Caring for a lawn isn’t easy — in fact, keeping your lawn healthy and green is one of the more difficult tasks for today’s busy homeowner. The issue is that caring for a lawn, like caring for a pet or a child, requires an abundance of time and resources, and on top of that, you need to have some knowledge and experience to carry out each lawn care task successfully. Too often, homeowners water and mow wantonly only to see that their meager efforts have little effect on their slowly dying lawn.
Lawn care is complex, but there are ways to make it less of a burden for new homeowners who are overwhelmed or unprepared for this responsibility. To ensure you get and keep the lawn of your dreams without sacrificing other obligations, here are a few tips and tricks to try this weekend:
Get to Know Your Lawn Mower
Like it or not, you need to mow your lawn. This lawn care task is simply too vital to outsource. During growing seasons, you’ll need to mow your lawn at least once per week to maintain its proper height, and paying a lawn care service to perform this chore will drain your budget fast. Fortunately, mowing can be a fast and easy activity — if you know what you’re doing.
Knowing how to mow a lawn starts with understanding how your lawn mower works. There are quite a few different styles of lawn mower, from self-propelled mowers to push mowers to smart robot mowers — you can read about all of them here: https://www.homestratosphere.com/types-of-lawn-mowers/ — but in every case, familiarity with your lawn mower is the key to mowing success.
Before you even try to mow, you should skim through your owner’s manual, which you can find online if you didn’t keep the copy that came with the mower. Then, you should spend time identifying the important parts of your mower, such as the mechanisms to turn the machine on or all, to raise or lower the blades, to take off the blades, to add fuel, to catch mown grass, etc. Once you practice using these mechanisms properly, you should be ready to start mowing your lawn.
Establish Healthy Watering Habits
In addition to mowing, watering is your other primary responsibility when it comes to lawn care. General wisdom states that grass needs between 1 and 1.5 inches of water per week, but in practice, that number can vary quite a bit depending on your climate, soil type, grass variety and more.
For example, if you live in a hot, dry place with well-draining soil, it’s likely that you’ll need to provide more water per week. Then again, if you live in a place that is constantly overcast and cool and you have soil with a high clay content, you might drown your grass if you give it as much as 1.5 inches per week. It’s not a bad idea to install a rain gauge to see how much precipitation falls on your property every day/week or to perform a test like the tuna can test — described here: https://www.conserveh2o.org/measure-your-sprinklers-water-use-watering-gauges — to understand how evenly distributed the watering is.
Regardless of how much you water, it’s a good idea to get in the habit of watering only once or twice per week in the mid-mornings. This ensures that whatever water you do give your lawn goes deep into the soil, encouraging stronger root growth. Additionally, it means that less water evaporates, but any excess water that could drown your lawn will get burnt off by the sun.
It pays to identify factors like climate, soil type and grass variety as soon as you move into your new home because they affect so much of your landscape. For example, not only will understanding your property’s soil help with lawn care, but it will help you maintain a healthy, beautiful garden, too. To do this, you can use resources online — like these: https://www.trugreen.com/lawn-care-101 — but you will likely see more success if you hire a lawn care professional to assist with identification.
Hire Professionals for Everything Else
At this stage in your homeownership adventure, you have a lot on your plate, so you don’t want to overwhelm yourself with lawn care responsibilities. The truth is that besides watering and mowing, most other lawn tasks are completed once or twice per year, max, and they tend to require special equipment and expertise.
That’s why it’s better for you to trust professionals for things like fertilization, aeration, seeding, dethatching and the rest. By outsourcing these responsibilities, you give yourself a break from the stress of lawn care and you ensure that your lawn is as healthy and happy as possible.
There are so many things required for proper home maintenance — and lawn care is a major one. However, you don’t have to bog yourself down in lawn care 24/7. By focusing on the right responsibilities, you can earn satisfaction in caring for your lawn without worrying about every tiny aspect of lawn care.