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Lawn Care

How Much Sunlight Does My Lawn Need

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Sunlight Requirements For Lawns

All grasses require sunlight in order to live and thrive as the lawns we want them to be. It’s a simple non-negotiable fact that without sunlight, our lawns would simply waste away and die, however, the different lawn types all have different minimum requirements for sunlight, and each will tolerate some shade at certain levels.

So when choosing a new grass type, or trying to determine why a lawn is not thriving in some areas, it’s important to look at the shade tolerance and sunlight requirements of each lawn type to determine which may be best for our yard.

In this article we’ll take a quick and simple look at the sunlight requirements of several of the more popular grass types used as lawns.

St. Augustine Grass
Requires 4 – 6 hours of direct sunlight.

Tall Fescue
Requires 6 hours of direct sunlight, or 8 hours of filtered sunlight.

Zoysia Grass
Requires 6 hours of direct sunlight, or 8 hours of filtered sunlight.

Bermuda Grass
Requires 8 hours of direct sunlight.

Seashore Paspalum
Requires 8 hours of direct sunlight.

Centipede Grass
Requires 8 hours of direct sunlight.

 

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Lawn Care

How to take care of the garden in spring?

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Keeping your lawn green and healthy during hot summer days begins with proper lawn care in the spring.

Cleaning the lawn in spring

It may not be fun, but spring lawn maintenance requires a few hours of cleaning. It is tempting to start the first sunny day, but it is critical to wait until the soil is dry , or it can compact the soil and damage the soft roots. Once the lawn is dry, you can gently rake the dead grass, leaves, twigs and other debris.

What care do you need?

  • Irrigation – Try not to water your lawn in early spring. Wait until the grass shows signs of wilting, which may not happen until late spring or early summer, or even later. Watering too early only stimulates the growth of shallow roots, which will not be able to withstand the hot, dry summer weather and can result in a brown and dry lawn in the picnic season. When you begin to water, water deeply, then let the grass wilt slightly before re-watering.
  • Fertilization – Similarly, spring is not a good time to fertilize the lawn because it is likely that new and tender growth will burn out when the weather turns warm in summer. This is especially important if you live in a climate affected by the drought. If your lawn is not healthy, you can apply a light application of a slow-release and balanced lawn fertilizer, but retain a more abundant fertilization until autumn. The exception is if your lawn consists of San Agustín grass or another warm season lawn. If this is the case, fertilize as soon as the grass turns green and shows active growth in the middle or late spring.
  • Mowing the lawn – You can mow the lawn as soon as you need it, but make sure the ground is dry so you do not compact it. Never start the lawn and remove more than a third of the lawn height when cutting. If the lawn is disheveled in the spring, give a light cut for the first mowing of the season, then return to your schedule and follow the one-third rule for the rest of the season (be sure to sharpen the mower blades before starting ).
  • Aeration – If your lawn needs aeration – which means making small holes in the lawn so that water, nutrients and air can reach the roots – in the middle of spring is a good time . However, wait until autumn to remove the straw.

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Lawn Care

6 Basic Lawn Care Tips and Maintenance

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All Lawn Care begins with a few simple and basic rules as the foundation for beautiful lawns. These foundations are the Golden Rules of lawn care practices which should be the mandatory basis for all lawn care. Once the basic principles are in place and become the foundation of all routine lawn care practice, a lawn will be maintained in the best possible health to fight disease, fight weed infestations and to have the ability to repair itself from wear and tear more readily.

From this foundation of the health and strength of a lawn, all other problems which may arise are far more minimal in the degree of their severity, and become far easier to manage for the homeowner or lawn manager. All other lawn care practices throughout this site, then only become a secondary factor in having and maintaining the beautiful lawn we all love to own.

Water

Always water lawns in the morning. Watering lawns at night wastes water as much of it drains away before the lawn can use it. Lawns can only absorb water during the daytime by using photosynthesis which is powered by sunlight. Watering at night also promotes disease and pest infestation by allowing water to sit in the thatch layer overnight – which creates optimum conditions for many diseases and pests to thrive.

Lawn Mowing

Lawn mowing isn’t just cutting off excess leaf growth, mowing regularly promotes more green leaf to grow, this process is called tillering and results in a thicker and more lush lawn, which is also much healthier to fight off weeds and prevents weed seeds from establishing. Regular lawn mowing also removes the seed heads of many weed varieties before they get a chance to mature and plant themselves amongst the lawn, and in doing so, the ongoing cycle of re-infesting a lawn with weeds can be broken or at least greatly diminished.

The other benefit of regular lawn mowing are that it reduces the risk of damage that can be caused when lawns grow too long between cuts and then gets scalped as a result.

Fertilizing

Lawns require regular nutrients in order to thrive and retain their optimum health. Because lawn grasses aren’t native to the places we grow them, all the nutrients which were available to them in their home environments aren’t present when we grow them as turf at our homes. For this reason we need to add extra nutrients to the soil in order that the lawn can then thrive and reach it’s most desirable level of health and presentation. We add these nutrients with lawn fertilizers.

Fertilizer should be applied regularly and throughout the year in most regions of the United States. Cooler climates growing Cool Season Grasses should have the majority of their fertilizing done in the Spring and Fall, skipping Winter and often missing Summer applications as well dependant on how well these lawns cope with the heat in their respective regions.. Warm Season Grasses being grown in warmer climates will benefit from a year round fertilizing regimen.

Thatch

Thatch can build up in most turf types, it is the brown spongy layer which lies underneath the green leaf of the lawn, it helps to insulate the soil from excessive loss of water from evaporation, and provides lawns which a soft cushioning layer. However thatch also provides a welcoming home for many pests and diseases, and if left to grow too thick the lawn can become ugly if the lawn mower begins cutting into it.

For these reasons, it is important to de-thatch our lawns regularly in order to keep them growing in optimum health. How often lawns need de-thatching depend on the lawn variety and how quickly it is growing, every 1 to 3 years is always a good general rule of thumb.

Aeration

Often called lawn coring, lawn aerating or core cultivating, this is the process of removing plugs of sod and soil from the lawn. The process of aerating allows lawns greater drainage capabilities, which lets more oxygen, nutrients and water to get deeper into the root zone of the lawn. Apart from these obvious benefits, lawn coring is done every few years on established lawns because they often become more compacted with every year of use, and lawn aeration cures this problem and promotes greater lawn health.

Weeds

We will never rid ourselves of weeds permanently in our lawns, even with the most manicured lawns around us, they will still have a weed seed blow in on the wind or brought in under foot which will establish itself. With this in mind, we must look for the best solution to manage weeds and have the benefits of a great looking weed-free lawn with the least amount of effort or cost.

The way this is done is to manage weeds quickly and as soon as they appear, in this stage of early infestation, weeds are very easily removed by hand in only a few minutes and the problem is dealt with. Allowing weeds to become established results in more difficulty in killing them, often resulting the use of herbicides, and often allowing the weeds to spread new seeds to make the problem much worse.

A few minutes walking around the lawn on lazy Sunday is all it takes to stay in control of weeds.

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