my partner’s passion and I have to say I appreciate the gorgeous green expanse, as long as he’s the one maintaining it. That said, over the years through osmosis, I have gleaned a few tips to keeping the lawn looking fabulous.
Know How to Mow!
The first thing I’ve been schooled on is the importance of proper mowing.
Set your mower so it is only removing the top third of the grass. Why? Because leaving the lawn longer allows the grass to focus energy on growing deep roots. Scalping the grass forces it to use energy to produce blades. Deep roots make for healthier grass that is also more drought resistant.
Also, when mowing, never mow when it is wet. This can introduce fungal disease to the grass and it isn’t particularly safe for you either. Wet grass is slippery grass.
Vary your pattern when mowing. This will keep the grass from “memorizing” your pattern and keep it standing straight and tall. Just as many of us like to have a mowing pattern, plenty of us also like to mow on a schedule but resist the urge. Our schedule isn’t always when the grass needs to be mowed. It grows more rapidly in the cool spring than the hot summer and needs more frequent mowing.
Lastly, always mow with a sharp blade and leave those grass clippings to be reabsorbed into the soil. Just be sure to mow often enough that you aren’t leaving huge clumps behind.
Other Lawn Care Tips
Of course, a healthy lawn needs a bit more help than just mowing. We thatch the lawn in the spring (well, not we but my better half) and aerate. The grass aficionado is in charge of feeding too, which is done twice a year – once in the spring with a nitrogen rich fertilizer and again in the fall with a food that is higher in potash and phosphate.
Besides the edging of the lawn (I’m good at it and don’t scalp), I am also in charge of the fur babies’ yellow pee spots. After a winter of them peeing in the backyard, an aerial view would show a dense green grass liberally dotted with dead yellow craters. I use a hand cultivator to remove dead grass and rough up the soil, scatter grass seed and then cover with topsoil and water in. It isn’t perfect but does fairly well to repair the look of the turf quickly and inexpensively – especially if viewed from a distance and not from a drone…
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