Real Life Lawn Care
Dream of an ideal lawn?
We don't have a large lawn, but what we do have can look good if maintained properly. It doesn't take long to do, but how many of us get up and spend the time to make sure the lawn looks great? In the time it takes to cut the lawn every couple of weeks, with just one or two sessions of lawn maintenance, would result in having that show piece lawn that would be the envy of your neighbours. And its actually not difficult to do!
In looking around at what's available these days, I have collated a few hints and tips that would more than likely turn that lawn into same state it was in its first year of growth. It did look good then.
So ask yourself these questions:
Do you water your lawn regularly?
Do you aerate your lawn? (break the hard dry soil up to let air into the roots)
Do you feed your lawn? (give it nutrition)
Do you maintain your lawn mower?
My initial answer to all these questions was NO! And I wonder why my lawn has turned into a shameful meadow?
Now-a-days there are so many products and guides out there it's a wonder that gardens were as good as they were when we were little. (I'm now sure that's just a favourable memory though) How did people have good lawns before the age of power scarifies, aerators artificial fertilisers and of course all the knowledge of the internet. Powered lawn mowers - such magic!
The answer is actually a little simpler than we think. It's just takes a little planning and time.
So the first thing I did was do what I would do with anyone who was looking a little 'tired'. Give them some water, fresh air and some food.
It's amazing how simple, yet we don't always do it.
Firstly, give your lawn a good drink. Unless there are water restrictions in your area (then consider the beautiful aesthetics of AstroTurf or hardtop anyway) get the hose out and give the area an even soak.
Secondly, get out the garden fork and start jabbing at the ground. Not a good plan if the ground is rock hard, (your arms will soon tell you), but the previous soaking should already be a help. Creating small holes regularly over your lawn will allow air to get into the hard pack ground and give the roots a chance. Of course please do take care. Jabbing a fork into the ground does have its dangers so please be careful and wear some safety shoes. Incidentally, rolling a lawn may not be good for it. It compacts the ground and may mean you have to work harder at getting air into it. I had a fork, but you can get proper aerators that actually take small soil cores out of the ground to make the ground less compacted and let the air in.
Thirdly, give it some food. Now, in the old days, some good old fashioned manure would have done the job, but I'm all for any organic processed alternative these days. It makes it so much easier and a little more palatable to the nose. But do make sure it's distributed evenly otherwise you may get uneven patches. Of course I have found out, for the more adventurous amongst us, you can buy kits that will tell you the acidity/alkalinity (pH) and nutritional make-up of your soils. Then you can apply a prescriptive concoction for your lawns specific needs. This may be necessary in some cases, but for the majority of us, regular water, air and food and water should be sufficient.
If there are some patches that are truly unrecoverable, then do rake and prepare the ground for sowing new seed. Plenty instructions on doing that on the web these days or even a packet of seed.
Lastly, don't be tempted to cut your lawn too short. Take the advice from the manufacturers, (how many of us do that?) and leave a little longer growth. Your lawn will appreciate it and look better faster.
Like any tired living thing, water, food and air will quickly revitalise your lawn. And when it looks good, you will feel good too. And you have achieved something good. You did it!
So having done some research I now need to practise what I have learned, and just get on with it!
And of course, I not only aim to have a great looking lawn but I'll also be getting some exercise and fresh air too. (Although I'm not too convinced of that just yet, having been forking the lawn for the last hour).
We will still need a lawnmower though. That's next.
The photograph above was taken on my Nikon D90.
To maintain a true grass GREEN, lawns like to be watered regularly.
Progress Update.... Only two weeks on.... like a miracle!!!
Can you believe it! My work with the simple garden fork and my relaxing time standing with the hose over my lawn, (making water shapes in the air like a kid most of the time though), has worked like a miracle!
Just two weeks after that first day of action, and our lawn is already looking greener; the shoots are looking thicker and to my absolute amazement the lawn seemed easier to mow today, (probably due to the clean cutting action on the thicker shoots). Even the border edges were easier to do and better defined, again probably due to the thicker shoots and the fact that the raggy thin roots and weeds were being choked out by the healthier new growth.
So, without even getting to stage two, and adding fertiliser , I have already seen a huge improvement with JUST water and aerating. Watch this space.........
Ah Hah! Week 4.
Must practice what I preach.
Its not been raining and I didn't water the lawn this week. That fantastic GREEN colour I got back has begun to fade back to that brown/green. It does not look as good.. Soooooo..... water water water this week and hope to restore that deep green..
Week 6. Back with success!
That worked! Water water water.... Not only a much deeper green colour but also thicker blades. The quality ofthe grass is looking sooooo much better and I have had my first amazed commens from the neigbours. So simple to do, yet very satisfying. I have been very tempted to feed the grass again, but I am holding off. They say every three months anyway. The lawn appears to be doing well its self at the moment.
