Attention Idaho Falls homeowners. Now is the time to start thinking about your lawn care in 2021. Yeah, everything is white and buried in snow right now. But that is going to change soon and lawn care will be on your to-do list.
When it does, you’ll be happy if you are prepared. After all, it can be a lot of responsibility and work to keep your lawn looking good all throughout the year. So whether this is a new thing for you or not — the following advice will help you help your lawn reach its potential.
Mowing the lawn is the chore that just never ends right? It can be very time-consuming. And if you’re like most people, your schedule dictates when you are able to mow your lawn. But that may not be great for your grass. Ideal lawn mowing means cutting grass at the right time. This makes a big difference in both the health and the look of your lawn.
When To Mow
The rule of thumb to keep in mind when it comes to mowing is the one-third rule. You don’t want to cut more than a third of the grass. So if you wait too long to mow, you might end up cutting half of the blade or more and that can be bad news. We’ll explain why shortly, but first a reminder. The time between one lawn mowing to the next will vary throughout the year. For example, during the warmer months, the grass will grow faster and should be cut a little more frequently than during the cold months. Of course, this will vary depending on where you are located.
The reason this is important is that the taller your grass is, the more it will absorb moisture and the roots grow deeper. This adds strength to your grass that will help it survive better and longer during any times of drought. Plus, long grass helps to cool the soil and reduce evaporation. You’ll also want to consider the following mowing tips.
- Set your mower to cut at a height of 2-4 inches.
- Keep your lawnmower blades sharp to prevent damaging the grass.
- Mow in a different direction each time.
Making sure that your grass gets water is vital. That much is clear. But not everyone knows how much or how often to water their grass. This is important because too much water is bad for your lawn. But so is too little water. Where is the happy medium? You’ll find it by using a regular and consistent watering schedule specifically designed for your lawn.
When To Water
The optimal time to water the lawn is early in the morning. We’re talking about between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. During these hours, you don’t have a hot sun and you don’t usually have as much wind either. This also gives your grass time to dry completely.
Contrary to what you may think, you don’t really want to water during the hottest hours of the day or during the night. When you water during the middle of the day, moisture is easily lost by the wind and evaporation. When you water during the night, it makes it unlikely that the grass will dry like it should and leaves it susceptible to disease and fungus. Keep these tips in mind.
- When possible, an irrigation system is the best way to water
- A good amount of water for your lawn is about a half-inch two times per week.
- Let the water run for 20-30 minutes so it will have enough to get into the soil and reach the roots.
You should feed your grass too. It needs nitrogen and other important nutrients that come in fertilizer. Do this right, and it is highly effective. Do it wrong and it will be highly wasteful. Here’s what you need to consider when deciding when to use fertilizer.
Understand that this depends on where you live. The rule of thumb is grass in the north needs fertilizer in the fall and spring, while the grass in the south needs fertilizer in the spring and summer. Here’s why.
Grasses that thrive in the cooler seasons, grow fast in the fall and spring months. Fertilize them during these months to keep them growing longer. It also helps them to store up reserves that will help them to come out in the springtime.
The warm-season grasses grow quickly in the warm months. Make sure this happens by using fertilizer in the late spring and early in the fall.
Do it too soon and it may make unwanted weeds grow even faster than they already do. Do it too late in the season and your grass may not be healthy when the winter hits. Use these fertilizer tips.
- Be careful not to get fertilizer on the sidewalk, driveway, or other areas where it may get into storm drains, etc.
- A soil test will help you to choose the right fertilizer.
- Always follow the instructions on the label.
Once weeds start to take over an area, they can get out of control in a hurry. How do you make sure this doesn’t happen? It starts with taking proper care of your lawn. Make sure your lawn is strong and healthy and it can put weeds in a chokehold before they are able to get established.
Pulling weeds by hand will make the area look much better but probably not for long. It is one of the most ineffective parts of lawn care. The chances of getting them all pulled out completely is pretty small. Most of them will just grow right back. If the root breaks, anything left in the soil will sprout a new weed for you to be pulling out again soon.
Aeration And Overseeding
This is an important part of the lawn care process that most people make their yard go without. But they really need to be done because they enable water, air, and nutrients to get all the way down to the roots.
- How it works. Aeration is the process of removing thousands of plugs from the soil and then overseeding the area.
- When to do it. The best time of year to do this is in the late summer or the early fall. These times allow for quick recovery. Just make sure that the soil is moist and the grass is in an active growing stage. Dry soil means the aeration won’t get deep enough and doing it early in the year before the active growing stage likely will bring those pesky weeds to the surface. And in the summer, it is just too hot.
- Overseeding. This should be done in the fall in order to avoid competition from weeds and oil saturation.
A Lot Of Work
All this is a lot of work! Especially if you are busy with work and don’t have kids to assign some of the work to. But you don’t have to worry about all of this if you don’t want to. A quick search online will bring up landscaping companies that can take care of all of this for you and make your lawn the best on the block.