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.
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 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.
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. 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 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.
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 lawn 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.
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.