Sunday, April 27, 2008

Home lawn Care Made Easy

Everybody wants their home lawn to look as good as the golf course but are not sure how to achieve the results. Maintaining a great looking and healthy home lawn takes time and effort. However, if your goal is an attractive looking, healthy lawn with a minimal amount of effort, it can be accomplished using some simple steps. The following is a brief description of those steps in order of importance, with emphasis on minimizing the amount of time and inputs dedicated to your lawn.

1. Mow High as You can
Cool-season lawn grasses such as Kentucky
Bluegrass and Turf Type Tall Fescue in Colorado
perform best at a mowing height of 3 inches.
2. Mow frequently
Mow as often as needed to never remove more
than 1/3 of the leaf blade in a single mowing. In
other words, if your mower is set at 3 inches, mow
when the grass reaches 4 inches. This might be
twice per week in the early spring and once every
2 to 3 weeks in the summer.
3. Return the clippings
Bagging the clippings increases the time and
effort needed for mowing. Leaving the clippings
returns valuable nutrients and does not harm the
turf. Mulching mowers are effective for returning
clippings, but older side-discharge mowers will
also work acceptably.
4. Proper Fertilization
Fertilizer is food for you your lawn and with out a proper diet your lawn will not be healthy and strong. I f you need three meals a day for healthy nutrition, your lawn needs three meals a year for that same nutrition. This would mean that you should be applying fertilizer three times a year starting early spring , summer and fall. The spring application will help green up your lawn and get it actively growing. Summer fertilizer application should be made carefully so that excessive growth is not produced resulting in more water consumption. Fall fertilization is the most important of the year because it helps the plant build carbohydrate reserves for the next season. Of all the fertilizer applications that can be made to your lawn the fall application is the one that you can least afford to skip.
5. Irrigation
It is best if you water your lawn deep and infrequently. This means Appling water to your lawn every third day with a cumulative total from the three prior days. An example of this would be, rather than watering your lawn every day for 10 minutes per zone water every third day fro 30 minutes per zone. If you have steep slopes that are irrigated it would be best to break the total run times into smaller cycles so that runoff is minimized. Watering your lawn every day is possibly the worst thing that you can do for it by creating a shallow root system and predisposing it to disease pressure.
6. Weed Control
Following the five previous step will allow you to have a thick dense turf which is you best defense for weed intrusion. If weeds are still present than you can make herbicide applications to control them or deepening on the number of weeds present they can be hand pulled. The types of herbicides that can be used range from weed and feed products to selective herbicides that target specific weed types, in many cases, spot spraying a herbicide directly on the occasional weed is all that is needed. Always make sure to read, understand and follow all label instructions when using herbicides.