Why Do We Want Our Lawn To Look Good?
Well, the answer is probably easy. It reflects on us. A front lawn is the first thing visitors see of our home.
Its all about being kept well and about being GREEN. Healthy lush, green grass is a display of health and success - it can be a competition between neighbours and gives us a sense of satisfaction.
The aristocrats of 17th and 18th Century Europe started the cult. Louis XIV of France included large squares of tapis vert, or green carpet, in his Versailles gardens. This became a sign of prosperity and style and soon spread and crossed the Atlantic.
Lets see who does the bulk of the work on your lawn
Who Cares For Your Lawn?
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If you follow the directions in this ebook, your organic lawns will look as good (or better) than the neighbors. And you, your kids, and your pets can roll around out there playing without concern for noxious cancer or disease-causing chemicals. Your neighbors will also thank you for reducing the amount of chemicals in their environment as well. Award winning garden author Doug Green outlines the nine easy steps you can take to create a healthy lawn masterpiece in easy-to-follow steps debunking away the myths promoted by the lawn-chemical companies. Green starts by introducing you to the basics of organic thinking about lawns and quickly follows with step-by-step and season by season steps to create that perfect lawn using organic and environmentally sustainable techniques. Weed and insect control for the average lawn is fully covered including tips not often found about how to really make organic techniques work on the average home lawn. He also launches into his trademark humor with the last section - a Guys Guide to Low Maintenance Lawn Care.Green, an award-winning veteran of the nursery trade has written 8 print books but now writes exclusively for the Internet and his websites.
The lawn care business guide is a complete guide to starting and running your own successful lawn care business. The guide covers topics such as getting new customers, how to move from residential to commercial customers, how to estimate, add on businesses you can do in the off season, and more.Not only does the lawn care guide take you through all the necessary steps to start your own lawn care service business from scratch, it also includes many example forms, letters, proposals, and more. It covers everything from business cards to proper cutting technique, from marketing your growing business to time and business management. This book is a must-read for any professional in the lawn care business!
In the modern suburban landscape, beautiful, green lawns are perhaps the most ubiquitous feature of all. Its difficult to imagine a friendly neighborhood without broad, clean stretches of neatly shorn grass. More and more in recent years, those lawns are evolving into organic systems as homeowners concerned about the long-term effects of chemicals on their children, their pets, and the environment turn to natural methods to keep their yards healthy and inviting, and, yes, still green and lush, too. Paul Tukey, a self-confessed mowing addict, answers the growing demand for organic grass with a comprehensive volume of natural lawncare information. Step by step, he takes readers through the many elements that work together to form a healthy, organic lawn. Well-treated soil, fed properly with compost and natural fertilizers, is the foundation of every great lawn. Plant it with a grass cultivar matched properly to the climate and sunlight, nourish the soil and grass with the proper amount of water, and maintain the height with a good mower equipped with a sharp blade. A beautiful, naturally maintained lawn can be as simple as that.An organic, healthy lawn is the best defense against weeds and pests, but when unwanted visitors creep in, Tukey is ready with Weed and Thug ID Guides and advice on dispatching them naturally or learning to live with the benign offenders. Tukey also provides helpful advice for lawnkeepers making the transition from a synthetic to an organic lawn system. Its all here everything todays homeowner needs to keep his lawn off drugs, and make it an inviting living and play area for the whole family.
Only one thing is standing between you and a fabulous lawn: It's called Lawn Care For Dummies. If you want a spiffy and well-coifed lawn (and not the overgrown, unruly one that people comment on when they pass by your house), you'll find everything you need to know to help you make your lawn the most dazzling spectacle on the block.Let authors Lance Walheim and the gardening experts at the National Gardening Association treat you and your yard to a megadose of lawn care information. In Lawn Care For Dummies, Walheim and the NGA give you the dirt on all the essentials, including how to * Design a low-maintenance or a high-maintenance lawn* Evaluate the pros and cons of planting a lawn from seed or starting one from sod* Discover how often you need to water your lawn without under-watering it or waterlogging it* Choose a mower that's right for your grass type* Deal effectively with wicked weeds and pesky insects* Create alternative lawns, such as ground cover plants, decks, and patiosLawn Care For Dummies also features a beautiful color insert with photos illustrating the various types of lawns found in yards across the world.
Ideally, the lawn should be mowed regularly from March to October.
It should also be fertilised every three months.
Set your lawn mower to cut your grass between 2.5cm and 4.5cm in height.
Garden Looking Good
Simple Lawn Care...
1. Water regularly
2. Aerate regularly
3. If necessary feed 'n weed
Need an Aerator. Its works! - A Small Choice of Aerators To Make it Even Easier..
A simple Garden Fork worked for my lawn aerating, but do look at these more professional ones...