Nowadays, lush green front yards in Aggieland are few and far between, but when I do, I remember when I was a kid and really enjoyed the lush grass. Despite the changing times, healthy lawns and gardens will never go out of style. Maintaining a healthy lawn is a key part of taking care of your home. Here are some tips on how to keep your grass and flower beds in tip top shape.
Mow high and mow less. When mowing your yard, keep in mind that the shorter you mow your lawn, the harder it will be to keep it looking green. Try cutting your grass at a height of about three to three and a half inches. If you cut your grass too short, it is likely to suffer from a weak, root system and will not be healthy enough to obtain the water and nutrients it needs from the soil.
Leave the clippings in your yard. The myth that these will create thatch is not true. Grass blades consist mainly of water but also contain many nutrients. Eventually, you will be able to use less fertilizer on your lawn.
Mowing less is another step to obtaining a healthy lawn. How often you need to mow will depend on several things like the weather, the grass you have in your yard, and the height you choose to cut your grass. Watch the grass and respond to what you believe it needs. Mow often enough that you do not leave large clumps of clippings behind. In the spring, you may need to mow as often as every five days or so. During the summer, however, you may only need to mow every couple of weeks.
Maintain your lawn mower. Part of this maintenance is keeping a sharp blade on your mower. Dull blades shred and tear the grass which is not healthy for it. You should check your blade at least a few times each year. Make sure you are also glancing at other parts of your mower to make sure they are in good shape as well.
Consider whether or not you should fertilize. If your lawn is thick with bright green grass and has few to no weeds, you do not need any additional fertilizer. The leftover clippings and any previous fertilizers used are providing enough nutrients to the soil. If your lawn has spots where it is visibly thinning, if the soil is visible or if weeds are taking over the grasses, you need to fertilize. A thick lawn will hold water in longer and provide more water to the soil and grasses. It will also reduce soil erosion.
Watch the water you give your lawn. Water can end up being unhealthy for your grass if not moderated. Wet grass can become home to several diseases so water in the morning to avoid creating a wet marshland in your front yard.
Shade needs particular attention. In general, grass needs about four to six hours of sunlight each day. If you already know this is impossible in your lawn, consider some other covering for your yard. In shaded spots of your home, arrange plants that are adapted to lower light conditions. You can also mow with your blade at a high setting and reduce fertilizer use in these spots.
Reduce your use of pesticides. Make sure that you never get in the habit of regularly using pesticides on your lawn. In many cases, the pesticide will be inaccurately identified or applied at the wrong time of day or year and will be ineffective on your lawn. If you struggle with insect and weed problems, instead focus on making your grass healthy.
Set some goals with your family about a garden you want to get started. If planting a vegetable garden, take some time considering what you and your friends and family enjoy eating. Think about the environment you live in and what plants will thrive and which ones will struggle to survive. Do not waste your time planting and maintaining vegetables that you will not eat or plants that will not live. Consider how much time you can dedicate to gardening and decide if you need to settle for low maintenance plants or if you want a challenge. Consider what aesthetic you want your garden to have and what your family’s needs are and will be in the future.
Start making a plan. Map out how you want your garden to look and make the best use of the space you have. Create a schedule of when your flower beds will need to be prepped and fertilized and when you need to buy plants or seeds, when you will need to pick veggies, weed the garden, etc. It is also a brilliant idea to keep a journal of what went well and what went wrong as you are gardening. In years to come, you can learn from and remember your past mistakes.
Start with a small project near your home. You do not want to discourage yourself before you have given gardening a fair chance. If you are successful in your undertaking, increase your garden each year. If you have a surplus of vegetables, consider cutting back on the amount you plant.
Maintaining your yard and gardens can seem overwhelming or confusing. Following a few tips can make it something that you enjoy doing. It is advantageous for your health to get outside and get your hands dirty!