Monday, May 28, 2007

Lawn care

Reverting to the issue of developing a Lawn from scratch, here is the rest of the Article from our friends at

"There are 2 basic types of lawn grasses - your cool-season and warm-season types. Cool-season grasses are hardy, examples include Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue. These grow best in northern, cold-winter climates. As their name suggests, they grow most vigorously in the cool months of the spring and fall seasons. Although they grow slowly in summer, they will stay green through the heat if they're well watered. If you have a cool-season lawn, you need to fertilize it twice: once in late fall, about two weeks before the first frost; and again in late winter to early spring. But go ahead and follow the other steps listed below in early spring when days are still cool. Water this grass about an inch a week, spring through fall.

Warm-season grasses include Bermuda grass and zoysia grass. These grow best in the mild-winter, warm-summer areas of the southern and southwestern United States. These grasses love the summer heat, and tend to go dormant and turn brown in winter. They die in areas where winters are too cold. Begin caring for a warm-season lawn later in the spring, when temperatures are regularly in the mid-80s. Fertilize such grasses in early to mid-spring and again four to six weeks later; do not fertilize in the fall. Water about an inch a week in spring and summer.
Nine Easy Steps to a Better Lawn

Warm-season or cool, all lawns need proper care. Here's how to give your grass a great start.

. Fertilize your lawn. Use a complete lawn fertilizer and apply it, following the recommendations printed on the label. Your lawn will be denser, greener, have fewer weeds and will resist insects and diseases.

. Adjust your soil pH. If your soil is very acidic (likely, if you have abundant summer rainfall), apply powdered limestone to adjust the pH. Talk to the folks at your local nursery or someone at your local cooperative extension office for local advice. These people can help you test your soil pH and tell you the recommended amounts of lime to apply.

. Control weeds. Apply a pre-emergent herbicide, a weed killer that also prevents weeds from reappearing later in the growing season. These herbicides are generally sold in granular form. Do this before weed seeds germinate. To kill broadleaf weeds that appear later, apply a "weed-and-feed" product. Again, timing varies with local conditions, so consult your local nursery for advice. Follow all label instructions carefully.

. Know when to mow. Mow your lawn only when the grass has grown 30 to 50 percent higher than the recommended mowing height. For most cool-season grasses, the recommended height is 3 to 4 inches, so you'd cut when it's 4 to 6 inches high. For most warm-season grasses, the recommended height is 2 to 3 inches, so you'll mow when it's 3 to 4 1/2 inches high. Mow all season, whenever the grass is 30 to 50 percent taller than the recommended height. If you don't let the grass grow too long between mowings, you can leave the clippings on the lawn rather than rake them up. The cut grasses will break down quickly and contribute organic matter and nitrogen to the soil.

. Aerate your lawn. Aerators remove small plugs of grass and soil from the lawn, admitting air to the soil, breaking up mats of dead grass and debris that can accumulate at root level, and invigorating root growth. Aerating also helps water and nutrients penetrate the lawn. You can rent a power aerator at local rental company or hire a lawn-care company to power-aerate for you. The best power aerators work by driving little hollow pistons into the ground that remove tiny cores of soil. For small areas, aerate manually with a sod-coring tool, a special tool that resembles a garden fork.

. Reseed your lawn if necessary. If your cool-season lawn is thin or spotty in places, reseed it. First, roughly rake the area with a steel rake with short, hard tines. Then spread fresh grass seed, following the recommended coverage rates on the seed package. Lightly cover the new seeds with mulch or other >organic matter, and then keep the area moist until the seeds germinate.

. De-thatch your lawn. Thatch is a thick, spongy layer of organic matter and debris that builds up between the grass blades and roots. By keeping water and nutrients from reaching the roots, thatch causes your lawn to grow poorly. Aerating will help to reduce thatch, and you can de-thatch small areas by raking vigorously with a steel rake. But to de-thatch large areas, it's best to rent a power rake or hire a lawn company to do the work for you.

. Check your irrigation system. Each spring, check your irrigation system to make sure it's running properly. Repair clogged and broken sprinkler heads, then adjust your sprinklers so that water falls on the lawn instead of on sidewalks, driveways or patios.

. Water. Most lawns don't need much water early in the season, but if the season has been dry, water deeply. You can tell your lawn is drying when the grass begins to lose color, becoming gray-green or brown. Also, you'll notice that blades don't spring back when you walk across the lawn. Water long enough to wet the soil 6 to 8 inches deep. To measure, push a metal rod into the soil. It will penetrate more easily through moist soil than dry soil, and you can feel the point where the dry soil begins.

Follow these key steps and watch a rich, green carpet of lawn develop, from spring right on through fall."
Terry Blackburn. Internet Marketing Consultant, living in South Shields in the North-East of England. Author and Producer of blog Author of "Your Perfect Lawn," a 90 Page eBook devoted to Lawn Preparation, Lawn Care and Maintenance. Find it at

I would be very interested to have your comments on this Article.

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Lawn care

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