Green is good. Grass is important. Getting the prize for a perfect lawn is an ongoing fight.
After spending a couple months in a small Airbnb in central Oregon, I’m here to testify. People really do compete over lawn care. One neighbor trims every Tuesday. The other neighbor is out every other day. The nurse across the streets cuts on Friday afternoon.
It’s an ongoing competition.
But here’s the truth. The lawns aren’t really beautiful or even green. They are short and over-cut. In a few weeks, they look like they’ll turn brown, mostly from over-cutting.
If you’re in a neighborhood where people are fighting for lawn supremacy, I get it. Only thing is... you can do better. You can achieve a beautiful green lawn with less effort at less expense.
After listening to the sound of mowers, I got curious. After watching the neighbors compete, I did my research. Here’s what I learned.
Watering. Fertilizing. Mowing. Edging. There’s a lot of maintenance moves to create the perfect lawn.
Here are a few things to help you achieve the ultimate lawn you’ve been dreaming about.
If you cut grass too short, it weakens the grass. Overcutting is called scalping, and makes your lawn vulnerable to diseases and weeds. Longer grass grows stronger and thicker. This strength prevents weeds from taking over.
What’s the ideal mowing height? This varies depending on the type of grass and climate. For most cold-climate grasses, you can aim for 2.5 inches. For warm climate grasses, you can go a little shorter, such as 1.5-2 inches.
If you aren’t sure which type of grass you have on your lawn, take a sample to your local nursery. They can help you with identification and specific care tips.
Several times a year, it helps to sharpen the blade of your mower. A dull blade often creates a whitish or brown hue on the lawn.
Tip: Buy an extra mower blade, so you’ll always be ready for sharp precision mowing.
You’ll work less and protect your grass more with this simple shift. Mow when the grass is dry. Avoid mowing immediately after rain or watering. If there’s consistently a soggy section of lawn, fix the irrigation issues before mowing.
Shady mowing is good for your lawn, and for your skin care. Mowing is a stressful time for the grass. By mowing in the shade, you’re minimizing impact and helping grass rebound more quickly.
Leaving the grass on your lawn provides a natural way to fertilize your lawn. Clippings provide up to 25% of your lawn’s fertilizer needs. You’ll save time, and you’ll save money on fertilizer. If you’re mowing frequently, removing only one-third of the blade per mow, consider grasscycling.
Life gets busy! If you skipped a few mows, you may opt for composting longer grass. This involves raking and collecting the grass with a bag attachment.
To avoid creating ruts and compacted soil, mow in different patterns. You’ll support grass health by changing the direction you’re mowing. Plus, it’s more interesting and engaging to see your garden from different angles.
With correct watering, you’ll support grass health and promote drought tolerance. Many people find that watering in the early morning or late evening is better for the lawn, and better for water consumption.
If you’re looking for a new mower, check out the battery powered options. You’ll find that battery mowers are fume-free and gas-free. Look for a model that includes battery charging. Having a second battery on hand will keep things humming.
With all this care, feeding, and nurturing…there’s one more thing. Making it tidy with crisp and neat edges. If you’ve been noticing your neighbor’s lawn has precise edges, he or she probably has invested in a new lawn edger.
Consider a gas-powered or electric edger that works for your needs. Many seniors like the access and ease of a cordless edger. Hint: be sure to buy batteries and chargers, as they aren’t included in the package.
For an electric edger, you can skip the batteries and charger and get right to work. The edges of your lawn will be neat and tidy in no time.
Some parts of your yard may be in the shade, on hills, and difficult to plant. Are you frustrated with these sections? There are options to overcome these challenges.
For shady parts of your lawn, skip the grass. Plant hardy ground covers instead. You’ll save loads of time and frustration with this move. In other words, no mowing. Check with your local nursery experts for advice. He or she will happily show you the plants best suited for your conditions and region.
Take a look at the pathways through your garden. Are they formal? Do they have curbs, steps or walls? If so, create paths that require less upkeep. With informal stones or pavers, you can mow right over them. Just think- no edging or trimming!
Have you been fighting with flowers, bushes and shrubs when you mow? There is a solution for the long haul. Install a border that’s 4 inches deep. Set the border to ½-1 inch over the ground. With a little planning, you’ll keep roots from creeping under your border; and grass from reaching over it. With this move, you’ll eliminate the chore of grass clipping and edging near flowers.
The Big Idea: Yes, you can have a preeminent lawn—with less cost, effort and time. You can look at your lawn with pride, by following these simple tips.
If your lawn is a source of pride and joy, these products and techniques can keep you smiling.