Your lush, healthy lawn is one of the most welcoming signs to your friends and neighbors—along with the pizza delivery guy! Unfortunately, however, it takes more than just regular watering to keep a lawn looking its best. If you would like to learn some tips for boosting the appearance of your turf, read on. This article will present four ways to ensure that your lawn looks its best.
Know Thy Dirt
Many people are surprised to learn that dirt is not as simple as it appears. In fact, even slight chemical imbalances in the soil of your yard can lead a patchy, unhealthy lawn. For that reason, it is well worth it to send a sample of your soil to the cooperative extension service in your area, despite the cost.
A soil test will measure your soil's pH, or level of acidity. Overly acidic soil makes it hard for grass to thrive. Knowing your pH means you will be able to add lime as necessary to reach an optimum state. Likewise, a soil test will also measure the levels of nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen. Based on this data, you can establish the ideal amounts of fertilizer to add.
Maintain Your Mower
Believe it or not, the sharpness of your mower blades plays a huge role in the overall health of your lawn. You see, a dull blade doesn't actually cut the grass--it tears and bludgeons and hacks it. This causes much more damage to each grass blade, thus leaving them open to a variety of diseases and fungal growths.
For intrepid DIYers, sharpening a mower blade is a fairly straightforward process. The sharpening can be completed in about ten minutes using a vice and a mill bastard file. Of course, if you'd rather spare yourself the chore, you can always pay to have it sharpened professionally. Just be sure you attend to it one way or another at least twice each growing season.
Leave It a Little Shaggy
When it comes to grass, many people figure the shorter it's cut, the better. Yet the truth is that buzz cutting your lawn isn't always the best idea. In fact, it can put an undue amount of stress on your lawn. Instead, try to maintain an average grass height of around 3 inches.
Leaving your grass a little on the shaggy side has two key benefits, both of which involve keeping the surface of your soil more shady. First, this helps to prevent weed seeds from getting the sun they need to take over. Second, it acts to protect the soil from direct sun, meaning it will lose less moisture through evaporation. That means your lawn won't get too parched—even in the heat of the day.
Follow these landscape maintenance methods to keep your lawn beautiful and welcoming.