This has been the summer of gardening here around our house. Greg’s been handling most of it, but we’ve both learned some pretty good lessons about how to take care of our lawn. Granted, soil in Pennsylvania is far better than the sandy soil of South Carolina (where he grew up), but it still has its challenges. These are the top five lawn care tips we’ve learned this summer and would like to pass on to you (that you can even implement NOW!).
Top Five Lawn Care Tips
Tip One: Do it in the morning.
Nope, this isn’t relationship advice. (Though maybe gardening can teach us something about relationships, Greg sure does put time into his relationship with our yard, wink.) This is plain and simple the best way to get the most out of the trifecta of good things for your plants (water, soil, and light).
This includes mowing and watering, both of which if done later in the day (say after 10 AM) can be harmed by the sun. The sun will cause the moisture you put on your plants and grass to evaporate if you wait until later in the day.
What about nighttime? Well, if you’ve ever set a damp swimsuit in a dark corner of your laundry room, you’ll know that moisture in the dark can lead to bad things. Same happens in your lawn – remember the trifecta – you don’t want moisture sitting and bringing disease to your grass or garden. Your yard needs water + soil + light to thrive.
(If you have irrigation questions, the folks at Custom Turf in Pittsburgh can help you find the best plan for your yard, including sprinkler installation!)
Tip Two: Don’t Keep up with the Johnsons.
When we lived in Ford City, the neighbors to the left of us used to battle with their left-hand neighbor over who could have the shortest grass (trick was on them, they were bordered by the Willis and Peterson houses and we live by the “let it grow” method). There’s no need to cut your grass at the first sign of a dandelion or when the neighbor is outside doing it, too. You actually want grass to be a little bit taller for it to be healthier. If you must be cutting frequently, don’t cut it short.
Tip Three: Reuse Your Waste
We became fans of not only compost (more to come on this) but also leaf mulch this year. Returning to your yard what grew in it is sort of a way to tell it thank you for looking so good.
When it comes to grass clippings, we do a combination of using them as yard mulch and compost. You can either put your grass clippings right back on the lawn (with a mulching blade on your mower) or get a mower bag to collect it for the compost pile. Both will give back to your yard in big ways (think free fertilizer!).
When fall comes, mulch up your leaves and use them as leaf mulch in the garden. We did this with ours and are loving the results. Greg will share a leaf mulch tutorial later this year, so stay tuned.
Tip Four: Keep it Dirty
Dirt is one of the key factors in having a successful yard or garden. Sometimes, you have to deal with what you are given and make the best of it. Sometimes, you can use fertilizers and enhancers to make it work to your advantage. We’ve kind of done a combination of all three in our yard – from testing soil to understand just how to work with it, to re-sodding where we had tree stumps. It’s a process and a journey, but your dirt really is important to the process. Treat it well.
Tip Five: Keep Your Lawn Guessing
Change things up and your yard will thank you. When you cut the grass, don’t always do it the same direction. This helps it grow in healthier and fuller. Your stress on keeping things the exact same every single time will go away, and your yard will feel less stressed, too. Bonus? Your mower blades won’t wear in one place faster than in others because you’re asking it to function a little differently each time.
If you have lawn tips to share, please comment and tell your secrets! If you need more tips, check out customturfinc.com.
This post, Top Five Lawn Care Tips, is a partnership between me and Custom Turf. All thoughts and tips are my own.