Basic Lawn Care Secrets


Lawns, how do you feel about lawns? There are people, a growing number, in fact, who view the average lawn as a waste; a waste of time, money, water and space.

I, too a point, am one of them and agree with the perspective that we could put that space to a much better use. For example, we could develop a native plant garden that attracts wildlife to the yard as it provides food and shelter for the, we could within that space grow native plants, perhaps plants that have become hard to find in the wild.

The lawn could become a food garden and provide food for our families with any surplus being donated to a local food ban or food program. In fact we could set aside a row for growing food for those who can use it.

We, as a society, do need to continue to rethink our fascination with the lawn; however, there are reasons to maintain one.

One reason is a lawn provides a place for children and pets to roam, relatively safe and away from the road.

A second is a lawn is a great place for a BBQ and other gatherings with family and friends. The backyard can become an outdoor extension of the house and the lawn converts to a place to put up a picnic table, play badminton and just enjoy good food and being together.

The front lawn is one of the first sights a visitor sees when approaching your home and is therefore an important element of your property’s curb appeal.

Once you have made a determination about how much lawn you require to match your family’s needs, you will want information on how to maintain that space in the most resource efficient manner.

The Healthy Lawn:

A soil pH test is a good idea, do one every three years to see whether you soils is acidic or alkaline. The ideal soil pH for lawns is between 6.5 and 7.0. You can purchase a soil test kit or hire someone to do it for you.

The pH scale of soil ranges from 0 to 14; the lower numbers indicate an acidic soil and the higher ones an alkaline one.

Once you know the soil’s pH, you know what organic material to add, if necessary to bring it to the desired level.

Once you have purchased the appropriate organic fertilizer, it is time to apply it. In the colder northern climates, fertilize once in the late spring and one more in late summer or early fall.

In warmer climates, apply fertilizer in spring after lawn as turned green and them again in late July or early August.

How you cut you lawn plays a role in its health. You may want to maintain a lawn that resembles a golf green but the more grass blade you remove the weaker the grass.

Set your mower to cut between 2 ½ and 3 inches depending upon grass type.

One of the greatest resource and energy losses when it comes to lawn maintenance occurs when the lawn is watered. If you must water do so in the early morning before the sun has risen too high and the winds are calmer. This reduces the rate of evaporation and allows the water to sink down into the roots.

Of course, you may want to ask yourself why you are watering the lawn in the first place, water is a precious resource that we all too often take for granted.

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Comments 7 comments

Nell Jean 7 years ago

We don't water, we don't fertilize. We have marvelous warm season grasses that require nothing but mowing. It holds the rest of the garden together. If we didn't have wide grass paths, I would be afraid to go outside from the first warm days of spring through the first freeze in fall for fear of rattlesnakes. Blanket pronouncements about any garden feature do not fit my world. We just overseeded with 50 pounds of ryegrass to have green through the winter and reduce the danger of fire spreading across the dead summer grass.

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Thanks for dropping by

Nell Jean 7 years ago

I didn't realize when I visited that you are new to Blotanical, or I'd have mentioned that. Let me add my welcome to those who have left messages on your Plot there.

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Thank you.

Backwards Roy 7 years ago

You should urinate on your lawn as often as possible, just not in the same place all the time. The nitrogen will help develop a solid root structure and a healthy green color to your grass.

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

You could get arrested, but its your lawn, so... Thanks for dropping by.

John 6 years ago

I have to comment on the video clip...

Scott Meyer of Organic Gardening Magazine profits from bashing "chemical" fertilizers but seems completely ignorant of the fact that plants can not tell the difference between naturally derived vs chemically derived nutrients. For example, plants need nitrogen and take it up as NH3 (or NH4). The molicule is the molicule, and plants have no way of "knowing" whether it was derived from decomposed organic matter or whether it was created in a prill tower(ie, urea pellets) -- to the plant, it's just NH3. Properly applied fertilizer is not harmful to people, pets or plants. His add is misleading, and exploits the tremendous ignorance people have of "chemicals". "Green" companies absolutely exploit this ignorance, and the country is full of dupes shopping the organic section because they believe it's better for them. People pay exhorbinate prices for "organic" and it is no more healthier than food grown using some fertilzer. At the end of the day, a plant has to have 13 nutrients. Where they derive from, the plant doesn't know or care. Plants can't take up more than they can use, so there can't be any "overdose" of fertilizer in a plant. "Organic" products may be safer on the grass (virtually no hazard of burn), but that doesn't make them inherently "better" or man-made inherently "bad". And when it comes to correcting nutrient defiencies like iron, manganese, zinc or molybdinum, how do you intend to do this organically? Ultimately, get educated and know how to properly apply whatever product you are using. Just don't over-apply anything. My other pet peeve is the exploitation of a brainwashed generation by the "green" movement that all pesticides are terrible for the user and the environment -- but that's another article.

John Scofield, B.S. Agronmy

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