As winter comes to an end, it’s time to start thinking about preparing your lawn for outdoor activities. Many homeowners spend thousands of dollars hiring lawn care professionals or boutique lawn designers to curate their yards, and hours researching costly and potentially harmful chemicals to turn the grass green. If you want a healthy yard free of weeds and pests, here are a few basic steps to set you on the right path.
First, test the soil. The most basic foundation for a lush, healthy lawn is the soil in which the grass grows. Soil testing kits are easily obtained from Home Depot, Lowes or independent home and garden shops. Some university programs or state cooperative extension offices will even test your soil for free.
Characteristics of healthy soil:
- Neutral pH
- Phosphorus salts
Choose your grass seed. If you know what kind of grass is in your lawn and you like it, keep it. Just learn more about what it likes and how to keep it healthy and happy. If you are planting new grass, you want something that will grow well in your geographic region, whether it’s the lush lawns of Florida or the dry deserts of Arizona. Striking up a conversation with neighbors that have admirable lawns is a quick and easy way to pick a variant to plant. Finally, if you are just refreshing last year’s lawn, a quick dethatching with a rented power rake and proper mowing and edging will get you off the ground in no time.
Fertilizing. Fertilizer is one of the most powerful tools in the lawn care trade. If you get nervous about chemicals, there are alternative organic and eco-friendly products available. You will also need to invest in a spreader to efficiently spread the fertilizer on your lawn.
Watering and mowing. The best lawns appear the healthiest when they are watered and mowed regularly. Pay close attention to how your lawn reacts to the amount of water you give it.For mowing, it’s best to keep your lawn at a height of 2 ½ to 3 inches, and most experts advise leaving the grass trimmings on the lawn to provide valuable nutrients.