Lawn Maintenance 101
As spring begins to bloom and the warm weather returns, thought turns to the outdoors. If your lawn is looking a little brown or dull, now is the time to bring some maintenance and attention so that you can enjoy a lush lawn all summer long.
• Soil Preparation – Creating a healthy bed for your plants to flourish is critical. If your soil is lacking essential nutrients, then anything else you try to do will fail. If you’re unsure about the quality of your soil, there are professionals and do-it-yourself tests which will indicate if you need to add nutrients to your soil. You’ll discover the nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium levels and the pH level of the soil (possibly the organic-matter levels too), which can help you choose the right fertilizer or let you know if you don’t need one at all.
INTERESTING FACT: According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Cecil soil is the most common type of soil in North Carolina, covering over 1.6 million acres. In fact, Cecil soil is the official state soil of North Carolina.
• Fertilizer – By fertilizing your garden, you replenish lost nutrients and ensure that this year’s plants have the food they need to flourish. The plants we tend and nurture every year use the soil’s nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N-P-K) among other naturally occurring chemicals. For that reason, a soil test can be very useful. To build the long-term health and fertility of your soil, Gardener’s Supply recommends using granular organic fertilizers. If you are still unsure, talk to your local nursery or garden professional to choose the right type of fertilizer for you.
• Water – Understand your water program and adjust your sprinklers for the best results. Lawn care experts say that watering your lawn two times a week for a longer time (about an hour) is better for your lawn then watering every day for only 20 minutes. This allows the water to soak down deep into the roots. If you are nurturing plants and the leaf tips are turning brown, your plants are not getting the right amount of water at the right times. You might consider a better/more consistent watering schedule. By allowing the top inch or two of soil around your plant to dry, you can also prevent an environment that is too wet which could be creating problems at the root. This can be seen when your plants are turning brown from the center.
• Mowing – Mowing your lawn is an art form. Keep the blades sharp and never mow more than 1/3 of the grass blade at a time. Also, keep a pair of yard work shoes that you don’t have an emotional attachment to because they will turn green.
• Sod and Seed – If you need to fill in a few bare spots, adding a couple patches of sod is a good method. If your entire lawn could use some help, it might be time to reseed. Do be careful not to reseed your lawn when the weather is going to be very hot. This can kill your new grass immediately.
Spring is upon us when you and your family want to get out into the yard. Prepare your lawn now for an entire season of beauty with a little care.