Spring Lawn Care Checklist:
- Wait until the soil dries out before you start working in your yard.
- Sharpen your lawn mower blades and change the oil.
- Have your soil tested if it has been more than three years.
- Mow low the 1st time to remove the dead grass tops.
- Aerate your lawn if it didn’t get done in the fall.
- Over-seed bare spots.
- Apply crabgrass preventer (pre-emergance) around March 1
- Spray active growing weeds
- Organic fertilizer application late March
Aesthetics of a Healthy Lawn
When it comes to curb appeal, there is no substitute for an attractive lawn. A healthy lawn instantly beautifies an area, and it also lessens the glare reflecting into your eyes. A good lawn is visually appealing and relaxing.
Increased Property Value
When it comes to curb appeal, there is no substitute for a good lawn. In fact, a well-landscaped lawn can increase a residential property’s value by 7%, according to appraiser estimates. According to a Gallup survey, a great landscape can increase your home’s value by as much as 15%.
Improved Air Quality
All it takes is a 50′ by 50′ plot of well-maintained grass to daily create enough oxygen for a family of four. Lawns also keep many pollutants out of the air, absorbing dust, carbon dioxide, and even noise. Furthermore, if you keep weeds at bay, this reduces the amount of pollen in the air.
Cooling Benefits of a Great Lawn
If you lined up the lawns of eight typical homes, those front lawns would have the same cooling effect of around 70 tons of air conditioning. That is enough air conditioning to keep 16 average houses cool. When things heat up, grass can be 10 to 14 degrees cooler than exposed soil, and up to 30 degrees cooler than concrete or asphalt.
Exercise Value of a High Quality Lawn
Not only does a good lawn afford the opportunity for exercise and recreation, but when you have healthy grass, it can absorb shock and cushion falls, reducing the risk of injuries. Proper lawn maintenance can create a prime area for exercise at home, the sports field, or at a park.
Lawn Mowing Tips
Remember that mowing is pruning. Proper mowing increases the density of the lawn, which in turn decreases weeds. Each type of grass has a recommended mowing height. Find out which type of grass is in your lawn (you may have more than one) and mow at the proper height.
Stick to the 1/3 rule — never remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade length at any one time. A healthy lawn can survive an occasional close cut. Repeated close mowing produces a brown lawn and has several harmful side effects, including:
- Injury to the crown, where new growth generates and nutrients are stored.
- Reduction of the surface area of the blade, making the blade surface insufficient to produce food through photosynthesis.
- Increased vulnerability to pests and disease.
- An increase in the sunlight reaching weed seeds, allowing them to germinate.
- Risk of soil compaction.
Also remember to:
- Mow when the grass is dry. The blades will be upright and less likely to clump when cut.
- Avoid mowing in the heat of the day to prevent heat stress on your grass and yourself.
- Keep mower blades sharp and balanced. Ragged cuts made by dull blades increase the chance of disease and pests.
- Change the mowing pattern each time you mow. Grass develops a grain based on your cutting direction, tending to lean towards the direction you mow. Alternating the pattern causes more upright growth and helps avoid producing ruts in the lawn.
- Mow moving forward, whether you’re pushing a walk-behind mower or sitting behind the wheel of a lawn tractor.
- Discharge the clippings (unless you bag them) towards the area you have already cut.
- Leave clippings on the lawn unless they form clumps or rows. This technique (known as grass cycling) returns nutrients and nitrogen to the lawn.
- Consider using a mulching mower or mulching attachments.
- Mow grass higher in shaded areas under trees. In these areas grass has to compete with tree roots for water and nutrients.
- Reduce mowing frequency and raise the mowing height of cool-season grasses when hot, dry weather slows their growth rate.