When you think about preparing your home for different seasons or maintaining the value of your home, residential lawn care may not be the first thing to pop in your head. But maybe it should be.
Properly maintained residential lawn care can increase the value of your home, and well-kept residential lawns make houses stand out. Here are seven things you need to know about residential lawn care.
#1: There’s no “how often” to cut rule.
There’s no hard set rule on how often you should cut your grass. Instead of aiming to cut every week or every two weeks, plan to mow often enough to remove no more than one-third of the length of the grass blade. If you like your grass shorter, you’ll cut more often.
For example, if you like your grass to be an inch, you should cut before it grows a half inch. If you like your grass longer (let’s say two inches), you won’t have to cut until it grows about an inch. It’s best to eyeball these measurements instead of getting out your ruler every few days.
Generally, longer grass is easier to maintain. Not only does it require less cutting, but it also creates shade, making it harder for weeds to grow.
#2: Weeds are wacky.
Even if you don’t mind the way weeds look in your lawn, they still need to go. Weeds not only deprive other plants from water and nutrients, but they can also scratch skin, irritate allergies, and harbor insects or disease.
Weeds spread extremely quickly, so they can take over your yard before you even notice a problem. If they’ve gotten past the point of you being able to pull them or poison them, it’s a good idea to seek professional residential lawn care.
#3: Soil matters.
Like your body, your soil has a a pH, and if the pH gets too off, bad things can happen.
Ideally, residential lawns should be slightly acidic, with a pH between 6.5 and 7. If grass is too basic (normally 7.5 or above), it can get a condition called iron chlorosis, which turns grass more yellow than green. An unbalanced pH can also make it harder for certain types of plants to grow.
If you suspect an imbalance, pH test kits are easy and inexpensive. If you test your soil and find something off, though, regulating the pH isn’t as as easy. Similar to pool chemicals, the kit will tell you what to add (usually lime or sulfur) and how much to add, but changes won’t necessarily happen overnight. After your initial addition, you’ll need to retest the soil several times (and maybe add more chemicals) to make sure your soil gets back to where it needs to be. If you’re not up to the challenge, a residential lawn care service can help.
#4: Don’t forget the drainage.
Many people dislike yards full of puddles, but few people realize poor drainage is doing even more damage. In addition to making your yard look or feel like a lake, it can damage your foundation, make your plants sick, and damage your lawn. But, fortunately, poor drainage is a fixable problem.
There are many types of drainage solutions – some are DIY and some require the help of a residential lawn care service. To find out which type is right for you, observe your yard after a heavy rain then do some research. If all else fails, you can often call a company to do a yard consultation.
#5: You decide your maintenance level.
Sure, bigger lawns take more time to cut, but beyond size, you can control the maintenance level of your lawn. Different grasses, plants, and features require different levels of upkeep, and if you stick to all lower maintenance items, your residential lawn care time could be significantly lower.
Features that increase upkeep include pools, decks, and vegetable gardens. Sedge, clovers, and gravel are low-maintenance alternatives that look good but don’t require much time.
#6: Nice lawns take time.
It may seem easy to throw out fertilizer one night and expect greener grass next week, but that’s not exactly how it works. Having a beautiful residential lawn takes time – time to develop and time to upkeep.
In fact, sometimes lawns can take up to two seasons to really show the results of fertilization or aeration. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t see results fast. A beautiful lawn is worth waiting for.
#7: Don’t water every day.
While it’s important to make sure your yard has the hydration it needs, watering every day is overkill. Lawns only need around an inch of water a week to thrive. Watering more than that (through rain, sprinklers, self-watering, etc.) will just run off.
Watering your yard a maximum of three times a week (for a shorter time than you think) will help your residential lawn get all the water it needs without creating waste.
Residential lawn care isn’t impossible, but it does take knowledge and patience. If you need help, contact LawnMore for a free consultation.