For new homeowners or those taking on lawn care responsibilities for the first time, maintaining your lawn may feel intimidating. For those who have no idea where to start in their lawn care routine, Fairway Lawns can help you become a lawn care pro! From watering to aerating and everything in between—here are some basic tips to help you properly care for your turf.
1. Know Your Grass Type
The first thing you should do when taking on lawn maintenance for the first time is to learn what type of grass and soil you have. Knowing more about the two will make problem-solving and taking care of your new yard go a lot smoother. There are various different climates across America and it is best to be aware of what type of grass is most successful in your particular climate region. Grasses suited to their growing region create exceptional lawns and require less water, resources, and maintenance time.
If you’ve done everything right but your grass still refuses to look nice, it could be because you have the wrong type of grass for your area. For example, cool-season grasses, such as Kentucky Bluegrass and Fescue, typically flourish in northern regions and peak in growth during fall and spring’s cooler temperatures. Warm-season grasses, such as Bermuda, Zoysia, St. Augustine and Centipede, excel in regions with warmer climates and during the summer heat.
2. Water Your Lawn Properly
Watering your lawn may seem simple but can actually be one of the most complicated parts of lawn care. You don’t want to just water your turf when it starts to look dry, you want to make sure your grass never gets too thirsty or too bogged down.
The season and your location will determine how much and how often you should water your lawn; the lawn care professionals at Fairway Lawns can help you understand just how much water your grass needs to stay hydrated!
Typically, water your grass:
- In the early morning before the temperature warms with the sun and evaporates the water (between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m.)
- During the heat of the season (assuming there is no rain fall) provide your lawn an inch to inch in a half of water each week
- Long enough to wet the soil several inches down (about 15-30 minutes per zone)
Keep in mind that over-watering your lawn can be just as unhealthy as not watering it enough, so rainy springtime might require you to take 10 minutes off of your watering time. Avoid nighttime watering because prolonged moisture can encourage lawn diseases.
3. Fertilize Your Lawn
Fertilizing provides your grass and turf with a boost of nutrients to help your lawn stay healthy year-round. Check your soil pH with a pH test available at your local gardening store. If your soil is too basic, acidic fertilizers can help balance it out; if your soil is too acidic, a lime treatment is best. Our professionals can develop a treatment program that gives your yard the right fertilization it needs—when it needs it. You can learn more about our treatment program here.
4. Know How to Mow
Mowing your lawn may seem straightforward enough, but there are things you need to know to ensure you are mowing your lawn correctly:
- Only cut one-third. Cutting your grass too short will put pressure on the turf and can negatively impact the health of your yard. To prevent stress, adjust your mower blades so that you are cutting off one-third of your grass’s length each time you mow. (For example, if your grass is three inches high, trim one inch for optimum health.)
- Mow based on grass growth, not day of the week. Mowing only on the weekend might be more convenient but you need to mow as needed. Mowing heights vary according to grass type and the season. Some grasses, such as Bermudagrass, are best kept short, while other types need more height. Your mowing frequency should always be to keep the right height while only cutting one-third at a time.
- Only mow when your grass is dry. Wet grass blades will be weighed down by the water, whereas dry grass is upright and ready to be cut.
- Maintain your mower. Clean the undercarriage after every mow and keep the blades sharp. Dull blades don’t cut the grass, they tear it, which is not only sloppy looking but also unhealthy. Sharp mower blades ensure a clean cut every time.
5. Aerate Your Soil
Lawn care beginners will likely not know what aerating is. Aeration loosens the soil and allows air, water, nutrients, and your grass’ roots to penetrate more easily. To achieve the best results from aerating your yard, use a professional lawn care service. Fairway Lawns provides excellent liquid aeration services that will promote lush, green grass.
The best times for aerating are spring and fall to help your lawn prepare for and recover from harsh summer and winter stress. Without proper lawn aeration, harsh seasons can cause your soil to tighten and compact, which inhibits root growth. Lawns should be aerated when the grass is actively growing and the soil is moist. If soil is dry and hard, aerators are unable to penetrate the soil deeply.
6. Know How to Overseed
If your cool season lawn is experiencing browning or thinning spots, we offer fall aeration overseeding on Fesque. Overseeding refills those bald patches by adding new grass seed over the grass that is already present; helping your lawn look dense and healthy and also strengthening your grass’s ability to fight off future damage.
7. Work with a Professional Lawn Care Service
Now that you know the basics of what goes into caring for your new yard, the last tip is to hire a professional lawn care service to handle the dirty work! With over 40 years of service experience, the knowledgeable team at Fairway Lawns can help get your lawn healthy and looking its best. You can sit back and relax while our lawn experts keep your yard maintained all year long. Contact us today and let us exceed your lawn care expectations!