If you're like many modern homeowners, you love the way a well-kept lawn makes your home look — but you may not love the work involved in cultivating an emerald green, weed-free lawn that feels velvety soft beneath your bare feet. Fortunately, while there's no such thing as a maintenance-free lawn, strategies exist for homeowners who want to minimize the time they spend on lawn chores. The following are three things that you can do to minimize lawn chores while not sacrificing curb appeal and the personal sense of pride that comes with having a gorgeous lawn.
Watch Your Watering
The biggest mistake many people make when trying to cultivate a lush, green lawn is watering too much. Although it's true that lawn grass requires a certain amount of water to thrive, too much water is counterproductive for two major reasons. The excess water will cause runoff, which means that erosion of valuable topsoil will occur, and continued erosion results in conditions where grass will no longer be able to grow. Another issue with watering too much is that the excess water that doesn't run off will pool in low-lying parts of the lawn, which is a sure recipe for the development of destructive fungal pathogens.
Lawn watering needs vary grass type and climate, but the general rule of thumb is to water one to one-and-a-half inches per week.
Mow at the Right Height
Homeowners often decide to use the shortest settings on their lawnmowers hoping that doing so will mean that they won't have to mow as often. However, this practice may have unintended consequences — if the grass is cut too short, it may not have the green surface area that all vascular plants need in order to process energy from the sun. This process is known as photosynthesis, and without it, your lawn is likely to die. To prevent this from happening, only the top 1/3 of the blade should be removed during routine mowing.
Fertilizer Every Fall
Although it may seem counterintuitive to fertilize in autumn, it's actually a good strategy for making sure your lawn emerges from its winter dormancy in great shape. The extra nutrients provided by a fall application of fertilizer will nurture the roots of your lawn all winter, helping it recover from summer stress, guards against winter pathogens such as fungal disease, and provides a boost of energy for when plants begin to grow again in the spring.
For more information about lawn care, contact a local landscape company.