8 Home Lawn How-Tos for First Time Homeowners

BJ Haunert - Monday, August 21, 2017

lawn-care-tips

Congratulations on becoming a new homeowner! Many homeowners find that spending some down time caring for their lawns helps them to relax and relieve stress. And, having a luxuriant lawn gives them pride in contributing well to their neighborhood's collective curb appeal. Even without experience, you can make your lawn into a lush retreat for enjoying all kinds of outdoor activities. Here is a list of the essentials to help you grow and maintain a beautiful lawn.

1. Soil

First, healthy soil is necessary for healthy grass, flowers, trees and shrubs. Having a soil test to measure your soil's Ph is recommended, especially if there are problems with the health of the existing grass.

  • You may prefer to seed and fertilize to help discover anything you may need to do to improve the health of your soil.
  • Use a do-it-yourself soil testing kit, available at lawn and garden supply stores and home improvement stores.
  • If you prefer professional soil testing, contact the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Cooperative Extension System office in your state for a list of registered soil testers.

2. Grass

Whichever type of grass you choose for your lawn, learn how to care for it, including the watering recommendations for it, and which kinds of seeds and fertilizers work best for it.

  • Tall fescue and Bermuda grasses are widely used in many North American regions.
  • But, ask a lawn care professional to advise you on which grasses are best suited to your region.
  • In climates where grass does not grow indigenously, having a grass lawn can be very expensive to maintain and can require a lot of extra work.

3. Aerating

Soil compaction may occur due to heavy lawn usage. Aerate prior to seeding grass. This promotes grass growth by increasing absorption of water, oxygen and nutrients, promoting rooting, and minimizing build-up of thatch.

  • Hand-held aerators may work well enough on small lawns. However, a core aeration machine is necessary to for best results on most lawns.
  • You may choose to have a professional aerate your soil the first time it needs aeration, to allow you to learn how to do the process effectively and efficiently.

4. Planting

Seeding new grass is easy, even for people unfamiliar with the procedure. After you choose the seed you want to use, planting it simpler than many people expect it to be.

  • Spread seed by hand, or use a seed spreader.
  • Spread grass seed evenly across all tilled areas.
  • Then, cover the seed with a thin layer of soil throughout the planted area.
  • Water the newly seeded area, but not too much. Overwatering may drown seeds, making it impossible for grass to grow. Keep the soil just moist until grass has grown to desired height.
  • Some soils have been treated. Treated soils provide nutrients that enable grass growth.

5. Fertilizing

Fertilizer provides the nutrients your lawn needs to grow lush, thick grass.

  • Don't fertilize the same area twice.
  • Drop spreaders drop fertilizer on the ground directly under the spreader, which is most accurate for evenly distributed fertilizing, but takes more time.
  • Broadcast spreaders cast fertilizer in an array away from the spreader, which is less accurate than a drop spreader, but covers much larger areas in less time.
  • Fertilize during the spring and again in the fall.

6. Raking

Your lawn turf needs air and sun light. But, wait to rake until soil dries in the spring and is not too soft, to prevent damaging grass roots. (Be sure to collect fallen twigs and leaves for recycling.) Raking alleviates problems for healthy grass growth, such as:

  • Mold from snow
  • Matted grass thatching due to snow weight
  • Dog spots

7. Mowing

Begin springtime mowing as soon as possible.

  • But, wait until your grass is tall enough so that mower wheels will not damage it.
  • Leave the grass height a little tall for the first mowing to strengthen roots. This helps grass do well throughout the summer heat.

8. Watering

Water your lawn with care.

  • Start watering when temperatures rise above 70 degrees.
  • Typically, watering is not necessary while temperatures are below 70 degrees.

For More Information

If you would like more information or to schedule service, contact Modern Turf today. We are here to answer all of your questions any time.

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