Early Spring Lawn Tips for Making Your Lawn Healthy and Green
Alternative EarthCare, a full service lawn and landscaping company, located in Long Island, understands proper lawn maintenance. Our knowledgeable experts are here to provide 8 tips that will help you grow the most beautiful lawn on the block!
1. Mowing Your Lawn: Height Matters!Mowing the lawn is a common-sense aspect of lawn care, right? But what height to cut it actually makes a big difference in maintaining the health of your lawn. The most important thing is to make sure you don’t cut it too short. A lot of people make this mistake, thinking the shorter they cut it the more time can go by before they have to drag out the lawn mower again. However, cutting grass too short will stress out the grass and inhibit root growth. We suggest setting your mower to a higher setting to promote the development of healthy grass.
The benefits to slightly taller grass: less weeds! The taller grass blocks the sun from the weed seeds so they cannot germinate as plentifully. Another benefit: better root development: think of it as tall above ground, long and healthy underneath as well. Lastly: taller grass will help the ground hold water longer. This means that if you forget to water it’s much more forgiving and you wont see those frequent dry or yellowing patches.
2. Water Your Lawn Right
If you’ve just seeded a lawn it needs a lot of water to germinate the seeds: every day for about 5-10 minutes a day. Once the seeds sprout and reach about half an inch you can switch to watering every day for 15-20 minutes.For a fully-grown lawn that just needs upkeep (with no seeds sprinkled in to thicken it) we suggest watering just once a week for about 15-30 minutes depending on your sprinkler soil, and grass type. (I know it’s not as much water as you thought right?) Overwatering is actually much more common than under watering, especially because when people forget one day they tend to over do it the next and drown the lawn in too much water.
Why so infrequently? Well actually a longer, infrequent soaking of just once a week will encourage deeper root growth. Meanwhile, a frequent watering of a few minutes a day on a mature lawn will lead to thatch: dry brown spot just above the soil. Aerating the soil can also help relieve thatch.
When is the best time to water your lawn? Between 6-10 AM is best, avoiding the hotter part of the day in the afternoon. If you can’t water in the morning then shoot for a time between 4-7 PM. To make sure all areas receive equal amounts of water, the timing is accurate for your soil type, and to save you the trouble of watering with hose-in-hand, we suggest using an irrigation system, such one that has rain sensors to prevent overwatering. Don’t have a sprinkler system for your property? Alternative EarthCare can help!
After lawn cuts and water, the next important thing is nutrients! At least twice a year you should fertilize your lawn: in the spring and fall. If your lawn is looking unhealthy you can also test at any time and see if the acid/alkaline is in balance, as many lawns benefit from more frequent fertilization.
4. Aeration: Don’t Suffocate Your Lawn
When we think of lawn upkeep, we don’t often imagine the air pockets compacted underneath the grass, suffocating the roots—but that is just what happens over time. From foot traffic, children playing, heavy equipment or cars driving over it, etc… the grass and soil become compacted.
At Alternative EarthCare we offer Core Aeration services that will help turn a tried looking lawn into a lush, enviable property enhancement. If you are not sure if your soil could benefit from these services we can test a section of it by removing a small section of lawn and examining the depth of the roots (if they are shallow, between 1-2 inches) aerating the soil can be one solution to encourage deeper growth for a healthier lawn. When aerating we suggest throwing down fresh grass seed to discourage weed growth and keep your lawn thick and healthy.
Properties need seeding for a variety or reasons: perhaps you recently had some work done to your house and the contractors had to dig into your property or ran heavy machinery over a certain section of your lawn. Maybe you had a problem with grubs or fungus and are finding dead spots of grass throughout the lawn or in certain sections. Many other reasons exist but all can be helped with putting down new seed and taking care to grow healthy new grass.
The best way to keep weeds at bay is to keep your grass so healthy that weeds don’t stand a chance. How? By following the first 5 tips above! When that fails, you can try natural herbicides or removing weeds by hand as a safe alternative to chemical soaks.
7. Know Your Soil
The many areas across Long Island have unique soil compositions beneath all that lush grass—knowing what type of soil you have will help you feed the grass right. If you have sandy soil for instance, it will drain water quickly and will require longer or more frequent watering than other soil types. Sandy soil is common on the South Shore of Long Island. We at Alternative EarthCare are familiar with all different soil types and experts in bringing lawns back to life.
8. Know Your Grass Type
Just like the different types of soil there are many types of grass that need different care. Common types found on Long Island properties include: Common Bermudagrass, Fescue, Kentucky Bluegrass, St. Augustine, and Zoysia, among others. At Alternative EarthCare our knowledgeable professionals will be able to maintain your property with individual attention and expert service.
Make your property stunning with a beautifully manicured, lush, green lawn! Contact us 631-940-9050 today for a free estimate and evaluation on your property.