So, you have tested your soil and now know the pH level and the type of soil you have. Good for you. Now you may be asking yourself how do I care for this soil so that the grass and the plants, the flowers, and the trees will grow? You have come to the right place.
Since good, healthy soil is the foundation of a beautiful yard, you will need to start with the basics.
If you have sandy soil, then you will have to pay particular attention to this section. If you have loam soil, then you can read this with a smile - but remember that even loam soil needs water or it will quickly turn to sand. If you have silt or clay soil, the next section on drainage will also be useful to you.
The first rule of watering is that it must be done often, especially during the warmer months when there is less rain fall. You should water your lawn each day in order to make sure that the soil is receiving enough moisture.
Many people invest in watering systems which are underground sprinklers that are set on timers that will water the lawn each day. While these systems can be expensive, if you are the forgetful type, this is an option. If not, buy a hose that is long enough to reach the lawn or buy a sprinkler that can be moved around.
It is important to water your lawn enough, but not overeater it. You have watered your lawn too much when puddles begin to form. This is why you should move around your lawn and try to get an even amount of water on the entire lawn.
Fertilizing your lawn is the best way to provide nutrients and help keep the weed population under control in order to create a healthy lawn. When fertilizing your lawn, you keep in mind the following:
Types of grass that are on the lawn
pH level of soil
Type of soil
Types of weeds
There are different types of fertilizers for different types of grass. Also, there are fertilizers that should be used at different times each year. If you have recently planted seed grass, then you should already know the types that are on your lawn, but if you have moved into a home that was previously occupied, you may not know exactly which types of grass are on your lawn. You should ask your neighbors about their grass since the same grasses are typically used in an area.
Read the instructions on the bag of fertilizer before using it. This will tell you when to use the fertilizer, how to apply it, and also suggest other fertilizers that should be used during the year. Each season, you should be using a fertilizer.
In order to spread the fertilizer evenly, you should buy or rent a spreader. This will evenly distribute the fertilizer. They are very easy to use. Simply put the fertilizer into the hopper and push the spreader in even lines across the lawn.
If your soil is acidic, you will need to put lime down in order to bring the soil to a more neutral state. If you decide to send a soil sample to be tested, you will receive advice on how much lime to use and when to use it on your lawn.
Lime can be found at most home and garden centers and can be used the same way as fertilizer.
Once you have placed lime on your lawn, DO NOT repeat the process. If you put too much lime on your lawn, you will cause the soil to turn alkaline, which is not good for most plants and flowers.
Mulching and Composting
What better way to combine helping the environment and using fancy lawn equipment than by mulching and composting! This is a fun activity for the entire family.
In order to create mulch, you will need to buy or rent a mulching machine. These little machines will grind up leaves, small branches, and bark. The material that shoots out the back of the mulching machine can be used to decorate your lawn or be used as fertilizer. Since mulch is made from organic materials, it is full of nutrients that will help plants and flowers grow. It will also replenish nutrients in the soil.
You will have the opportunity to mulch each fall as this is a great way to get rid of all of those leaves.
Composting is a little different from mulching in that you will be recycling not only dead leaves and other organic matter, but also your trash. Yes, your trash. Instead of throwing away left over food, you can create a compost pile outside where food will decompose with other matter to create a nutrient rich mix that you can add to your soil. For many people the idea of composting sounds disgusting, and in many ways, it is. You will need to turn the pile every few days to make sure that all of the materials are decomposing at the same rate. This will also reduce the odor. When you have a large enough pile, you can use it on your lawn. This is an inexpensive way to fertilize your lawn by using materials from the environment.
Many people would rather use compost than chemicals on your lawn. The choice is up to you.
Terry Blackburn. Internet Marketing Consultant, living in South Shields in the North-East of England. Author and Producer of blog http://www.lawnsurgeon.blogspot.com Author of "Your Perfect Lawn," a 90 Page eBook devoted to Lawn Preparation, Lawn Care and Maintenance. Find it at http://www.lawnsurgeon.com
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